Tag: Proverbs

Defilement by Evil Report (Proverbs 26:22)

1.0 Defilement

Defilement involves welcoming and receiving the Carrier of “the evil-report” and believe that “the evil-report” is true – Proverbs 26:22 “The words of a Talebearer (Whisperer) are as wounds. They go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” In the same way, that the person comes into contact with “an infectious-disease,” listening to “an evil-report” does defiled the person who receive it – Hebrews 12:16b “Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”

1.1 Absalom (2 Samuel 15)

A classic illustration of the influence and defilement of listening and accepting to “an evil-report” is in the work and person of Absalom – 2Samuel 15:1-13 – Absalom, the son of King David, used an innocent sounding evil report to steal the hearts of almost the whole Nation of Israel and lead it in revolt against his own father, King David. Absalom’s evil-report emphasized his “concern” for suffering people of Israel, his “deep-desire” that justice be done and his “ability” to be a better Administrator than his father, King David. Absalom acted out of bitterness because his father, King David does not bring judgement to Absalom’s half-brother for immorality (Amnon – 2Samuel 13:1-15), so he takes upon the matters into his own hands and was rejected for it (2Samuel 13:28-29). Absalom does Seven Things.

1.1.1 Gathered

Absalom, gathers and organizes a group that would be loyal to him rather than to King David, his father, whom he served – 2Samuel 15:1-2 “After this it happened that Absalom provided himself with chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So, it was whenever anyone who had a lawsuit came to the king (David) for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, ‘What city are you from?’ and he would say, ‘Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel.’”

1.1.2 Plan

Absalom hatched a plan, to win the heart of the people of Israel – 2Samuel 15:3 “Then Absalom would say to him, ‘Look your case is good and right; but there is no deputy of the king to hear you.”

1.1.3 Available

Absalom makes himself available to the people – 2Samuel 15:4 “Moreover Absalom would say, ‘Oh, that I were made Judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.

1.1.4 Discontentment

Absalom seeks out those who have grievance – 2Samuel 15:5 “And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hands and take him and kiss him.

1.1.5 Personal Interest

Absalom shows personal interest to the person who has a complaint – 2Samuel 15:5 “And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hands and take him and kiss him.”

1.1.6 On Behalf

Absalom takes up the offenses on behalf of those who have been hurt – 2Samuel 15:6a “In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the King (David) for judgement.”

1.1.7 Hearts Stolen

Absalom, “steals” the hearts of almost the whole Nation of Israel – 2Samuel 15:6b,12b, 13b “So, Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel…..And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number……The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.  

Absalom alienated the people of Israel from King David’s influence and authority by giving “an evil-report” about the leadership of King David: 

  • Absalom offered to be their Representative to make sure things are done right away – 2Samuel 15:4 “Moreover Absalom would say, ‘Oh, that I were made Judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.”
  • Absalom would use his position, as the son of David, to increase his influence over the people of Israel – 2Samuel 15:4 “Moreover Absalom would say, ‘Oh, that I were made Judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.”
  • Absalom desired acceptance and recognition as well as authority – 2Samuel 15:6b,12b, 13b “So, Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel…..And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number……The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.

1.2 God’s Judgement

– Absalom became “a curse” in the Nation of Israel – Deuteronomy 21:23b “For he who is hanged is accursed of God.” – Absalom, in his defeat, tried to escape from David’s men and his head was caught in the branch of the tree – 2Samuel 18:9-10 “And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his (Absalom’s) head caught firmly in the oak, and he was suspended between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away…..Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” Thus, fulfilled Deuteronomy 21:23b, “For he who is hanged is accursed of God.”

1.3 God Hates

The Book of Proverbs states that six things God hates and the seventh is an abomination to Him: Proverbs 6:16-19 “These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: ‘A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood. A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” 

Exposure to Evil Reports (Proverb 27:12)

1.0 The Exposure

Exposure to “an evil-report” means entering into conversation and empathize with the person who is the Carrier of “an evil-report.”

  • God Desires – God desires that the Individual be the Prudent Person, who does not entertain “an evil-report” – Proverbs 27:12 “A prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself, but the simple (fool) pass on and are punished.”
  • God WarnsPsalm 101:5 “Whosoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; the one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, him I will not endure.”
  • God Expects – How does we respond to God’s Expectation – Romans 16:17 “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine (teaching) which you learned, and avoid them.” 

1.1 Discernment – How do we discern and detect the Carrier of “an evil-report:”

  • He Tests our spirit – The Carrier of “an evil-report” will usually test our spirit before giving us “the evil-report.” – Any evidence of a compatible spirit in us will encourage the Carrier to give us “the evil-report.”  – 2Corinthians 12:20b “Backbiting, whispering, conceits…..”
  • He Tests our Acceptance – The Carrier of “an evil-report” will usually check our acceptance of his “feed-back,” before giving the full-report to us. He may do this by asking for our opinion about the Person or Church, or dropping a negative comment and observes our response to it – Absalom, David’s son used an innocent sounding evil report to steal the hearts of almost an entire Nation of Israel and leads it in revolt against his own father, King David (2Samuel 15:1-6) – “So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel” (2Samuel 15:6b).
  • He Creates Curiosity – The Carrier of “an evil-report” will often get us to ask for the details of “the evil-report” by creating curiosity for it. Some starters are: “Have you heard about (this person)?” “Wait till I tell you about (this person)!” – Psalm 41:7-8 “All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they devise my hurt. An evil disease, they say, ‘cling to him. And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.’”
  • He Shares Concern? – The Carrier of “an evil-report” may get our attention by asking us for our counsel or by sharing a concern for the Person involved – this is a subtle deception, used by Satan on Adam’s wife, Eve (Genesis 3:1-6).
  • He Has Privileged Information? – The Carrier of “the evil-report” try to get us interested because he has “the inside-privileged information” –Shemaiah, who was working, as a Secret Informer, for the Opposers (Sanballat, Tobiah) who were against Nehemiah, tried to persuade Nehemiah that he has “secret-information” of the people who wanted to kill him (Nehemiah 6:10-14).    

1.2 Guidance

To avoid contamination by “an evil-report” we need God’s Written Word (Scripture) and the Guidance of the Holy Spirit, by sensing His (Spirit’s) promptings and be opened to the Counsel of God’s Leaders in His House. To detect “an evil-report;” these are five questions that we should ask before listening to the Carrier of “the evil-report:”

  • “What is his/her personal reason for telling us?” – Widening the circle of gossip can only increase the problem.
  • “Where did he/she get his/her information?” – Refusal to identify the source of the information is a sure signal of “an evil-report.”
  • “Have he/she gone to the Person directly to clarify?” – Spirituality is not measured by how well we expose an Offender, but by how effectively we restore an Offender – Matthew 18:15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him/her his fault between you and him ALONE. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” (Galatians 6:1-4).
  • “Have he/she personally checked out all of the facts?” – Even “facts” become distorted when not balanced with other facts or when given with negative motives.
  • “Can he/she be quoted if we check this out?” – The person who gives “an evil-report” often claim that he/she is “misquoted.” This is because his/her words and overriding impressions are reported, which may be distorted!

The Problems of Evil Report (Proverbs 16:28)

1.0 Definition

An Evil Report involves the distortion of facts or false information. It is given with wrong motivations and causes the Hearer to come to inaccurate conclusions and to respond with unscriptural “solutions.”  

1.1 Defilement

Listening to an evil-report results in defilementProverbs 16:28 “A Whisperer separates chief friends.”  Carrying an evil report to another person, is so destructive that it can destroy long-lasting friends. However, wrong doing should never be covered over but the exercise of correction is to be with God’s Wisdom, in a Scriptural manner – Galatians 6:1-2 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass (sin), you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

1.2 Classification

From God’s Word, “an evil-report” could be classified into:   

  1. Whisperer – The person who secretly or privately passes “an evil-report” to others – Psalm 41:7 “All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they devise my hurt.” The person is also called “a Gossiper” (Proverbs 18:8; Proverbs 26:22).
    • Proverbs 18:8 (NIV) “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels (crumbs)they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”   
    • Proverbs 26:22 (NIV) “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels (crumbs); they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”
  2. Gossip – The person who magnifies and sensationalizes rumors and partial information – Proverbs 18:8 “The words of a talebearer (gossip) are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.”
  3. Slanderer – The person who seeks to destroy another’s credibility or reputation with damaging facts, distortions of facts, or evil suspicions – Numbers 14:36 “Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain him (Moses) by bringing a bad (evil) report of the land (Promised Land).”
    • Lucifer (later called Satan) slandered God and caused one-third of the Angelic Hosts to Fall (Ezekiel 28:12-19; Revelation 12:4).
    • Satan is the Slanderer (Accuser) of the brethren (Christians – Revelation 12:10b).
  4. Busybody – The person who digs up “an evil-report” and makes it his business to spread them by means of gossip, slander, or whispering. Such an action is associated with the sin of murder or stealing as shown in 1Peter 4:15 “Let none of you suffer as a murderer or as a thief or as an evildoer or as a busybody in other men’ matters.”      

1.3 Failure to Understand

The person who spreads “an evil-report” does not take heed of the damages that could result – 2 Corinthians 2:11 “Satan will gain an advantage over us if we are ignorant of his devices.” Satan’s scheme is to spread “an evil-report” and create division amongst the brethren – James 3:6 “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity (lawlessness)……it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”  

  1. Failed to Understand of how the unclean defiles the clean, rather than the clean influencing the unclean – Haggai 2:11-13 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Now, ask the priests concerning the law, saying, If one carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food, will it become holy’ Then the priests answered and said, ‘No.’ And Haggai said, it one who is unclean because of a dead body touches any of these, will it be unclean?’”
  2. Failed to Understand of how “an evil-report” destroys close friendship – Proverbs 17:9 “He that covers a transgression seeks love; but he that repeats a matter separates good friends.”  
  3. Failed to Understand of what constitutes “an evil-report?” – “An evil-report” is an unauthorized or distorted report which influences us to form a poor or unwarranted opinion about another person – Proverbs 26:24-25 “He that hates dissembled with his lips, and lays up deceit within him, when he speaks fair, believe him not; for there are seven abominations in his heart.”   
  4. Failed to Understand the nature behind “an evil-report,” is self-seeking and self-promotionJames 3:14-16 “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”
    • Bitterness – Reacting because of personal hurts.
    • Rebellion – Justifying an independent spirit.
    • Deception – Believing that “an evil-report” is the right thing to give.
    • Pride – Self-seeking and wanting to exalt-justify-self.
    • Guilt – Justifying past actions or attitudes.
    • Envy – Desiring what another has.
  5. Failed to Understand how susceptible we are to “an evil-report” – We enjoy hearing “an evil-report” because it puts down another person; this attitude is part of human Fallen-Nature – Proverbs 14:15 “The simple (fool) believes every word; but the prudent man looks well to his going.”  
  6. Failed to Understand that Satan uses “an evil-report” to damage and ultimately destroy a person or the ministry – Proverbs 26:21 “As coal are to burning and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.”
    • To discredit spiritual leadership.
    • To cause Christians to close their hearts toward each other.
    • To multiply conflicts and produce ungodliness.

Reaping what you sow (Proverbs 12:14b) (Part 2)

Our Six Basic Responsibilities:

1. Our Words/Actions – Proverbs 14:8,14 “The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way…the backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied with his” For an Individual to enjoy his spiritual and mental health, he has to take hold of his life, as a child of God, and be responsible and accountable for his words/actions, both as benefit and the penalty. He must try not to shift the blame onto others or circumstances, for his failures. Developing this attitude helps him to understand his weaknesses and strengths, and thus, take advantage of the principle of “sowing and reaping,” – overcomes his weaknesses and builds on his strengths.

2. Make Proper Choices – God created us, Individually, with a free-will with the right to choose. If we do what is right, underpinned by God’s Love, we will reap the benefits of our choice: “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naïve proceed and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12). The right to choose and to make decision is ours, Divinely given, and we should make the best of it.

3. Do Our Best – Proverbs 18:9 “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.” Generally, an Individual’s mindset is to do as little as possible, with short-cuts, and expects great result; whereas “wisdom’s way,” is to do our best; to work to the uttermost perimeter of our God’s given talents and abilities, – reaping the benefits of hard work and diligent – Proverbs 22:29 “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.” Laziness is self-destructive – Proverbs 12:24 “The hand of the diligent will rules, but the lazy man will be put to forced labour.

4. Continuous LearningProverbs 19:2 “It is not good for a person to be without knowledge.” The moment we stop learning and adjusting, we begin to back-slide in our God’s given gifting and ability. Life will not alter to suit our situation; we need to read and adjust and take hold of the best, in the situation. We are responsible to educate ourselves on the things of life – be STREET-WISEMatthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye, therefore, wise as a serpent and harmless as doves.”

5. Doing to OthersProverbs 11:27 “He who diligently seeks good seeks favour, but he who searches after evil, it will come to him” The Bible teaches that “we do unto others, as we desire others to do unto us – Matthew 7:12 “Therefore, all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you: do you even so to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets…..shall also do to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.”  Cain’s question: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Was a rhetorical question. We are responsible not to impose upon the welfare of others and to consider how our actions will affect them. Remember, we will receive back in kind the blessing or the misery we bring into the lives of others.

6. Good Conscience

Proverbs 28:18 “He whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall.” & Proverbs 21:3 “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” Our words/deeds must all be done in good conscience – Acts 23:1b “I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” Thus, in the law of “sowing and reaping,” we are first and foremost accountable to ourselves. When we are faced with a choice our criteria for judging what we should do should not be based on what others will think or what is in it for us, but solely on what is right (before God and our conscience). What we say and do must be right in the sight of God based on right motives and attitude, must leave us with a comfortable conscience. One of the ways to make our lives meaningful and easier is to live within the realm God’s Word – Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word (logos) of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Reaping what you sow (Proverbs 12:14b) (Part 1)

The Statement

Proverbs 12:14b “The deeds of a man’s hands will return to him.”

Law of Nature

Sowing and reaping is a universal law of nature, set-in-place by God. Every Farmer expects a harvest when he sows/plants; he knows that, except for the unforeseen weather conditions or natural disasters, he will be able to reap for the finance, time, and labour he invested. This law of “sowing & reaping,” applies to the physical world, but God has created within His universe a spiritual ecology, a principle of recompense that governs our actions and behaviour.Scripture teaches that for everything we do there is a consequence that is commensurate with the deed. This law of recompense (reward), is stated in God’s Word (Scripture):

  • Proverbs 12:14b “The deeds of a man’s hands will return to him.”
  • Galatians 6:7 explains: “Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
  • Proverbs 11:18 “He who sows righteousness gets a true reward.”

These are God’s Great Promise, taken in the positive aspects. To a large extent we can determine the results of our actions by what we do and how we do it; since we can choose what to sow, we can dictate what return to us

  • Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “To every force and action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” 
  • Carousel Theory: “What goes around, comes around” – What we do boomerangs – it comes back to us in kind.

In a Situation – If we cannot control our temper, in a tense situation, we will get turmoil in return as Proverbs 15:18 warns: “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife.”  But, if we take hold of ourselves even when provoked, the end-result would be different, as “The (one who is) slow to anger pacifies contention…A gentle answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:18, 1). 

First Principle

We must Sow before We ReapGalatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” A seed that is not planted will not bear fruits. Planting carries with it the expectation of harvest. The human counterpart of this law of nature is that once we have done something we can never undo it:

  1. The result is beyond our control once a deed/word has been done/spoken.
  2. The result is predetermined by our action and once begun, is irreversible.
  3. A deed, once done, cannot be undone, All, we can do is live with the consequence, be it bitter or sweet.

Peter Marshall wisely observed that “small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” The only way we can reap is to sow. Thus, we must consciously sow “God’s Goodness & Love” among us and to the people.

Second Principle

We Reap What We SowProverbs 10:4 “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” & Proverbs 10:16 “The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment.” The nature of the reward is determined by what we “sow.” Righteousness is imbedded with its own reward, as with wrongful action/word. The results that are produced by our action/word will resemble those action/word. Every deed is followed by its corresponding effect. We reap whatever we sow.

Third Principle

We will Reap in Proper Time – Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Paul said that “in proper time we shall reap.” “In proper time” may be right away or a long time off because what we do can have one of two results: Immediate or delayed. This principle implies that we must consider the final, long-term results of our actions/words rather than immediate satisfactions. What we do now may affect the total scope of our life and the lives of others, months or even years from now.

Fourth Principle

We Reap More than We SowProverbs 11:24-25 “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper.” Again, this is illustrated in the physical world – “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains (just one grain; never becomes more but lives by itself alone). But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest” (John 12:24, AMP). The Word of God warns: “He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly” (2Corinthians 9:6).

To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..

Seven Characters of Conscience (Romans 2:14-15) (Part 3)

4. Judicial

Romans 2:15 “bearing witness…….accusing or else excusing one another.” Conscience does not function legislatively, but judicially.

  • Applies the Law – Conscience is not the law; Conscience applies the law, i.e., judicial. Conscience is not the “moral standard.”
  • Bears Witness – Conscience bears witness to the “moral standard” within the Person. In different parts of the world, there are different “moral standards.”
  • Court-Room – Conscience is man’s “inner courtroom;” Conscience sits at the bench as a Judge, Witness and Jury.
  • Testifies – Conscience testifies to the good and the bad in the Person – this is often missed from view; usually Conscience is thought of as concerned only with the evil; and its power and witness are dreaded. Conscience ought to be the cheer of life; a man knows when he has done right; appraising his life, he sometimes approves. “Conscience makes cowards of us all;” but it is equally true that “Conscience can make brave men of us all.”
  • Faculty – Conscience testifies to the bad in the good – And that is the real ground of a Person’s fear. Self-esteem see only good; Conscience never does. It finds the sinister mark everywhere, and always qualifies its approval and praise. “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee.”
  • Assurance – Conscience testifies to the good in the bad – And this keeps fear from becoming hopeless and despairing. The irretrievably has is a conception that can only be associated with demons, not with man. And it is not a genuine Conscience that judges in a blind, sectarian way, and makes a man accuse himself as hopelessly bad.
  • Illumination – Conscience puts both bad and good out of the self-light into the Divine light – Based on the sense a man has of God, will be his Conscience – judgment of his own conduct. Right sense of God brings a reverent and humble fear; the Conscience of evil brings a humiliating and anxious fear. The self-estimate of iniquities is painful enough but what shall he says of the Divine estimate of those same iniquities?

When he does something right, his Conscience approves and commends him, “that’s good!”  When he does something wrong, his Conscience accuses him, “that’s wrong!” Therefore, it hurts. The Others has “the work (requirement) of the Law (of God’s Word) written in his hearts” and not the Law of God’s (God’s Word) – Romans 2:15 “The work of the law written in their hearts.”  Whereas, we has “the Law of God (God’s Word)” written in his heart – Jeremiah 31:33 “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Hebrews 8:10).

5. Standard

Conscience does not create the “moral standard;” it assumes the presence of a valid “moral standard” and acts upon that “moral-standard” of the Person (Romans 2:15). The “moral standard” used differs from Person to Person. Conscience functions based on the “moral standard” the Person holds.

6. Umpire

Conscience acts as an Umpire and it does not make the rules but decides in the light of the existing rules (“moral-standard”) the Person holds. Conscience refuses to have no “moral standard.”

7. Can be manipulated

Conscience can be manipulated or changed by the introduction of new “moral standard” (norms) – for better for worse.

Stay tune…..to be continued.

Four Types of People (Proverbs 18:1-4) (Part 2)

The Wicked People

Proverbs 18:3 “When the Wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt and, with ignominy (humiliation), reproach (criticism).” (NIV) “When Wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes disgrace.” – Wicked Person keeps miserable company of: “Contempt {shame}, ignominy {humiliation}, and reproach {scandal}.

The two lines of Proverbs are arranged synthetically, the three term (contempt {shame}, ignominy {humiliation}, reproach {scandal}) telescoping out in a description of the ever-increasing ignominy {humiliation} that befalls the “Wicked-Person.

  • Wickedness brings “contempt” (shame).
  • Wickedness leads to “ignominy” (humiliation).
  • Wickedness leads to “reproach” (scandal).

When the Wicked Person comes, all these evils (contempt {shame}, ignominy {humiliation}, reproach {scandal}) followed him (Perowne). Wickedness is both a contemptible (disgraceful) and a contemptuous (scornful) thing (Thomas). Wickedness brings with it “contempt” {shame}, “ignominy” {humiliation} and “reproach” {scandal}.

Pride and Selfishness are the characteristic of the Wicked, as the Wicked Person comes, he is apt to cast contempt (shame), ignominy (humiliation) and reproach (scandal) on every man’s face (Bishop Hall). His neighbour’s circumstances or illnesses provides him with an opportunity to ridicule (mock) his (Wicked) neighbour; and God’s Word finds no favour in his (Wicked Person’s) sight. God’s people are the object of his (Wicked) contempt.

When the Wicked Person comes, he is accompanied by “contempt” (buz). The attitude of contempt characterizes the Wicked Person, we may say that “contempt” is with him wherever he goes. “Ignominy” (qalon – humiliation) parallels “wicked,” indicating that the Wicked Person is the Person without grace, thus, bringing humiliation to himself. He is accompanied by “reproach” (herep – scandal), the lack of honour that he directs toward those who are around him.

The Wise Man

Proverbs 18:4 (KJV) “The words of a man’s mouth are like deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom like a flowing brook.” (NIV) “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” –  The description of the Wise-man of Proverbs 18:4 expresses the depth, the abundance, the clearness, and the force of the thoughts of the Wise-man, which is “the spring of life,” honest and revealing truth:

  • The “wellspring of wisdom” is parallel to the “deep waters.” – that is, there is “depth” in the Wise-Person thoughts and attitude, and the things he does
  • The Wise Person is full of useful things and is always able to contribute profitably on many matters. His deep insight (“deep waters”) is drawn from “the Fountain of Living Water” – John 7:38-39 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of Living Waters……of the Holy Spirit”
  • The Wise-Person’s Word flows like a spring brook, clear, clean, and cleansing that edify, exhort, and comfort, and encourage and refresh the Hearers.  
  • When the Person has immersed himself in God’s Wisdom, his words in themselves deep waters, and as he speaks, he become a fruitful as “a bubbling brook.”   This is a picturesque description of the value of wisdom.

The parallelism requires that the “words of a man’s mouth” be wise words. These are “deep-waters” (Proverbs 20:5), profound and providing an inexhaustible supply of counsel and blessing. Verse 4b explains verse 4a, the “Well-spring” (or “Fountain”) of Wisdom “being an emblematic (symbolic) portrayed of wise speech. This is “a bubbling brook,” a limitless source of God’s Wisdom. 

Four Types of People (Proverbs 18:1-4) (Part 1)

The Statement

Proverbs Chapter 18 has no single theme, but underlying it is the whole subject of the Character and Conduct of the Wise. No Person can get far in life before coming up against the issues touched on in Proverbs Chapter 18: Companionship, Depravity, Words, Fairness, Security. There are some profound observations on these points:

The Conceited Person –

Proverbs 18:1 (KJV) “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.” (NIV) “An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he defiles all sound judgement.” The Phrase: “one who separates himself?” (KJV) refers to dividing people. Thus, Proverbs 18:1 has been taken both in a negative sense and in a positive sense (Matthew Henry) – The negative sense, however, fits the text of Proverbs 18:1, better (Matthew Henry).

  • Conceited – Proverbs 18:1, taken in the right context, speaks of the Person who is conceited and a lone-Ranger, the anti-social Individualist, who will not listen to others. The Conceited Person finds his identity in his non-conformity and obstinately sets himself apart, independently, from those around him. In simple term, the Conceited Person is a Selfish-Person, all this thoughts and actions lead to himself. He measures everything by his thoughts and his wishes, his comfort, his perspective.
  • Quarrelsome – The word “intermeddleth” (KJV, “Gala” {Proverbs 17:14}) is better translated “quarrel.” Conceited Person “quarrels” against all sound wisdom. The word “intermeddleth” comes from a root meaning: “To show one’s teeth” or “to break forth in hostilities.” – This root “quarrel {intermeddleth}” is found three times in the Book of Proverbs (Proverbs 17:14 {starting quarrel, NIV}; Proverbs 18:1 {intermeddleth = quarrel, KJV}; Proverbs 20:3 {quick to quarrel, NIV}). Fierce independence snarls and growls at all attempts from others to counsel or guide him. In the end, the doggedly self-willed Conceited Person may get “his desire,” but lose “sound wisdom.” Conceited Person forfeited God’s treasure of Wisdom.  
  • Sound-Wisdom – Conceited Person lacks sound wisdom. The term “sound-wisdom” has the idea of “sound-judgement” and that which flows from it, that is, abiding success in the practical affairs of life – Proverbs 2:7a “He (God) stores up sound wisdom for the upright.”
  • Isolationist – The Conceited Person is “a quarrelsome Isolationist.” (Perowne) opts for the RV rendering where “desire” is taken to mean “his own self-indulgent” desire.
  • Versions we consulted have followed this lead. The Conceited Person is “a boorish {rude} irresponsibility” (Perowne).

Versions give “rages against quarrels with, or shows contempt,” and say it is about “the evil of isolation,” showing forth “a self-conceited, hair-brained Person seeking to satisfy his fancy” (Schultens). The Conceited Person who separates himself from conventional wisdom, following his own self desires, puts himself in the position of warring against sound wisdom. Proverbs 18:1 warns against headstrong, self-centred decision (“Zockler, pg.166). As Proverbs 15:22 says, “a multitude of Counsellors” help to establish the Individual’s Plan.

The Foolish Person

Proverbs 18:2 (KJV) “A Fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” (NIV) “A Fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinion.” This antithetical (adversative) Proverbs (Proverbs 18:2), The Fool is not intellectual deficient but attitudinal deficient. Thus, a Fool lays bare the unteachable, and arrogant Person (Fool).

  • The first line Proverbs 18:2a, makes its point by stating the opposite – “A Fool hath no delight in understanding” (Proverbs 18:2a) – that is, he despises understanding – that is, the Fool has no interest in listening or learning.
  • The second line, Proverbs 18:2b reveals, the Fool only interest is to expose what is on his mind – “But delights in airing his own opinion.” (NIV). The root of the verb “revealing” (discover) mean to uncover, to reveal, to be away or to go away. The form shown here is found only one other time in the O.T. in Genesis 9:21, where Noah got drunk and uncovered himself, sleeping naked in his tent.

Thus, it would not be a stretch to understand that the Fool of Proverbs 18:2, is descriptive of the Person (Fool) who has the tendency of an exhibitionist = show-off – the Fool, to his own shame, of his thoughts, opinions, musings, and vaunted (overhyped) insights. As a Fool, he lives in a delusional world of his own making.

The Book of Proverbs has often underscored the inability of the Fool to constrain his speech, and thus, his tendency to make public display of his Folly:

  • Proverbs 12:23b “The heart of the Fools proclaim s foolishness.”
  • Proverbs 13:16b “But a Fool lays open his folly.”
  • Proverbs 15:2b “But the mouth of the Fools pours forth foolishness.”   

Proverbs teaches that “He who restrains his words has knowledge…Even a Fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is counted prudent” (Proverbs 17:27a, 28). However, the Foolish Person has “a close mind but open mouth” in which he puts both feet, thus discovering, exposing his heart, pouring out his ignorance.

  • The disposition of the Fool is entirely opposite to that of the Wise-Person, for he has no pleasure in understanding – Proverbs 18:2a “A Fool hath no delight in understanding.”
  • The Foolish Person does not “delight” (hapes) in those matter that will give him greater understanding of life. The word “hapes” describes a deep emotional involvement, as his whole desire is to pour out his own frivolity {triviality}.

The Fool’s antipathy {opposition} toward understanding, then, comes from his emotional preoccupation with less important matters (trivialities). Fool has no concern for wisdom. In particular, he concerns himself “that his heart may discover itself.” = He wants to reveal his own opinions. His own thoughts are all more important to him that others’ views. – Proverbs 18:13 (KJV) “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” (NIV) “He who answers before listening – that is folly and his shame.”  

Stay Tuned….. To be continued

The Virtuous Woman – Wife and Mother (Proverbs 31:10-31) (Part 4)

7. Her Attitude & Deeds

n. Supplement Family Income

Proverbs 31:24 (NIV) “She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies the merchants with sashes.” Proverbs reverts to describing the virtuous woman. She contributes to the household expenses by holding a job (“making garments and sell”). She is able to help her husband increase the family’s income through her extra sewing at home (in today’s context, “holding a paid job, whether part-time or full-time”). Her trading (earning the extra income) is not carried out at the expense of her household responsibility; it is important but not her top priority. Her trading is carried out without neglect to the needs of her household.   

o. Strength of Character

Proverbs 31:25 (NIV) “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

  • Strength of character is virtuous woman’s clothing, that is, she is not easily shattered, moved or tossed about by circumstances. This strength of character keeps her stable, and her household in good shape.
  • Dignity is also her clothing – she is composed in situations, even when provoked, as she is assured of her position and station in life, and she is contended with her lot.
  • Joyous – With strength and dignity in character, the virtuous woman could be joyous, even during the time of adversities – Proverbs 31:25b (NIV) “She can laugh at the days to come.” She knows the right thing to do this gives her a certain calmness and strength to bear with difficulties. Her joy remains with her “the days to come,” that is, her joy is not a fleeting emotion in her life that is dependent on her life situation or station. It is a stable constant part and throughout her life.  

p. Speech of Wisdom

Proverbs 31:26 (KJV) “She openeth her mouth (speak) with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Verse 26 switches the focus from the deeds of the virtuous woman to her speech.

She is not only thrifty, industrious, forward-looking woman who looks well after her household but also her speech is filled with wisdom and kindness. Wisdom and kindness in her speech is not just an occasional flash but the hall mark of her life.

As the source of wisdom is God and His Word, her wise words show that she loves God’s Word, is knowledgeable of God’s Word and has allowed God’s Word to work in her life affecting her speech – Colossians 4:6 (KJV) “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Her speech shows her spiritual maturity. She is not the person to engage in foolish talks. Her speech shows her godliness and a heart that is in tune with her God.

In all her communication, she regulates her tongue with the law or teaching of kindness as found in God’s Word. She does not allow herself to speak any evil or untruths about any person, by controlling her tongue. Kind words, loving words, encouraging words, words of comfort, words that heal the wounded and the hurting were dispensed from her mouth. She is not harsh with her words, gossipy or slanderous, causing disharmony in or outside the home. Even when she has to discipline, chide or rebuke, the law of kindness guides her words. The words of her mouth are testimonies of the law of kindness in her heart.  

Proverbs 31:26 implies that the virtuous woman is a woman of few words – Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he (she) who holds his tongue is wise.”

q. Well-Organised Home

Proverbs 31:27 (NIV) “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” The virtuous woman manages over the affairs of her household with care, with their interests always before her, for example, she is aware of her husband’s needs and meets them because she “looks well” to his ways. She responds to her children with words and deeds of encouragement or correction as and when the occasion calls for it. She relates to her servants to ensure that work is done and at the same time that their needs are also met.

She is not the woman that “eats the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27b). She is not a woman to while away her time by idle talks or idle activities. She spends her time serving her household members and ministering to their needs, with the best of her ability – “She watches over the affairs of her household” (Proverbs 31:27a) – The needs of her family are her priority and main concern of her life, not even her work to supplement the family income (Proverbs 31:24). She is single-minded in this aspect!  

r. Appreciative & Praise

Proverbs 31:28 (NIV) “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” The result of her dedication to her family is seen in her family’s appreciation:

  • Children – Her children, called her “blessed” – They appreciated her tender care and discipline. This is a great testimony of godly motherhood. The children are appreciative of their mother’s labour of love. Children who are appreciative of mother’s love are usually also appreciative of God’s love. Her children turned out to be filial and godly ones. On the other hand, ungrateful always leads to unholy (2Timothy 3:2).
  • Husband – Her husband praises her is a demonstration of his pride of her as his wife and mother of his children. Speaking well of his wife indicates his love and appreciation as well as approval of all that she had done and is doing. Her husband has in his wife all that any man can desire in a wife!
  • The word “arise” carries with it the idea of reverence, respect or honour as one would arise from one’s seat when a person of honour enters. Her husband and children bless her in such a reverential or respectful manner, that her lifelong devotion to them bears fruit by the testimonies of her loved ones!!

s. Excel Above All

Proverbs 31:29 (NIV) “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” The switch to the second personal pronoun indicates that Proverbs 31:29 is the continuation of appreciation and praise of the virtuous woman, she stands above many women in her godly character, deeds, family devotion and self-sacrifices that are described in Proverbs 31:10-28.

The term “surpass them all” indicates that her courage, energy, and the ability that goes beyond the mere ability to do or accomplish things. It is the ability that includes soundness of her moral judgement, which is reflected in her daily decision-making, devotion to her family in all aspects of her life. 

t. Reverence (Fear) God

Proverbs 31:30 (NIV) “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” The switch back to the third personal pronoun as seen in “she shall be praised” (KJV) indicates that her virtuous character, deeds, family devotion and self-sacrifices are seen and praised by those outside her household. Thus, not only her family recognises her virtues but others as well.

  • Proverbs 31:30 does not denounce personal charm and physical beauty but rather points out that personal charm and physical beauty are great to have in a woman, but they are insufficient to make a woman virtuous.
  • By her personal charm, a woman is able to set forth an impression of herself, but it will not hold up over time and under pressure of real life. Thus, charm is “deceptive” = “Without foundation in fact or reality.”
  • Physical beauty is good, but it will not last because a woman grows old. Thus, physical beauty is “vain” (KJV), literally means “breath,” “vapour,” or “fleeting” (NIV), it is here today and gone tomorrow.
  • It is the Reverence (Fear) of God that motivates the character, life, and work of the virtuous (excellent, noble) woman. She lives in accordance to God’s Word. The emphasis on the Reverential Fear of the LORD (Proverbs 1:7) at the beginning of the Book of Proverbs, and here, at the end.
  • Matthew Henry describes it as “the Fear of God reigning in the heart is the beauty of the soul” (Matthew Henry, “Commentary of the Whole Bible”). The truly God-Fearing Heart behind the woman’s exterior is the true measure of her worth. It is her spiritual attributes which give her strength and beauty in her personality.
  • The Book of Proverbs begins with “the Fear of the LORD” (Proverbs 1:7) and ends with the “Fear of the LORD” (Proverbs 31:30).

u. Rewards

Proverbs 31:31 (NIV) “Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”  Her virtuous life and works not only bring total confidence from her husband (Proverbs 31:11), respect of the Elders of the land for her husband (Proverbs 31:23), but also praises from her family (Proverbs 31:28) and those outside her household (Proverbs 31:30b – “she shall be praised,” KJV).

Her life and works also bear fruits. Good comes out of her virtuous life, benefitting her family and others. She also enjoys “the fruit of her life and labour” (“the reward she has earned”):   

  • In the O.T., it would be unusual in Jewish culture for a woman to be praised “at the city gate” for her works (Proverbs 31:31b), but she is no ordinary woman but a virtuous woman of substance – “A kind-hearted woman gains respect” (Proverbs 11:16a, NIV). In Proverbs 31:23 we are reminded of her husband at the city gate. 
  • Her life itself is a testimony of her godliness and she does not have to exalt herself of her virtues. She receives public recognition and acknowledgement for her character and deeds.
  • The Book of Proverbs opens with “Woman Wisdom” raising her voice “At the head of the noisy streets…….At the entrance of the gates in the city” (Proverbs 1:21). As the Book of Proverbs closes, she has found a hearing, has been embraced, and is now being “praised at the city gate” (Proverbs 31:31b).
  • Ruth reflects the qualities of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10-31, as Boaz says: “And now, my daughter, do not fear, I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence” (Ruth 3:11).
  • The wise person was introduced to the “Woman Wisdom” in Proverbs chapters 1-9, and now, he has wedded her (Proverbs 31:10-31). He has rejected the adulteress and harlot (Proverbs 2:16-19; 5:1-6; 7:1-23) and has found delight in a woman of true integrity and substance, the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31:10-31!

SUMMARY

From the above Principles, we can see that the virtuous woman does not only accept her husband’s leadership, but also affirms his leadership through her attitudes and deeds. Her submission to her husband is a heart attitude rather than the mere following of a list of dos and don’ts. Her right heart attitude leads her to decide as to what actions or responses are considered appropriate in different situations and in different cultural context – Proverbs 31:10 (NIV) “A wife of noble (virtuous, excellent) character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies!”

The Virtuous Woman – Wife and Mother (Proverbs 31:10-31) (Part 3)

7. Her Attitude & Deeds

….Continued….

e. Industrious

Proverbs 31:17a (NIV) “She sets about her work vigorously.” This reinforces that the virtuous woman is an extremely hardworking and committed person. The term “she has girded her loins with strength” (KJV) is the physical act of gathering up the loose, flowing robes of her tunic and tucking them into her belt. This is done to grant freedom of movement for physical labour.

This is an expression typically used of men and women and warriors (1Kings 18:46; 2Kings 4:29). It means she literally and physically, “roll up her sleeves and gets dirt under her fingernails” by helping her servants to plant the vineyard (Proverbs 31:16), or “she sets about her work vigorously” (NIV).

Though she had servants at her bidding (Proverbs 31:15b), she is not above working alongside of them. She ensures her physical fitness and hardiness in order to take on the many tasks ahead of her. She knows how to work hard but yet looks after her health.

f. Health Conscious

Proverbs 31:17 (KJV) “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.”  She does not take her health for granted. Her dedication and preparedness indicate a woman of foresight and balance. She does not work so hard that she neglects her health and allows her own body to run down. While she is industrious, she sees to it that her “loins” and “arms” (KJV) are kept strong so that she can continue to be productive and useful to her family, thereby able to fulfil her responsibilities.

The term “she makes her arms strong” (Proverbs 31:17b), the same word for strength is used to describe the military power of the soldier to stand his ground (Nahum 2:1) and of the political might to secure the Kingdom under Rehoboam (2Chronicles 11:17). Here, it means not that she is a body builder, but that she applies herself to her work and is thereby fit and capable for it.

g. Business Acumen

Proverbs 31:18 (NIV) “She sees (senses) that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” Here we gain an understanding of that which motivates such an excellent woman. The verb translated “she senses (sees)” means, basically, to taste or sample food or beverage. It is used of discerning or sensing something (c/f “O taste and see that the Lord is good” – Psalm 34:8a).   The virtuous woman has business acumen and has been making profit out of her investment (trading).

She has ensured that her buys are all good buys, that she obtains value for money or that she makes a profit from it. This further reinforces her frugal and careful character (Proverbs 31:14 & 15).

Her success, however, does not lead her to rest on her laurels.  Instead, it spurs her on to work even harder by working into the night – “Her lamp does not go out at night” (Proverbs 31:18, NIV). It does not mean that she literally forgoes sleep, as it would be unrealistic and to miss the point, because “Wisdom” realises that “it is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labour; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep” (Psalm 127:2). It means that she is able to adjust her times and priorities, wisely!

h. Family’s Priority

Proverbs 31:19 (NIV) “In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.” This describes her reaching out to take a piece of work and the instrument of work, a description of the distaff spinning technique that was used during biblical times before the spinning-wheel was invented in Germany in the 16th century. The woman of biblical times would “attach wool or flax to the distaff (a rod or stick), and then use a spindle to twist the fibres into threads.” She is skilful and successful, is implies, in whatever she does, with the term “in her hands.”

She does not only purchase wool and flax (Proverbs 31:13), she personally works on them, even late into the night, to produce what her family needs. She does this herself despite the fact that she has servants. It is an indication that she does not find it a chore but rather a joy to be able to spin and weave clothing for her loved ones. It is no wonder that her husband safely trusts in her (Proverbs 31:11), as caring for her loved ones is a joy to her. He knows that they will be well looked after by her, that she will not neglect the family needs.

i. Compassionate

Proverbs 31:20 (NIV) “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Beyond her immediate family, the virtuous woman is equally caring and kind to those outside of her household, in particular, the poor and the needy. Her hands laboured to provide for her loved ones but extended to the poor and needy:

  • She “opens her hands” to the poor and needy. This speaks of her compassion and generosity. She reaches out to these people.
  • She “extends her arms” to the poor and needy. The words “extends her hands” indicates that she takes the initiative with the earnest intent to care for these people. 

Her compassionate spirit calls her to take initiative to reach out to these people willingly and cheerfully. She does not only serve those who are around and close by, perhaps her neighbours, she also extends her hands of help to those who may not be nearby. She will stretch and reach out to them. Distance is no barrier to her good works. The love of God is expressed through her!

Delitzsch (“Proverbs”) points out that the use of “her palm (hand)” is not to be taken to merely mean the giving of gifts or alms. Rather, it means the offer of “sympathy and readiness to help…..as if saying: place confidence in me, I shall do whatever I can…..there thou has my hand!” 

The use of plural: “her hands” points to virtuous woman reaching out with both her hands to the poor and needy, getting herself physically near enough to the poor and needy that they will be able to take hold of her outstretched hands in theirs to experience her warmth and sympathy. This kind of giving goes beyond the giving of gifts or money but the warm and personal touch, as portrayed by the outstretched hands. 

j. Well-Prepared

Proverbs 31:21 (NIV) “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” Her love and care for her household makes her think ahead and plan for the family’s need during the time of winter (“when it snows”). She always has the welfare of the whole family in her heart. Such thoughtfulness on her part leads her husband to safely trust her (Proverbs 31:11).    

The clothing is described as “scarlet,” a colour that is supposed to absorb and retain heat during winter. Such clothing is functional and appropriate for winter. The physical needs of her household are well looked into. Scarlet clothing is not only functional for use in winter the clothing is attractively coloured, making her family beautiful and smart looking.

In the Old Testament, the colour scarlet is often mentioned together with fine linen or gold. It is a colour that signifies richness and good taste. Therefore, the virtuous woman is a woman of good sense and taste. She ensures that her household is smartly attired and looks presentable in public.

k. Woman of Purpose

Proverbs 31:22a (NIV) “She makes coverings for her bed.”  Coverings (bed sheets) or coverlets have the dual function of making the bed soft as well as to add to their aesthetics. The virtuous woman’s home is not only functional but also tastefully done up and decorated, making it an attractive, restful and comfortable place for everyone in her family. The bed’s coverings (bed sheets) could be purchased or made by herself, because that is not the major emphasis but on her taste. 

l. Well-Dressed

Proverbs 31:22b (NIV) “She is clothed in fine linen and purple.” In her care for others, she does not neglect herself – she is well-dressed because her clothing is “fine linen and purple” which are both of quality and expensive fabrics.

  • Linen fabrics made from flax are quality material.
  • Purple coloured fabrics shows forth good taste of colour.

In the times of the Old Testament, Tyre, the Phoenician City, was known to export these expensive purple fabrics. The virtuous woman takes care of her own physical appearance and does not bring shame or embarrassment to her husband and her children by being properly dressed and in appearance. Her physical appearance must have been neat and pleasant, but not ostentatious (showy) nor unduly over-dressed (“over-killed”). 

Despite her thrifty nature (Proverbs 31:13 &14), she is not a miser nor is she a penny-pincher. She has good sense and taste and is willing to pay for things of good quality, beauty or aesthetical valued. Her husband must be proud to be seen with her in public.Despite her thrifty nature (Proverbs 31:13 &14), she is not a miser nor is she a penny-pincher. She has good sense and taste and is willing to pay for things of good quality, beauty or aesthetical valued. Her husband must be proud to be seen with her in public.

m. Husband’s Reputation

Proverbs 31:23 (NIV) “Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” The virtuous woman’s good character, deeds, management of her household and her being personally well- groomed (Proverbs 31:12-22) has contributed to her husband’s good reputation among the leaders (elders) of the land.  

  • Her husband has a Seat of Leadership “at the gate.” The city gates were centres for conversations and commerce…….because the Elders often transacted business at the gate, so “sit at the gate” meant to attain a certain social eminence.” (Parker and Tenney, “Illustrated Manners,” 412).
  • The virtuous woman’s role in the home has great influenced and impacted on her husband’s career and reputation outside the home. The way she managed her household has resulted in her husband having full confidence in her (Proverbs 31:11) and therefore he is able to fully concentrate on his work without any worries as to household matters.
  • The way she takes care of his physical needs in the home (which includes dressing him decently, appropriately and tastefully) is reflected in his physical appearance outside the home.
  • Her husband trusts in her gives him a relaxed and peaceful demeanour. His whole outlook and appearance indicated to others that he has a caring, loving and supportive wife at home.
  • In helping to promote her husband’s good standing outside the home, the virtuous woman does not strive to obtain that seat of reputation outside the home for herself. It is satisfying for her just to know that her husband has that respect and position outside.

Stay Tuned….. To be continued