The Proverbial Woman vs. 22

Proverbs 31:22  She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Mem is our next letter.  It is the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  In pictograph this letter looks like a wave of water.  In Hebrew the letter means 'waters' and represents wisdom. 

Proverbs 18:4  The words a man speaks are deep water, a flowing stream, a fountain of wisdom.

There are other meanings of the word: waters, people, languages, nations. 

The form of this letter, with one side open as seen here,  is said to represent the hidden truth of God, revealed.

In the lexicon, the word used is Marbad. It is marvadim in the Hebrew version I'm using.  (Since Veronika kindly pointed out that the last two words I was struggling with did in fact have the same meaning as the lexicon words used, I will proceed with using them.  I so appreciate that help!!)  Marbad  is translated as spread or coverlet

A few translations in English use the word 'tapestry' and indeed the primitive root word from which marbad  is derived is rabad and it means tapestry or covering as well.  Tapestry is a very intricate bit of weaving, and  is usually quite heavy almost like a carpet or rug. This would have been a very luxurious bit of weaving for her bed.  While some translations have used the term 'bedspread', I am not aware enough of the history of tapestry or the times in which our woman lived to know if it truly was a bedspread or if rugs were spread for a bed at that time. I reference this to the story of Jael:  Sisera came to Jael's tent to seek refuge; she gave him milk and rolled him in a rug to hide him...He fell asleep and she took that opportunity to kill him. Judges 4:21.

If you read about tapestry making and the intricacy of the work done, how finely woven it is with a pattern worked atop that, then you'll understand that this work required costly threads and meticulous work, as well as a great deal of time.  That she made these coverings for her own bed bespeaks the value of her marriage bed.

But there's more...aren't we finding that there always is with this woman?

It is her bedroom that she chooses to make lovely with these coverings.  Her bedroom would be a place exclusively for her husband and herself, nost likely an interior room.  It is a place of intimacy.  Surely this is representative of her own relationship with God and the depth of her inner spiritual life. 

..her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Woman or not, these are priestly colors!  The word used for 'fine linen' is "shash"(shaysh)It literally translates to 'white'.  It is interesting to me to note that the Hebrew word for shash is represented by two shin, another letter of the alphabet, and they look like two crowns side by side.  Purple was a royal and priestly color as well.   The color was acquired by crushing the shells of a certain shellfish from the Mediterranean Sea.  References to the white and the purple are scattered throughout Exodus chapters from chapter 25-28.  These colors were used for both the curtains that surrounded the Holy of Holies and the priests garments worn for duty in the tabernacle.

In light of the previous verse it is not hard to believe that she would wear the garments of a priest. It most surely is spiritual clothiing as much as physical clothing and further evidence of the strong role she plays in her home as an example and guide.   

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting! Great study. GrammaD

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