The Proverbial Woman Vs. 24

Proverbs 31:24  She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchants.

Samekh(sahm-keh) is the fifteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The pictograph of this letter resembles a shield.  The ancient root work for Samekh means "to lean upon", "to uphold", "to support".  The sages say that samekh also represents the cyclical upward spiral of seasons.  It is also said to represent the sukkah,  a shelter that represented the omnipresence of God and his continual protection.

The Hebrew word here in this verse is samakh meaning "cloak, or linen garment" according to one translation of the Hebrew.  The lexicon word used is "cadiyn" which means 'to envelop' or 'wrap around'. 

Digging thru the lexicon meanings of each of the words in this verse, I get a sense of a much, much deeper meaning.  For one thing, the garments she makes are described as sheets or a sort of gown worn next to the bare skin. The sashes are described in the lexicon as a  'girdle'.  If you read about Jewish funerary traditions, the traditional burial clothing includes the sheets or shroud which envelops the body as well as a sort of belt that is tied about the waist.  The garments meant for death also are meant to represent the priestly clothing worn by the priests.  Tradition was that only very pious women made the garments worn by the Jewish dead.

Two things I note in the study of this verse.  First, we've already established that this woman has a strong spiritual character, is known for her devotion to God.  Hence she is making funeral garments for the dead.  As befits Jewish tradition she is seen as a pious woman in her community.

Second I note that while we've studied throughout these verses her impact upon the living in her community, she also has an impact upon those who've died.  Funeral laws and services were sacred and strongly adhered to.  A funeral would be postponed if proper funeral garments were not available for some reason.  It was considered an honor to be in attendance in the rituals of preparing a body to meet God. 

Her preparations on the behalf of others though is not all there is to this verse.  I think this verse also refers to her own state of spirituality being such that at any time she is ready to meet the Creator.  She has no unfinished business, she has no reparations to make, no tangles to continue to work out.  She has reached a state of spiritual preparedness. 

1 comment:

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Thank you for a great post. I have enjoyed these.

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