The Proverbial Woman Vs. 31

Proverbs 31:31  Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her words praise her in the gates.

Tav (Tahw) is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  Numerically Tav represents renewal and restoration.   It's meaning is 'covenant, sign, seal' .  The Tav is said to have a foot to the left (remember Hebrew reads from right to left, just the opposite of how we read English) and because there is nothing to the left of that letter it is thought to be an indicator that there is something more to come, something unknown.  The pictograph for Tav is a cross...

T'nu-lah is our word here.  It relates to 'Give her...' but in the lexicon the word used is a more ancient root word, Nathan which also means 'give'.  It is not simply a handing over though, it means 'grant, recompense, appoint' so you see, it's an honorary sort of giving not just my handing over to you what is yours but it is more that something is being bestowed.

In the old testament, in the Jewish faith, works are everything.   Even in the Christian faith, James reminds us that faith without works is dead.  Our Proverbial Woman has reached the heavenly throne and is being granted to her credit all the good work she did in a lifetime of living.

In the end, she has become wisdom itself.

Final thoughts:
I never intended this study be this long.  I truly believed I could knock it out in the month of October, four weeks of weekday teachings and that would be that.  Here we are very nearly into December with it and I say truly that all I learned in these weeks of study are a mere scratch in the surface.  I could start all over again to teach this same Proverb and tell you many different things that I learned during this study time.  I'm so convinced that there is still more depth to this Proverb that I mean to study it again in the New Year for my own benefit.

I read a great deal in an attempt to learn all I could, as well as scripture and different translations.  Seeking information was sometimes tough.  I would go through pages and pages slightly altering a phrase I meant to look up and eventually I'd have a small little gleaning for all my study.

I also read many dissertations and theme papers on this Proverb.  Mostly I was mightily disappointed in the intellectual viewpoint: that this proverb is inherently anti-feminist, an impossible feat for any woman to live up to, not a modern day woman at all, etc. etc. One even voiced her disgust and anger at this woman working so hard each day while her husband did nothing but sit and gossip with others!  Think she took that view from her own angst much?   I wanted to shake these scholars who failed to see the true depth of meanings in this Proverb.  It is not about a woman who merely labors tirelessly.  It is about a woman who lived for God and everything she did glorified Him.  She influenced her family, her community, by her faith.

Some religious scholars say that this proverb is an allegory of the bride of Christ, the church.  Others interpret it as a portrait of the coming Messiah.  One or two mention that is a pictoral view of Queen Esther.  I can see both these portrayals of the church and the Messiah  but I see also what God has shown me over and over and over again:  We are called to be disciples to Him in all we do, but first we must have that personal relationship with Him.  Until we allow ourselves to be influenced by Him we cannot influence any one else.


Lana said...

'Until we allow ourselves to be influenced by Him we cannot influence any one else.'

Wow! That is it in a nutshell! Thanks for this study. I may not have commented but it gave me much to think about.

Anonymous said...

Can I say Amen.Gramma D

Debby in KS said...

I have really enjoyed this whole study and am so grateful to you for sharing it. I'm wanting more! Did you find any books that I might enjoy? I'm going to Mardel's on Friday to specifically look for a bible study on it.

This Week In My Home: Light Ahead

In my home this week... ... there is light up ahead of us.  I feel it more than I can see it.  That same sense of something changing tha...