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verses 23-31: “Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.”

These are the final verses of Proverbs 31, and wow, what a way to end the description of the Proverbs 31 woman. Let me first quote the Holman Concordance on Proverbs, page 363-364, on an excellent depiction of the model of women by theologian Donald Bloesch:
“The model of women in tribal patriarchalism is the brood mare; in hedonistic naturalism, she is the bunny or plaything; in feminist ideology, she is the self-sufficient career women; in romanticism, she is the fairy princess or maiden in distress waiting to be rescued; in biblical faith, she is the partner in ministry.”

Let’s hit a few high notes in this passage along with my wife and me: In uncertain days, she is not worried. God gives her the strength and dignity to face these days. She is wise, she speaks kindness, and her work ethic is admirable. What wife/mother has not wanted to be appreciated by her husband and children? Well, this woman is appreciated and respected. Beautiful? Her beauty is rooted in her fear of the Lord and comes from within. She lets Him shine through; she doesn’t rely on physical beauty, though she may very well be physically beautiful as well.

Matthew Henry summarizes it well: “The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.” from the book Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume ; the quote I found on http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/91281.Matthew_Henry .

So, that brings us to the end of Proverbs. I apologize it took longer than I expected to get through this book, but I hope God has blessed these blog postings to be applicable in your lives. I’ll be taking a month and half break, and then we’ll resume with a study on Paul’s letters that I like to remember by the phrase I learned from a friend in college: Girls Eat Potato Chips. We’ll be studying Galatians, Ephesians, Phillipians, and Colossians.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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