Proverbs 31.10-31 — The Noble Woman

“The Noble and Ideal Woman.” This is a beautiful portrayal of the ideal person. It’s as if the author is putting at the end of his book an illustration of someone who is the sum total of all the good personal characteristics he has written about in the whole book. It’s most interesting, then, that his example is a woman. (That’s especially notable since in the book he has written some not-so-nice things about women, and given that their culture was extremely patriarchal and women were somewhat degraded.) The male counterpart to this poem is Psalm 112.

When this author chooses to write about someone who portrays and displays all of the most wonderful characteristics of being human, he chooses a woman. I agree with his choice. He couldn’t have made a better decision.

You should also know that he uses a lot of military and business language, almost as if he’s exalting her as a Warrior Goddess of sorts. She’s heroic, unbelievably energetic and competent. Her capabilities are sublime. She is involved in purchase, trading, and manufacture. She is the hardest worker and never fails. It’s also notable that her physical beauty is not a factor in her value, and such beauty is regarded as deceptive and fleeting in any case.

Just as we’ve been saying in other texts, even though this one is about a woman, the teaching applies to all of us, and we can all, male and female, find plenty here to help us be better people.

We need to understand at the beginning that this is an ideal, heroic, and epic portrayal of a person. No one is actually all of these things. The point is that we get motivated to be more like her.

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