Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Do these two passages have anything in common?
“The Virtuous Wife” in Proverbs 31
This poem is a acrostic poem going from Aleph אֵ֥ to Tav ת in the Hebrew alphabet. It has 22 verses, going so-to-speak from A to Z. A to Z in Hebrew would be אֵ֥ (Aleph, first letter) then ת (Tav, ending letter). Hebrew is read right to left: אֵ֥ת. This is a name for Our God, the Aleph-Tav, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
FYI: את is also in the first sentence in Genesis. It has significance in Hebrew, though it is not translated! The Aleph-Tav is in the center of this phrase, and He is the center, and also the First & the Last! (But if you to know more of this understanding of "Bereshit", see this Messianic Rabbi’s video.)
The “virtuous wife” outlines the characteristics of the helpmate of the husband. She, as the poem goes from Aleph-Tav, is the perfect match, a match made in heaven, for her Husband, the Aleph-Tav! Ultimately, the virtuous wife is the Bride of Christ! We haven’t arrived yet. However,
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 1John 3:2
We, the Church, will be like Him by His grace toward us! God is absolute love! So then, we, His Bride, will be totally pure with an immaculate heart through which we show forth love! Heavenly! Two hearts, the virtuous wife and Her husband in total love and communion!
Pray and meditate on these verses to be a fruitful Bride of Christ! Don't be in such a hurry to get done but come back often to these pages (Part 2 to come). You may want to go to one or two verses at a time. Follow the links for more insight. My prayer is that from reading these, you will be closer yet to Our King Yeshua, the Aleph-Tav!
WISDOM & the WIFE
10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
In the Hebrew, the “virtuous wife” is a “wife of force” or a “woman of strength”. The Bride stands firm in the face of ungodly cultures and lifestyles.
These rubies (H6443) would be most likely red corals or red pearls. This, and in other passages, wisdom is likened to be far above rubies (H6443 “peninim”):
She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
See also: Proverbs 8:11 ; Job 28:18
So we see this virtuous wife and wisdom share something in common – both are more precious than rubies!
LORD Adonai, You are the source of all wisdom! We ask for wisdom for your Bride, especially to make it through these days of tribulation!
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
Her Husband has confidence in the Bride for she is willingly to live for Him, as He died for her. She is willing to do His will; to go where He says “go” and to do as He directs, knowing that He loves her and is for her.
The Husband “will have no lack of gain” in terms of souls for His Kingdom! This is symbolic “of the Church winning souls from the power of the enemy, especially as shalal [gain] is used for an enemy’s spoils (Psalm 68:12; Isaiah 53:12; and elsewhere).” Pulpit Commentary
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30
Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3
LORD of the Harvest, thank you for loving us so! We pray to be a faithful helpmate to Christ in building His Kingdom!
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
The Bride of Christ waits patiently, yet eagerly, for her Bridegroom and continues to show love and kindness to others. After all, His heart is love and the LORD says, “as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40) That’s doing good!
We all know John 3:16, but do you know 1 John 3:16?
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Yeshua lived and died for us, and we should live and possibly die, if it is the LORD’s will, for our brethren. The LORD of the Harvest desires souls to be saved from destruction!
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2Peter 3:9
In terms of His Kingdom,
She will improve, and not waste his estate. Matthew Poole’s Commentary
Not waste immortal souls. She will put His Kingdom and her Husband above all.
LORD of the Harvest, You are true love and You don’t want anyone to perish! Help us, as your Bride, to be consistently loving but firm in our stance that You are the only WAY to heaven! You, LORD, truly deserve all glory and honor for by Your blood we are redeemed. May I be faithful … It is my desire to bring to You that for which You so desire: for those lost souls to be transformed and enter Your Kingdom, by Your abundant grace.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
Good works may be products of our hands: cooking for the LORD; cleaning for the LORD; sewing quilts for the LORD. Being a good wife and/or a capable employee may be carried out for the LORD, also!
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Cor 9:8
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17
Creator God, You are so very good! May we, as your Bride, abound in good works and good deeds!
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
Yeshua proclaimed: “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:33
Is heaven “from afar”? Bread has always been symbolic of the Word of God!
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. John 6:35
Come to Yeshua! Hear his Words which are life!
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63
… to which the allusion may be: in a spiritual sense, it may mean that the church brings her food or bread from heaven, the good land afar off; where God her father, Christ her husband, and her friends the angels are; … the hidden and heavenly manna; the bread of life, which comes down from heaven; the Gospel of the grace of God, the good news from a far country. Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
LORD, You came from afar as Emmanuel, God with us, to be with us. Thank you for Your Word, the Bread of Heaven, that gives us spiritual nourishment from afar!
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
The Bride will wake up sometimes in the night, and sit or pray with the LORD and read His WORD. She sometimes shares these thoughts from the LORD with family and others.
it is by these the church gives meat to her household feeds them with knowledge and understanding, with the wholesome words of Christ, with the good doctrines of the Gospel; these have a certain portion given them, and they rightly cut and divide the word of truth, and give to everyone their portion of meat in due season, according to their age and circumstances; milk indeed to babes and meat to strong men; Gill’s Exposition
LORD, You are the teacher of heavenly things. Help us to share Your Word with others and teach them the ways of the LORD!
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
FIELD: Consider this as the spiritual harvest to “buy a field”. These fields should be cultivated, otherwise souls will be lost! Our Savior Yeshua spoke of a field after meeting the Samaritan women. This was to prepare the apostles to go forth and preach and teach:
Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life…. John 4:35
The Bride is gathering fruit for eternal life!
The LORD also gave this parable:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44
In this, the treasure is in a field. The treasures is hidden. The Bride of Christ seeks the treasure which ultimately is the Word of God and Christ! (John 1:1) Oh, the wisdom I have obtained from the Word of God, but there’s so much more! It is inexhaustible!
1 My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
4 If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5
These “profits” of new born-again souls go to build a church! The Bride plants the vineyard or an ekklesia.
And it is observable, that in the Hebrew text there is a double reading; the “Keri”, or marginal reading, is feminine; but the “Cetib”, or writing, is masculine; to show that she did it by means of men… not the custom and business of women to plant vineyards, but men. It may be rendered, “he planted”, and be applied to her husband, Christ; who, through the ministry of the word in his church, plants souls in it; and happy are they who are the planting of the Lord! trees of righteousness, that he may be glorified, Isaiah 61:3. Gill’s Exposition
This need not be a “church building”. To be a true Christian you must be “born again”. That’s what Yeshua proclaimed:
“Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3
LORD, You came that we may be born-again to give us eternal life in You! Let us as the Bride of Christ build up Your vineyard!
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
The Bride of Christ is “more than a conqueror through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
My LORD has paid it all, Done it all, Won it all for me
My LORD has given all, Poured out all, Conquered all for me
That says it all! So He is deserving of all! Do you not want our LORD to have praise from every nation under heaven? The Bride shares His heart for the nations when we intercede.
The Bride is an intercessor for others putting on the spiritual armor in Ephesians 6. This armor is none other than Christ. Christ is the breastplate of righteousness, our peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. (This “armor” has also been compared to the High Priest garments. The helmet would be an “encirclement of the head”. )
It is interesting to note, particularly about strengthening that:
The verse points to a large sphere of feminine activity, strikingly in contrast with the degradation to which woman in the [Middle] East has now fallen. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
LORD, You ever are interceding for us! Thank you! May we arise to intercede for others – for the lost, the injured, the bereaved, the church, the persecuted church, our nations and the nation of Israel.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
What could be more good and precious than the lives of redeemed souls made new?!
This is opposed to “that great city Babylon”. Soon, in one hour, judgment will come upon her, that “mother of harlots”, because her “merchandise” included “the bodies and souls of men” to bring them to oppression! (Rev 18:10,11) They were being sold into slavery of the devil himself! How evil is this! Souls that were created to be in the likeness of God to be sold into slavery to sin! Christ brings people to freedom in the Spirit. The enemy of our souls brings death.
This commentary speaks to this issue on this verse:
… the simple meaning seems to be the one intended … in Revelation 18, which speaks of the “merchandise” of the false Church, also affirms that “the light of a candle” shall shine in her no more, the two metaphors in our passage applied to the true Church being there applied to Babylon. Pulpit Commentary
Of Babylon, the Scripture reads:
23 The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.” Revelation 18
But the Bride pleads to the LORD for salvation:
“Arise, cry out in the night, At the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him For the life of your young children, Who faint from hunger at the head of every street.” Lamentations 2:19
The Bride is called to intercede and be a light to the nations.
Light is sown for the righteous, And gladness for the upright in heart. Psalm 97:11
LORD, You are the Light of the world. Keep us burning brightly with the LIGHT of the life-giving gospel message to the nations!
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
It was the privilege of the women to bring presents for the Tabernacle of old:
25All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands, and brought what they had spun, of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. 26And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats’ hair. Exodus 35
Notice that women’s hearts were stirred with wisdom!
For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her. Proverbs 8:11
So now the Bride brings gifts to the Tabernacle. Yeshua the Messiah is our Temple: the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE. (John 14:6)
But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. Revelation 21:22-23
Yeshua is the WAY into the spirtual temple, where one can meet with LORD Adonai. There is one WAY (Outer Court) in to the TEMPLE. The Inner Court was called the TRUTH. When we meet with God He leads us into all TRUTH! And the Holy of Holies, the third part of the temple, is the LIFE.
LORD Adonai, You are the only WAY into the temple, into heaven! Bring more wisdom to your Bride as we walk through the Way, and enter into the Truth of Your WORD, and be blessed in the Holy of Holies, Your eternal and abundant LIFE.
Lyrics to The Lamb here. © 1993 HIM/CAVenable
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
The LORD cares about the poor and He wants believers to supply their needs.
He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor. Proverbs 22:9
He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Deut 10:18
The LORD considers this a fast!
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Isaiah 58:7
… distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Romans 12:13
The LORD even promises to “pay back” that which was given to the poor!
He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given. Proverbs 19:17
The physical needs of the suffering should not be neglected, but the most dire need for all human souls is to be reconciled to their Creator through the Messiah.
LORD, O God of self-less love, have mercy on us. Help us to show this self-less love to others. May we, too, be merciful.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
Scarlet is the color of royalty, as well as purple. Scarlet can absorb and retain heat. As the garments were made of wool, they would be warm as well as regal in appearance.
Yet scarlet represents the “blood of Christ, by which the church is justified, Romans 5:9; and all the household of faith, the whole family of Christ and household of God, are all justified by the same righteousness of Christ, consisting of his active and passive obedience, for the whole of which his crimson blood is put; it is a garment down to the feet, which covers all his people; they are all made righteous by the one obedience of Christ; they are all clothed in scarlet alike, all kings and priests unto God, all alike justified, and shall be glorified alike.” Gill’s Exposition
O Most High God, You are our hiding place from the storm and a shelter in times of trouble. You keep us safe. May the children of God to take refuge in the precious blood of Christ.
22a She makes tapestry for herself;
She weaves tapestries. “My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue…” to quote an old Carole King song. My life has been ordered of God. Even before I was committed to the LORD, He ordered my steps and prepared me for my mission in life.
Thank you, LORD My Shepherd, who orders my path! You knew me before I was born and directed me even when I was unaware. We give you praise!
22b Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
This is where we see the commonality in the two verses at the beginning of this article. Purple, from Proverbs, is the color of royalty! The “fine linen” is in both these passages. The Bride is dressed in fine linen at the Royal Marriage!
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Revelation 19:8
The Lamb’s wife is robed in pure and stainless white, the token of those high, moral, spiritual qualities by which she has been known. The source of these righteousnesses is divine: it is given to her to be so arrayed. It is no fictitious righteousness: it is real, it is hers, though it would never have been hers but for Him without whom she can do nothing… Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
O Lord Our Righteousness, we are righteous through faith in you! But enable us to do righteous deeds so that we may please You! Continue to purify us as Your Bride until we stand before You on that Holy Day! Come, LORD Yeshua, come!
“Tis a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, washed in the blood of the Lamb….”
Words & Music: Arranged by E. T. Rinehart