A virtuous woman: far beyond rubies (2023)

A virtuous woman: far beyond rubies (1)

The following text is adapted to theWomen's Resource Section of the Blue Letter Bible.

Who finds a virtuous woman? for its priceEsfar beyond rubies.
(Proverbs 31:10)

This poem (in Proverbs 31) has drawn much attention from scholars. The ordinary reader of Scripture would conclude one of two things from this. Or it was the description of a woman whose character was present in the author's mind; or that it was an image of a woman that the inspired author would suggest as a common example. Many believe that it was written by Bathsheba and served as a guide for Solomon to choose his wife, using the name Lemuel.

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Reading commentaries on Scripture, both from ancient and modern authors, it seems as if sometimes the main purpose of learning is to confuse and confuse the simple things. the physician Doddridge remarked that the meaning of the Scriptures, as it appears to the ignorant but intelligent reader, is generally the sense in which it is intended; and while some qualifications must be placed on this remark, especially in cases where so important an acquaintance with Eastern character and customs helps to illustrate the truth of Scripture, it is on the whole a fair conclusion. Some Fathers of the Church, not content to see in this description a beautiful portrayal of the female character, searched for a hidden meaning in her simple statements. The virtuous woman was believed to be the shadow of the sensitive soul, subject to reason and reason. Another thought that she meant the holy Word of God, the Scriptures of truth. Some thought, with more obvious reason, that she was a symbol of wisdom; and many, like Ambrose and Bede, have regarded the virtuous woman as a type of the church of Christ. Apart from these mystical and spiritual interpretations of the passage, however, let us consider it as an example of moral and religious excellence that God presents to every woman whose pattern of life and character is found in his written Word of his.

The word translated "virtuous" in the first line of this poem also refers to strength of character and implies mental and moral energy or courage. Also in the command of the apostle Paul "Add virtue to your faith" the strictest reading of the word would be "courage". “The word,” says Bishop Patrick, “means strength, not courage, wealth, and virtue. When describing people fit for justice (Exodus 28:21), says Jethro in general, must beAnder Chajilwhat we translate, capable men; and then goes into more detail where his ability should exist. How to fear God, real men, men who hate greed. I think, therefore, that the Word contains a great fear of God, so powerful that when piety is despised, even ridiculed and abused, it instills courage for good.

There is a firmness and constancy of character in this whole portrait that makes it truly admirable, and which, given the sensitivity women are generally endowed with, is a virtue that demands great moral and religious principles. Women, who are necessarily influenced by their feelings and affections and who, because of their dependence on the stronger sex, tend to accept the feelings of others and to let their character be shaped by those with whom they are associated, are particularly susceptible to the lack of firmness in behavior. This strength of character, however, deserves God's highest praise. We find it recommended in the scriptures and especially ordained by every Christian. "So add virtue to your faith" (2 Pedro 1:5); "Be firm, immovable, always abound in the work of the Lord" (1 Cr 15:58), says São Paulo. Our Christian profession must certainly stand firm in days when so-called Christian women often find themselves conforming to the spirit and ways of the world. "Hold fast," says the apostle, "the confidence and joy of hope to the end" (Hebrews 3:6); and we must "guard our confession" as we have "a great High Priest passing through the heavens" (Hab 4:14), and thus through him we can confidently approach the throne of grace to ask for that firmness and constancy that we so much need. And also great encouragement is given to firmness; because if we want to "maintain the profession of our faith" we are called to the serene contemplation of the immutable promises of Christ: "For the promise is faithful" (Hab 10:23).

There was a strong and deep seriousness of character among the Hebrews, in marked contrast to the indifference and indolence of many Orientals; and Scripture shows numerous examples of moral fortitude among Jewish women. There was Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, who, in those days when the God of Israel had led her through dry land and subdued her enemies in deep waters, left the privacy of home life and joined all Hebrew women in public. they joined in praising the Great Deliverer of her; and with noble fervor of inspired feeling she sang that song which no poet of later times ever reached in sublime:

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“Sing to the Lord, for he has gloriously triumphed;
Horse and rider were thrown overboard." (Exodus 15:21)

There was Deborah sitting under the palm tree judging Israel (Richter 4:4-9) and even entered the battles of the Lord without fear. She was the noble daughter of the ruthless Jephta, whose moral courage would not falter in the hour of danger, but who, even in the face of self-sacrifice, could rejoice that her father had vanquished the enemies of her people; and he was able to admonish him with firm honesty to keep a promise that was very damaging to her. “My Father, when you have opened your mouth to the Lord, do with me what came out of your mouth; for the Lord has avenged himself for you on your enemies, the sons of Ammon" (Richter 11:36).

In the less turbulent times of Israel, one could undoubtedly find Jewish women who, like the woman in the text, carried out the duties of life in silence, with a strong and solid character. But the records of domestic life are for the most part written at the heart of the domestic circle: its events, important as they are not only to that circle, but also for their possible influence on the whole character of a nation, are still very uniform and simple. put aside inspired or profane history; and the details given of the Woman of Distinguishing in this book are the fullest picture found in the Scriptures of the excellence and occupations of a holy woman in her home. Happy the woman who fulfills the duties of the home well, for whom the home is the sphere, that she concentrates her ambition and has most of her love; and that she rules her house with vigor and diligence, and in the fear of the Lord!

But though no other part of Scripture gives such coherent details of the works and duties of a godly woman, all the various instructions concerning the female sex which abound in the writings of the apostles are in harmony with their principles. "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting to the Lord" (Cl 3:18); however, wives must be "serious, not slanderous, sober, faithful in everything."

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Again, good deeds must be well reported; when he raised children, when he welcomed strangers, when he washed the feet of the saints, when he helped the afflicted, when he did all good works. "In conduct" good wives must be "as befits holiness: not slanderers, not too much wine, teachers of good; - be sober, love your husbands, love your children. Be discreet, chaste, housewife" (Timothy 2:3-5).

From these holy mothers descended the saints of the New Testament. She was of such a mother and such a grandmother that young Timothy learned the Scriptures. It was in houses like this where Marta and María grew up; these sisters from Bethany, that family whom Jesus loved and of which he gently rebuked one, because her strength of character led her to a restless zeal to serve at a time when she should have sat down to hear the words of her Lord. Houses like this were the home of the mother of our Savior and Elizabeth, the blessed of the Lord, names that will always be dear to our hearts. From such Priscilla arose Priscilla, who welcomed the young Apollo into her house and explained to him more perfectly the way of God; and of whom the apostle says that she is willing, with her husband, to sacrifice her own neck for her life. Among these were Phoebe, the church servant at Cenchreae; and Mary, who gave much work to the servants of Christ; and many others who, when faithful perseverance and divine determination led to death, did not shrink even from suffering, but joined the noble host of martyrs and are among those who "came out of great tribulation and washed their clothes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

Even in that deeply solemn hour when the blessed Savior crucified His life to atone for sinful man; at a time when the fear of death had the power to conquer the faith of many; When his disciples left him and fled, the holy women did not hesitate to follow him to the cross.

As enemies shook hands with threat,
And friends betrayed, denied, abandoned,
Then the woman, still humble,
Followed by the deadly hill of Calvario:
Yes, followed where the boldest failed,
Indifferent to threat or ridicule:
For the love of the faithful wife he triumphed
On the fear of defenseless women.

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On a woman, the pious Virgin Mary, the mother of the Saviour, her dying eyes were fixed, and her dying legacy was left, which the beloved disciple would carry to her own home. Oh, this woman's strength of character cannot fail, neither in the day of persecution nor in the daily acts of domestic duty, for strength and wisdom have now been given by Him Who gave them to the holy women. of yore; that now, as then, they could fully follow the Lord! The example given here should lead every woman to seek the grace of the Holy Spirit to abound in holy courage and devotion to the Lord.

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