“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies” Proverbs 31:10
How do we define ‘virtuous’? www.dictionary.com defines it as:
1. conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright: Lead a virtuous life.
2. chaste:a virtuous young person.
So according to the dictionary, it would seem to be a woman of high moral character who is chaste and upright. But is that what the Bible refers to?
To answer this, we need to go back to the original language, which in this case (being the Old Testament) is Hebrew. Strong’s Concordance states that the word ‘virtuous’ here is the Hebrew word “Hayil” which means, strength, capability, skill, wealth, riches, power, substance, worthy…as well as many military terms. (Strong, 2001)
This would seem to indicate that Proverbs was not describing a moral and chaste woman, although I imagine she was. No..it is saying much more. Let me paraphrase how it would read using the Hebrew word instead.
“Who can find a strong, capable, skillful and powerful woman? For her worth is far above rubies.”
Proverbs 31 – A Teaching on the “Virtuous Woman”" >Wait….do you mean to tell me that the Bible is actually saying that a strong woman, a powerful woman, a capable woman is to be sought after? Yes!!
In our modern society, we have been conditioned to think that somehow the Bible places women in a position of weakness and that the Bible wants to place us in some lowly position beneath our male counterparts. Well, this puts a whole new wrinkle in that mindset, doesn’t it?
Our woman of Proverbs 31 is no weak woman. She is strong and capable and powerful! And so are you! It doesn’t matter if you are a homemaker or a CEO! One does not make you greater or lesser than the other! If you are an expert at running your home and tending to your family, you have tremendous organizational and time management skills. If you run a company, you possess the same! It doesn’t matter if you spend your day balancing your checkbook or perusing profit and loss statements, you are utilizing skills and capabilities that make you a powerhouse!! Think about it!! The word used here in the Hebrew to describe this woman is the same word used to describe a company of soldiers!! Let that sink in whenever you feel like you don’t measure up or that you are not good enough!! Because the Bible, the Word of God, is telling you right here that YOU, as a Proverbs 31 woman, are a WARRIOR!!! Embrace that!!!
Strong, D. J. (2001). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Zondervan.