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Proverbs 31

1 - The words of king Lemuel; the revelation which his mother taught him.

2 - "Oh, my son!Oh, son of my womb!Oh, son of my vows!

3 - Don't give your strength to women,nor your ways to that which destroys kings.

4 - It is not for kings, Lemuel;it is not for kings to drink wine;nor for princes to say, 'Where is strong drink?'

5 - lest they drink, and forget the law,and pervert the justice due to anyone who is afflicted.

6 - Give strong drink to him who is ready to perish;and wine to the bitter in soul:

7 - Let him drink, and forget his poverty,and remember his misery no more.

8 - Open your mouth for the mute,in the cause of all who are left desolate.

9 - Open your mouth, judge righteously,and serve justice to the poor and needy."

10 - Who can find a worthy woman?Proverbs 31:10-31 form an acrostic, with each verse starting with each letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in order.For her price is far above rubies.

11 - The heart of her husband trusts in her.He shall have no lack of gain.

12 - She does him good, and not harm,all the days of her life.

13 - She seeks wool and flax,and works eagerly with her hands.

14 - She is like the merchant ships.She brings her bread from afar.

15 - She rises also while it is yet night,gives food to her household,and portions for her servant girls.

16 - She considers a field, and buys it.With the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard.

17 - She arms her waist with strength,and makes her arms strong.

18 - She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.Her lamp doesn't go out by night.

19 - She lays her hands to the distaff,and her hands hold the spindle.

20 - She opens her arms to the poor;yes, she extends her hands to the needy.

21 - She is not afraid of the snow for her household;for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22 - She makes for herself carpets of tapestry.Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 - Her husband is respected in the gates,when he sits among the elders of the land.

24 - She makes linen garments and sells them,and delivers sashes to the merchant.

25 - Strength and dignity are her clothing.She laughs at the time to come.

26 - She opens her mouth with wisdom.Faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 - She looks well to the ways of her household,and doesn't eat the bread of idleness.

28 - Her children rise up and call her blessed.Her husband also praises her:

29 - "Many women do noble things,but you excel them all."

30 - Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain;but a woman who fears The LORD, she shall be praised.

31 - Give her of the fruit of her hands!Let her works praise her in the gates!


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Proverbs 31


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Proverbs Images and Notes

The Book of Proverbs

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 15:1-4 - A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the LORD [are] in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit.

Proverbs 17:12-13 - Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly. Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Proverbs
Hebrew Name - Mishley "proverbs"
Greek Name - Paroimiae (Greek form of the Hebrew )
Author - Solomon (According to Tradition)
Date - 1000 BC Approximately
Theme - It is wise to obey God
Types and Shadows - In Proverbs Jesus is true wisdom

Illustration of Solomon's Temple
Illustration of Solomon's Temple on Mount Moriah

Summary of The Book of Proverbs

The Proverbs are a collection of wise sayings that, although they were written in ancient times, their principles are for all men in every age, and every walk of life. The ultimate message in the book of Proverbs is that fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. There is no greater principle that was taught by both David and Solomon than acknowledging God's presence in everything in life, and taking heed to everything He says.

Proverbs 1:1 indicates that the whole collection was called "the Proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel." Technically a proverb is a profound maxim or epigrammatic saying that, if pondered on for a length of time there is deep meaning associated with it. Proverbs was not uncommon in the ancient world, but the concept of fearing a single God who is the only God and the giver of life, was completely foreign in a world filled with polytheism.

Solomon was the son of David who was chosen to build the Temple. His name comes from the Hebrew word for peace (shalom), and he is recognized in the Bible as the ultimate peacemaker King in the history of the kingdom of  Israel. The book of Proverbs not only names Solomon as the author in the very first verse, but there are other verses that indicate that Solomon was the person responsible for the Proverbs (Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 25:1).

The book of Kings indicates that Solomon was blessed with wisdom from God (1 Kings 4:29), he was a man of humility (1 Kings 3:7), and a great diplomat (1 Kings 3:16-28; 1 Kings 5:12) to such an extent that people came from all over the world to hear his wisdom (1 Kings 4:30; 1 Kings 10:1-13). The book of Kings also indicates that Solomon wrote over 3000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32), and this is many more than the book of Proverbs contains.

Solomon's Wisdom. David had chosen Solomon to sit upon the throne of Israel and serve the Lord. After Solomon had removed his enemies, he allied with the Pharaoh of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter to be his wife. Solomon had thought intensely about his task to build a house for the Lord, the Temple in Jerusalem. He went to offer sacrifices to the Lord at Gibeon and that night the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying "ask what you will and I will give it to you" and Solomon said "you have shown great mercy to your servant David, my father, even as he walked before you in truth and justice and with an upright heart. You have continued your great mercy toward him and given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. And now, O Lord God, you have made your servant King succeeding David, my father. I am but a child, and know not how to act. You have chosen me to be king over so many that they cannot be counted. Give me, therefore, an understanding heart, to judge your people and to discern between good and evil." The Lord was pleased with Solomon's request and said, "because you have not asked for long life or riches, nor for the death of your enemies, but have asked wisdom for yourself to discern what is right, I have done for you as you asked, and have given you a wise and understanding heart, so much so that you are unlike anyone before you, nor shall there be anyone like you after. Yes, and the things also which you did not ask, I have given you: that is, riches and glory, so that you are incomparable with all previous kings. And if you will walk in my ways, and keep my precepts and my commandments, as your father, I will lengthen your life." (see 1 Kings 3 and 2 Chronicles 1).

Outline of the Book of Proverbs

Proverbs 1-9, Solomon addresses the young. His words are arranged in a series of discourses in praise of wisdom. A personification of Wisdom speaks as an instructor, warning against all manner of folly. The proverbs in this section are arranged with more continuity than is seen in succeeding chapters.

Proverbs 10-22:16 are the "proverbs of Solomon," and this section is usually thought to be the original nucleus around which the remainder of the book was constructed.

Proverbs 22:17-24 :22 contains advice for those in responsible positions, calling it "the words of the wise." Proverbs 24:23-29 are designated as "the proverbs of Solomon which the wise men of Hezekiah copied out." These are in the form of detached statements, although there are occasional signs of continuity. There are also sayings on related subjects such as rulers, sluggards and fools.

Proverbs 30, the sayings of Agur, and Proverbs 31, the great chapter on womanhood which purports to come from the mother of King Lemuel which was constructed in acrostic form, the verses beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This last chapter completes this book of Hebrew wisdom.

ARCHAEOLOGY

House of David Inscription - Tel Dan Stele

Tel Dan Stele - House of David Inscription
1 Kings 2:11 - And the days that David reigned over Israel [were] forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

An inscription containing the words "house of David" was found on a black basalt stone slab called the Tel Dan Stele, from Tel Dan, Israel, 9th Century B.C.

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Empires of David and Solomon
Map of the Empires of David and Solomon (Click to Enlarge)

Quick Reference Maps - Proverbs

The Kingdom of Solomon during the Proverbs

The Empire of David and Solomon during the Chronicles

Solomon's Temple Illustration

The First Day. Light.

Proverbs Resources

Samuel the Prophet
Saul, Israel's First King
King David
King Solomon

More About the Book of Proverbs
Proverbs in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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