NETBible KJV GRK-HEB XRef Arts Hymns
  Discovery Box

Proverbs 31:30-31


31:30 Charm is deceitful 1  and beauty is fleeting, 2 

but a woman who fears the Lord 3  will be praised.

31:31 Give 4  her credit for what she has accomplished, 5 

and let her works praise her 6  in the city gates. 7 

1 tn The first word of the twenty-first line begins with שׁ (shin), the twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The graphic distinction between שׁ (shin) and שׂ (sin) had not been made at the time the book of Proverbs was written; that graphic distinction was introduced by the Masoretes, ca. a.d. 1000.

2 sn The verse shows that “charm” and “beauty” do not endure as do those qualities that the fear of the Lord produces. Charm is deceitful: One may be disappointed in the character of the one with beauty. Beauty is vain (fleeting as a vapor): Physical appearance will not last. The writer is not saying these are worthless; he is saying there is something infinitely more valuable.

3 sn This chapter describes the wise woman as fearing the Lord. It is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom – that was the motto of the book (1:7). Psalm 111:10 also repeats that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

4 tn The first word of the twenty-second line begins with ת (tav), the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

5 tn Heb “Give her from the fruit of her hands.” The expression “the fruit of her hands” employs two figures. The word “fruit” is a figure known as hypocatastasis, an implied comparison, meaning “what she produces.” The word “hand” is a metonymy of cause, meaning her efforts to produce things. So the line is saying essentially “give her her due.” This would either mean give her credit for what she has done (the option followed by the present translation; cf. TEV) or reward her for what she has done (cf. NAB, NIV, NLT).

6 sn Psalm 111 began with the imperative יָה הָלְלוּ (halÿlu yah, “praise the Lord”), and this poem ends with the jussive וִיהָלְלוּהָּ (vihalÿluha, “and let [her works] praise her”). Psalm 111:2 speaks of God’s works, and this verse of the woman’s (or wisdom’s) works that deserve praise.

7 tn “Gates” is a metonymy of subject. It refers to the people and the activity that occurs in the gates – business dealings, legal transactions, and social meetings. The term “city” is supplied in the translation for clarity. One is reminded of the acclaim given to Ruth by Boaz: “for all the gate of my people knows that you are a noble woman [אֵשֶׁת חַיִל, ’eshet khayil]” (Ruth 3:11).

TIP #15: To dig deeper, please read related articles at (via Articles Tab). [ALL]
created in 0.02 seconds
powered by