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Strong Woman vs Virtuous Woman: The Truth About the P31 Woman

I met Lauren after she contacted me to help her work on her upcoming Bible study of the Proverbs 31 Woman. Her knowledge of the Hebrew language and the original meaning of this particular selection of Scripture is amazing! Her concept is totally unique and very eye-opening for me. I hope you enjoy this excerpt from her...

So often women are invited to read about the Proverbs 31 woman (Proverbs 31:10-31) only to be left feeling like they’ve been burdened with some unattainable standard. But, would it surprise you to know Proverbs 31:10-31 has a military theme?  The Hebrew words and phrases used in the passage are translated as military activity, plunder, prey and weaponry in other passages of the Bible. The strength of the Proverbs woman is referred to five times, but this is no ordinary strength.

Consider this, the word virtuous, or excellent, in Proverbs 31:10 is the Hebrew word chayil. In every other part of the Bible, this word is translated as a reference to military strength or an army. Translators of the King James Bible interpreted the word in Proverbs as virtuous which would have been much more fitting with the prevailing thought of women at that time. Defining women as strong would have been a very radical.

It is also empowering to know this “go-to” passage, often used to measure a woman’s worth, is actually a Jewish song of praise, often sung over the women of the house during dinner on the Friday night of the Sabbath (Jewish for Sabbath).

The truth is this passage is not an unattainable “To-Do” list women must strive to emulate. Rather, it is a strategic battle plan by which women can be strengthened through their relationship with Jesus Christ. We are called Strong Woman and given encouragement about all we can do because of this strength. The verses note that a Strong Woman can:

  • v10-12 Yoke herself to Christ, establish a godly home and be a benefit to her family.

  • v 13-14 Recognize that she is to live separately from the world, and filter what is allowed into her home.

  • v15-18 Prepare herself and her family for spiritual battle

  • v19-21 Extend her hand in authority and service to her family and others

  • v22-24 Train her family in spiritual truths which will bring God’s honor to them

  • v25-27 Know the word of God and speak with authority and wisdom

  • v28-31 Receive the honor and respect due her

Strong Woman, and leave behind condemnation, through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Studying the Hebrew meaning of Proverbs 31:10-31 can release you from false ideals of perfection and unattainable standards you may be measuring yourself against. May God himself show you how.

Lauren Crews is currently writing a biblical study of the Proverbs 31 woman through the original Hebrew meaning. For updates on her progress and more Hebrew insight of the Bible, visit her on Facebook, follow her on twitter and visit her website today.

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