|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
31:10-31 This is the description of a virtuous woman of those days, but the general outlines equally suit every age and nation. She is very careful to recommend herself to her husband's esteem and affection, to know his mind, and is willing that he rule over her. 1. She can be trusted, and he will leave such a wife to manage for him. He is happy in her. And she makes it her constant business to do him good. 2. She is one that takes pains in her duties, and takes pleasure in them. She is careful to fill up time, that none be lost. She rises early. She applies herself to the business proper for her, to women's business. She does what she does, with all her power, and trifles not. 3. She makes what she does turn to good account by prudent management. Many undo themselves by buying, without considering whether they can afford it. She provides well for her house. She lays up for hereafter. 4. She looks well to the ways of her household, that she may oblige all to do their duty to God and one another, as well as to her. 5. She is intent upon giving as upon getting, and does it freely and cheerfully. 6. She is discreet and obliging; every word she says, shows she governs herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takes prudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others. The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, and shows itself in the tongue. Her heart is full of another world, even when her hands are most busy about this world. 7. Above all, she fears the Lord. Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any proof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who made his choice of a wife by it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts for ever. 8. She has firmness to bear up under crosses and disappointments. She shall reflect with comfort when she comes to be old, that she was not idle or useless when young. She shall rejoice in a world to come. She is a great blessing to her relations. If the fruit be good, the tree must have our good word. But she leaves it to her own works to praise her. Every one ought to desire this honour that cometh from God; and according to this standard we all ought to regulate our judgments. This description let all women daily study, who desire to be truly beloved and respected, useful and honourable. This passage is to be applied to individuals, but may it not also be applied to the church of God, which is described as a virtuous spouse? God by his grace has formed from among sinful men a church of true believers, to possess all the excellences here described.
Verse 11. - BETH. The heart of her husband cloth safely trust in her. The husband of such a wife goes forth to his daily occupations, having full confidence in her whom he leaves at home, that she will act discreetly, and promote his interests while he is absent (see the contrast in Proverbs 7:20). So that he shall have no need of spoil; rather, he shall not lack gain (shalal). The wife manages domestic concerns so well that her husband finds his honest gains increase, and sees his confidence profitably rewarded. Septuagint, "Such a woman shall want not fair spoils." It is obvious to see in this an adumbration of the Church winning souls from the power of the enemy, especially as shalal is used for an enemy's spoils (Psalm 68:12; Isaiah 53:12; and elsewhere).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her,.... Christ her Maker is her husband, who has asked her in marriage, and has betrothed her to himself in righteousness; and of whose chaste love, and inviolable attachment to him, he is fully satisfied, as well as of her fidelity in keeping what he commits unto her; he trusts her with his Gospel and ordinances, which she faithfully retains and observes; and with his children born in her, who are nursed up at her side, to whom she gives the breasts of ordinances, bears them on her sides, and dandles them on her knees, as a tender and careful mother does, Isaiah 60:4;
so that he shall have no need of spoil; he shall never want any; by means of the word preached in her, prey and spoil shall be taken out of the hands of the mighty, and he shall divide the spoil with them; or have souls snatched out of the hands of Satan, and translated into his kingdom, Isaiah 53:12. The Septuagint version understands it of the virtuous woman, and not of her husband; "such an one as she shall not want good spoils"; now, prey or spoil sometimes signifies food, as in Psalm 111:5; and so Jarchi interprets it here; and then the sense is, she shall not want spiritual provisions; she shall have plenty of them from her husband, who reposes such confidence in her; or shall not want excellent treasures, as the Arabic version, which also understands it of her; such are the word and ordinances, and particularly precious promises, which are more rejoicing than a great spoil, Psalm 119:162; and so Ambrose interprets (y) it of the church, who needs no spoils because she abounds with them, even with the spoils of the world, and of the devil.
(y) Enarrat. in loc. p. 1099. tom. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. heart … trust in her—He relies on her prudence and skill.
no need of spoil—does not lack profit or gain, especially, that obtained by the risk of war.
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