She makes herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
silk—or, "linen" (compare Ex 26:1; 27:9)
and purple—that is, the most costly goods.Coverings of tapestry, for the furniture of her house.
Silk and purple, which was very agreeable to her high quality, though it doth not justify that luxury in attire which is now usual among persons of far lower ranks, both for wealth and dignity. Genesis 37:3; and, in a spiritual sense, may be applied to the above mentioned garments, and agrees with what goes before and follows;
her clothing is silk and purple; the Tyrian purple, which, Strabo says (x), is the best; or purple silk, silk of a purple colour: or rather fine linen of this colour; a dress suitable to a queen, as the church is, who is represented as clothed with clothing of wrought gold, with raiment of needlework, Psalm 45:9; see Ezekiel 16:10. This is not her own natural clothing, for she has none by nature that deserves the name; nor of her own working, not works of righteousness done by her; nor of her own putting on, but what Christ has wrought out for her, and clothes her with; and which is very rich in itself, the best robe, very ornamental to her; her wedding garment, and which will last for ever; see Isaiah 61:10.She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22. coverings] i.e. carpets or cushions, to be spread out on the bed or divan. Comp. Proverbs 7:16.
silk] Rather, fine linen, as the word is rendered both of Egyptian robes of honour (Genesis 41:42) and of the Jewish High-priest’s garments (Exodus 28:39), as well as of the coverings of the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:1; Exodus 27:9; Exodus 27:18).
Though it is not improbable that silk may have been among the articles of commerce introduced by Solomon, there is no certainty as to when it was first known to the Hebrews. See Smith’s Dict. of Bible, Art. silk. The rendering of the LXX. here (ἐκ δὲ βύσσου καὶ πορφύρας ἑαυτῇ ἐνδύματα) is interesting when compared with the “purple and fine linen” (ἐνεδιδύσκετο πορφύραν καὶ βύσσον) of the rich man in the parable (Luke 16:19). His fault was not that he dressed richly and fared sumptuously, but that he did not “spread forth his hand to the poor, and reach forth his hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:20, above).Verse 22. - MEM. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry (marbaddim); as Proverbs 7:16 (where see note). Pillows for beds or cushions are meant, though the translators are not of one mind on the meaning. St. Jerome has, stragulatam vestem; Aquila and Theodotion, περιστρώματα, Symmachus, ἀμφιτάπους, "shaggy on both sides;" Septuagint, "She makes for her husband double garments (δισσὰς χλάινας)." Her clothing is silk and purple. שֵׁשׁ (shesh) is not "silk," but "white linen" (βύσσος, byssus) of very fine texture, and costly. Purple garments were brought from the Phoenician cities, and were highly esteemed (see Song of Solomon 3:10; Jeremiah 10:9). The wife dresses herself in a way becoming her station, avoiding the extremes of sordid simplicity and ostentatious luxury. "For my own part," says St. Francois de Sales, quoted by Lesetre, "I should wish any devout man or woman always to be the best dressed person in the company, but at the same time, the least fine and affected, and adorned, as it is said, with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. St. Louis said that every one ought to dress according to his position, so that good and sensible people should not be able to say you are overdressed, nor the younger under dressed" ('Vie Devot.,' 3:25). So the Church is clothed in fine linen, clean and white, even the righteousness which Christ bestows (Revelation 19:8), and invested in her Lord's royal robe, who hath made her children kings and priests unto God (Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10).
16 ז She seeketh a field and getteth possession of it;
Of the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
The field which she considereth, towards which her wish and her effort are directed, is perhaps not one beyond those which she already possesses, but one which has hitherto been wanting to her family; for the poet has, after Proverbs 31:23, an inhabitant of a town in his eye, - a woman whose husband is not a landlord, but has a business in the city. The perf. זממה precedes and gives circumstantiality to the chief factum expressed by ותּקּחה. Regarding זמם, vid., Proverbs 21:27. "לקח is the general expression for purchasing, as נתן, 24b, for selling. Thus the Aram. and Arab. אחד, while, (Arab.) akhadh w'ṭa, Turk. alisch werisch (from elmeḳ, to take, and wirmek, to give - viz. ṣâtun, in the way of selling; Lat. venum), post-bibl. משּׂא וּמתּן or מקּח וּממכּר, denotes giving and taking equals business in general" (Fleischer). In 16b the Chethı̂b is, with Ewald and Bertheau, to be read נטע, and, with Hitzig, to be made dependent on ותקחה, as parallel obj.: "of her hands' fruit (she gaineth) a planting of vines." But a planting of vines would be expressed by מטּע כרם (Micah 1:6); and the Kerı̂ נטעה is more acceptable. The perf., as a fundamental verbal form, is here the expression of the abstract present: she plants a vineyard, for she purchases vines from the profit of her industry (Isaiah 7:23, cf. Proverbs 5:2).
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