Proverbs 31:23
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) Her husband is known in the gates.—See above on Proverbs 22:22. Instead of being a hindrance to her husband’s advancement, she furthers it. Her influence for good extends to him also. Having no domestic anxieties, he is set free to do his part in public life.

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.The industry of the wife leaves the husband free to take his place among the elders that sit in councils. 23. in the gates—(compare Pr 22:22). His domestic comfort promotes his advancement in public dignity. Known; observed and respected, not only for his own worth, but for his wife’s sake; not only for those rich ornaments which by her care and diligence she provides for him, which others of his brethren, by reason of their wives’ sloth or luxury, are not able to procure, but also for his wisdom in choosing, and his happiness in enjoying, so excellent a wife, by whose prudent care, in the management of his domestic concerns, he hath perfect freedom wholly to attend upon public affairs.

Sitteth among the elders of the land, in counsel or judgment. Her husband is known in the gates,.... Of the city, where courts of justice were kept, and causes heard and tried by the judges, the elders of the land, later mentioned; among whom the husband of the virtuous woman was, where he was known, taken notice of, and celebrated; not so much for the beautiful garments she made him, as Jarchi; but rather for his wisdom, as Gersom, and for being the husband of such a woman; who, taking such care of his domestic affairs, he was more at leisure to attend public business, and transact it with reputation. Christ is the husband of the church in general, and of particular churches, and of every private believer; he fell in love with them, asked them of his Father, and betrothed them to himself; and is a kind, tender, loving, and sympathizing husband to his church and people; that nourishes and cherishes them, and provides all things for them, and interests them in all he has: and he is "known" by them, in the dignity of his person, in the excellency of his offices, and the fulness of his grace; he is known by them in the relation of an husband; he is well known in the church of God, in the assembly of his saints, Psalm 76:1; he is known in the gates of Zion, in the public ministering of the word and ordinances; his name is celebrated, it becomes great and famous, wherever his Gospel is preached in the world; he is,

"known in the provinces,''

as the Targum; or,

"among the cities,''

as the Syriac version; among the nations of the world, in the cities of the Gentiles; as he will be, even from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, Malachi 1:11;

when he sitteth among the elders of the land; when he sits in his house, at his table, circled by his saints, his ancient ones; or as King, head, and husband of his people, on his throne in the church, encompassed with, the four and twenty elders, the representatives of Gospel churches, Revelation 4:2. And especially when he shall take to himself his great power, and reign gloriously before his ancients, the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, and all his saints, which will come with him; whom he has loved with an everlasting love; who were chosen in him before the foundation of the world; and had grace given them, in him, before the world began, Isaiah 24:23; and when he shall come to judge the world, and will appear in great glory, and be seen and known of all; and shall sit on his throne of glory, and his elders also, sitting on twelve thrones, judging the tribes of Israel, Matthew 19:28; so Ambrose interprets it of the universal judgment.

Her husband is known in the {l} gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

(l) In the assemblies and places of judgment.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. is known] both by the fitting attire and by the freedom from anxiety and distraction, which her care and industry secure to him. Dean Plumptre in Speaker’s Comm. quotes the words of Nausicaa to her father in Hom. Odyss. vi. 60:

“’Tis meet for thee to sit among the princes,

And hold thy council, with thy body clad

In raiment fair and clean.”Verse 23. - NUN. Her husband is known in the gates. Such a woman advances her husband's interests, increases his influence, and, by attending to his domestic concerns, enables him to take his share in public matters, so that his name is in great repute in the popular assemblies at the city gates (ver. 31; ch. 8:3). She is indeed "a crown to her husband" (ch. 12:4). When he sitteth among the elders of the land. Homer introduces Nausikaa speaking to her father of her duty to see that he is honourably clad when he goes to the council -

Καὶ δὲ σοὶ αὐτῷ ἔοικε μετὰ πρώτοισιν ἐόντα
Βουλὰς βουλεύειν καθαρὰ χροί εἵματ ἔχοντα
('Odyssey,' 6:60.)

"For our costly robes,
All sullied now, the cleansing stream require;
And thine especially, when thou appear'st
In council with the princes of the land,
Had need be pure."


(Cowper.) St. Gregory sees here an adumbration of the day of judgment: "For the Redeemer of mankind is the "Husband" of holy Church, who shows himself 'renowned' (nobilis, Vulgate) in the gates. Who first came in sight in degradation and in mockings, but shall appear on high at the entering in of his kingdom; and 'he sitteth among the elders of the land,' for that he shall decree sentence of condemnation together with the holy preachers of that same Church, as himself declares in the gospel (Matthew 19:28)" ('Moral.,' 6:9). The poet has this augmented household wealth in his eye, for he continues:

17 ח She girdeth her loins with strength,

        And moveth vigorously her arms.

Strength is as the girdle which she wraps around her body (Psalm 93:1). We write חגרה בעוז; both words have Munach, and the ב of בעוז is aspirated. Thus girded with strength, out of this fulness of strength she makes firm or steels her arms (cf. Psalm 89:22). The produce of the field and vineyard extend far beyond the necessity of her house; thus a great portion is brought to sale, and the gain thence arising stimulates the industry and the diligence of the unwearied woman.

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