Proverbs 31:26
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
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(26) She openeth her mouth with wisdom.—She is not a mere household drudge, with no thought beyond providing food and clothing for her family. She cares for their higher interests, and knows how to guide them with her wisdom.

In her tongue is the law of kindness.—Kindness is the law by which she regulates all her words.

Proverbs 31:26. She openeth her mouth with wisdom — She is neither sullenly silent, nor full of impertinent talk, but speaks discreetly and piously, as occasion offers. In her tongue is the law of kindness — Her speeches are guided by wisdom and grace, and not by inordinate passions. And this practice is called a law in her tongue, because it is constant and customary, and proceeds from an inward and powerful principle of true wisdom.

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.Law of kindness - The words which come from the lips of the true wife are as a law giving guidance and instruction to those that hear them; but the law is not proclaimed in its sterner aspects, but as one in which "mercy tempers justice," and love, the fulfilling of the law, is seen to be the source from which it springs. 26. Her conversation is wise and gentle. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; she is neither sullenly silent, nor full of vain and impertinent talk, as many women are, but speaks directly and piously, as occasion offereth itself.

In her tongue is the law of kindness; her speeches are not froward and provoking, as those of foolish women frequently are, but most obliging and amiable, as being guided by wisdom and grace, and not by inordinate lusts and passions. And this practice is called

a law in her tongue, because it is constant and customary, and proceeds from an inward and powerful principle of true wisdom, which in a manner necessitates and constrains her to discourse like herself, so that in a moral sense she cannot speak otherwise, unless she offer violence to herself, or the nature of the thing require sharp and severe expressions.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom,.... When she opens her mouth, for it is not always open, she expresses herself in a discreet and prudent manner; as well as speaks of things not foolish and trifling, but of moment and importance, and of usefulness to others: or "concerning wisdom" (a); the church and people of Christ talk of the wisdom of God in the works of creation, providence, and redemption; of Christ, the Wisdom of God, and as made so to them; of the Gospel, the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom; and of wisdom in the hidden part, or the truth of grace in their souls; of their gracious experiences; nor will they suffer any foolish, filthy, and corrupt communication to proceed out of their mouths, but speak the pure language of Canaan; what is for the use of edifying, and being taken out of the Scriptures is profitable for instruction in righteousness; see Psalm 37:30;

and in her tongue is the law of kindness; or "the law of love" (b), grace and mercy; which is the law of Christ, Galatians 6:2; speaking kindly and tenderly to everyone, exhorting to acts of mercy and kindness, and doing them herself: or "the doctrine of grace is in her tongue" (c); the Gospel, which is called the Gospel of the grace of God, and the grace of God itself; it is the doctrine of the grace and love of God the Father towards men in Christ, as it appears in their election in him and redemption by him; of the grace of Christ in his incarnation, sufferings, and death; and of the grace of the Spirit in regeneration, conversion, and sanctification; and which contains various doctrines of grace, as of justification, pardon of sin, and effectual calling; and of salvation itself, which is all of grace: and this doctrine of grace, in the several branches of it, the church, and all gracious souls, cannot forbear speaking of; it is often in their mouths, it dwells upon their tongues; and careful are they in other respects that their speech be seasoned with grace, and be such that ministers grace to the hearers, Ephesians 4:29.

(a) "de sapientia", Mercerus. (b) "lex misericordiae", Montanus. (c) "Instructio gratiae", Gejerus; "lex, vel doctrina gratiae", Cocceius, so the Targum; "doctrina benigniatis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and on her tongue is the {n} law of kindness.

(n) Her tongue is a book by which one might learn many good things: for she delights to talk of the word of God.

26. the law] “Or, teaching,” R.V. marg. The wise instruction and counsel she gives is so combined with kindness, as to win rather than compel obedience. Comp. “the gracious words which proceeded out of His lips.” Luke 4:22.

Verse 26. - PE. She openeth her mouth with wisdom. She is not merely a good housewife, attending diligently to material interests; she guides her family with words of wisdom. When she speaks, it is not gossip, or slander, or idle talk, that she utters, but sentences of prudence and sound sense, such as may minister grace to the hearers. The Septuagint has this verse before ver. 25, and the first hemistich Again. after ver. 27. So in Lamentations 2, 3, 4, the pe and ayin vetoes change places. This is also the case in Psalm 37. In the former passage the LXX: renders, "She openeth her mouth heedfully and lawfully (προεχόντως καὶ ἐννόμως);" and in the other, "wisely and in accordance with law (σοφῶς καὶ νομοθέσμως)." In her tongue is the law of kindness (thorath chesed); i.e. her language to those around her is animated and regulated by love. As mistress of a family, she has to teach and direct her dependents, and she performs this duty with gracious kindness and ready sympathy. Septuagint, "She places order on her tongue." Proverbs 31:26The next verse presents one of the most beautiful features in the portrait:

26 פ She openeth her mouth with wisdom,

        And amiable instruction is on her tongue.

The ב of בּחכמה is, as also at Psalm 49:5; Psalm 78:2, that of means: when she speaks, then it is wisdom pressing itself from her heart outward, by means of which she breaks the silence of her mouth. With על, in the expression 26b, elsewhere תּהת interchanges: under the tongue, Psalm 10:7, one has that which is ready to be spoken out, and on the tongue, Psalm 15:3, that which is in the act of being spoken out. תּורת־חסד is a genitive connection after the manner of tôrath אמת, Malachi 2:6. The gen. is not, as at Leviticus 6:2, in tôrath העלה, the gen. of the object (thus e.g., Fleischer's institutio ad humanitatem), but the gen. of property, but not so that חסד denotes grace (Symmachus, νόμος ἐπίχαρις; Theodotion, νόμος χάριτος), because for this meaning there is no example except Isaiah 40:6; and since חסד in the O.T. is the very same as in the N.T., love, which is the fulfilling of the law, Hosea 6:6, cf. 1 Kings 20:31,

(Note: Immanuel remarks that Tôrath חסד probably refers to the Tôra, and שׁכוהל חסד, i.e., which is wholly love, which goes forth in love, to the Gesetz equals statute.)

it is supposed that the poet, since he writes תורת חסד, and not תורת חן, means to designate by חסד this property without which her love for her husband, her industry, her high sentiment, would be no virtues, viz., unselfish, sympathizing, gentle love. Instruction which bears on itself the stamp of such amiability, and is also gracious, i.e., awakening love, because going forth from love (according to which Luther, translating holdselige Lere equals pleasing instructions, thus understands it) - such instruction she carries, as house-mother (Proverbs 1:8), in her mouth. Accordingly the lxx translate (vid., Lagarde regarding the mistakes of this text before us) θεσμοὶ ἐλεημοσύνης, and Jerome lex clementiae. חסד is related to אהבה as grace to love; it denotes love showing itself in kindness and gracefulness, particularly condescending love, proceeding from a compassionate sympathy with the sufferings and wants of men. Such graceful instruction she communicates now to this and now to that member of her household, for nothing that goes on in her house escapes her observation.

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