She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proverbs 31:27. She looketh well to her household — She diligently observes the management of her domestic business, and the whole carriage of her children and servants. Whereby he also intimates, that she spends not her time in gadding abroad to other people’s houses, and in idle discourses about the concerns of other persons, as the manner of many women is, but is wholly intent upon her own house and proper business; and eateth not the bread of idleness — That which is gotten by idleness, or without labour.She looketh well to the ways of her household; she diligently observeth the management and progress of her domestic business, and the whole carriage and conversation of her children and servants; whereby also he intimates that she spends not her thee in gadding abroad to other houses, and idle discourses about the concerns of other persons, as the manner of many women is, but is wholly intent upon her own house and proper business.
Eateth not the bread of idleness; that which is got by idleness, or without labour. Matthew 7:13. Jarchi interprets these ways of the law, which teaches the good way, and to separate from transgression;
and eateth not the bread of idleness; of an idle woman, as Aben Ezra; or she being idle does not eat bread; she does not eat it without labour; it is "the bread of labour", of many labours she eats, as in Psalm 127:2; she labours for the meat which endures to everlasting life, John 6:27; the Gospel, that bread which strengthens man's heart, refreshes his spirit, is made of the finest of the wheat, contains the wholesome words of Christ, and by which men are nourished up unto everlasting life; and which particularly directs to Christ the true bread, the bread of life, of which if a man eat he shall never die, but live for ever; and on which true believers feed by faith; but though this is prepared for them, and is the gift of God to them, yet must be laboured for; it is not eaten without labour: believers read, hear, and pray, and diligently attend all ordinances for the sake of this food.She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. looketh well to] a happy rendering. Lit. keepeth watch upon, as in Proverbs 15:3. As Almighty God, from His lofty watch-tower in heaven, observes all the minutest details of the manifold work that is going on in the busy hive of earth, so does she from her exalted position in which He has placed her, as mistress of the family, and as responsible to Him, observe “the ways of her household.” Comp. “He that ruleth (let him do it) with diligence,” Romans 12:8.Verse 27. - TSADE. She looketh well to the ways of her house; the actions and habits of the household. She exercises careful surveillance over all that goes on in the family. Eateth not the bread of idleness; but rather bread won by active labour and conscientious diligence. She is of the opinion of the apostle who said "that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Septuagint, "The ways of her house are confined (στεγναὶ διατριβαὶ οἴκων αὐτῆς), and she eats not idle bread." The first of these clauses may mean that the proceedings of her household, being confined to a narrow circle, are readily supervised. But the meaning is very doubtful; and Schleusner renders, "continuae conversationes in aedibus ejus." St. Gregory applies our verse to the conscience, thus: "She considers the ways of her house, because she accurately examines all the thoughts of her conscience. She eateth not her bread in idleness, because that which she learned out of Holy Scripture by her understanding, she places before the eyes of the Judge by exhibiting it in her works" ('Moral.,' 35:47).
21 ל She is not afraid of the snow for her house;
For her whole house is clothed in scarlet.
A fall of snow in the rainy season of winter is not rare in Palestine, the Hauran, and neighbouring countries, and is sometimes accompanied with freezing cold.
(Note: Vid., regarding a fall of snow in Jerusalem, the journal Saat auf Hoffnung Jahrg. 3, Heft 3; and in the Hauran Comm. to Job 38:22.)
She sees approaching the cold time of the year without any fear for her house, even though the season bring intense cold; for her whole house, i.e., the whole of the members of her family, are לבשׁ שׁנים. The connection is accusatival (Venet. ἐνδεδυμένος ἐρυθρά), as at 2 Samuel 15:32; Ezekiel 9:2-3. שׁני, from שׁנה, to shine, glance clear, or high red, and is with or without תולעת the name of the colour of the Kermes worm, crimson or scarlet, perhaps to be distinguished from ארגּמן, the red-purple shell colour, and תּכלת, the blue. שׁנים are clothing or material coloured with such שׁני (bright red) (vid., at Isaiah 1:18). The explanation of the word by dibapha is inadmissible, because the doubled colouring, wherever it is mentioned, always refers to the purple, particularly that of Tyre (dibapha Tyria), not to the scarlet.
(Note: Vid., Blmner's Die gewerbliche Thtigkeit der Vlder des klassischen Alterthums (1869), p. 21f.)
But why does the poet name scarlet-coloured clothing? On account of the contrast to the white snow, says Hitzig, he clothes the family in crimson. But this contrast would be a meaningless freak. Rather it is to be supposed that there is ascribed to the red material a power of retaining the heat, as there is to the white that of keeping off the heat; but evidence for this are wanting. Therefore Rosenmller, Vaihinger, and Bttcher approve of the translation duplicibus (Jerome, Luther) [ equals with double clothing], because they read, with the lxx, שׁנים.
(Note: The lxx reads together שנים מרבדים, δισσὰς χλαίνας, and brings into Proverbs 31:21 (her husband remains without care for the members of the family if it does not snow χιονίζη, as it is to be read for χρονίζη) and 22 the husband, who appears to the translator too much kept in the background.)
But, with right, the Syr., Targ. abide by זהוריתא, scarlet. The scarlet clothing is of wool, which as such preserves warmth, and, as high-coloured, appears at the same time dignified (2 Samuel 1:24).
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