9 02 2013

Who can find a virtuous woman?

Her price is far above rubies. 

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.  She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth garments unto the merchant. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 

She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her: “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

(This is adapted from Proverbs 31:10-31.  In the original Hebrew, the text was composed as a poem arranged in an acrostic format. The sound of the sense gets lost in translation, however, with a result in English that seems scatter-brained. Here, with the exception of one word, the English of the Authorized Version of 1611 is maintained, but the verses have been rearranged according to theme.)




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