Proverbs 31:10

A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman–who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. Proverbs 31:10

Let’s take a closer look at the word virtuous.

Webster’s Dictionary defines it like this:

1. conforming to moral and ethical principals; morally excellent; upright.
2. chaste.

Unfortunately, most people read the Bible like it is a regular book. When you read the Bible that way, you may find yourself wrongly dividing it. That being said; I looked up the original Hebrew meaning of the word virtuous in this context, and guess what? The dictionary missed the mark.

The original Hebrew word used in this Scripture is:

Chayil (khah’ – yil) and means; a force, an army, strength, able, substance, worthy.

WOW! That is totally different from what I have always thought. Don’t get me wrong the dictionary’s version is good…we should be morally upright – But, that is not what it means in this Scripture.

Now, let’s reread it with the new words in place:

A capable, intelligent, strong, able, worthy, and a woman of substance–who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.

A man with a wife that is “able” to take care of her home, is filled with substance, worthy, strong, capable, and intelligent is a blessed man.

There are a few more verses that relay the same message:

A virtuous and worthy wife [earnest and strong in character] is a crowning joy to her husband, but she who makes him ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4

He who finds a true wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. – Proverbs 18:22

A wise, understanding, and prudent wife is from the Lord. – Proverbs 19:14

There is also an example of a “virtuous” woman in the Bible. Her name is Ruth.

And now, my daughter, fear not. I will do for you all you require, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of strength, worth, bravery, and capability. – Ruth 3:11

What this tells us is that Proverbs 31:10 is describing a woman like Ruth. I encourage you to read the book of Ruth. It is only 4 chapters. You will then understand what this verse is really describing. Ruth was a strong and capable woman.

She was not your typical woman of the day. Ruth was a woman of substance. Another interesting thing about her is that she gave birth to the father of Jesse, the father of David, who was the ancestor of Jesus Christ!

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