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Proverbs 31:10-13 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

IX. Poem on the Woman of Worth[a]

10 Who can find[b] a woman of worth?
    Far beyond jewels is her value.
11 Her husband trusts her judgment;
    he does not lack income.
12 She brings him profit, not loss,[c]
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks out wool and flax
    and weaves with skillful hands.

Footnotes:

  1. 31:10–31 An acrostic poem of twenty-two lines; each line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. As with many other acrostic poems in the Bible, the unity of the poem is largely extrinsic, coming not from the narrative logic but from the familiar sequence of letters. The topic is the ideal woman described through her activity as a wife. Some have suggested that the traditional hymn extolling the great deeds of a warrior has been transposed to extol a heroic wife; the focus is on her exploits. She runs a household distinguished by abundant food and clothing for all within, by its trade (import of raw materials and export of finished products), and by the renown of its head, her husband, in the community. At v. 28, the voice is no longer that of the narrator but of her children and husband as they praise her. The purpose of the poem has been interpreted variously: an encomium to offset the sometimes negative portrayal of women in the book, or, more symbolically (and more likely), a portrait of a household ruled by Woman Wisdom and a disciple of Woman Wisdom, i.e., he now has a worthy wife and children, a great household, renown in the community.
  2. 31:10 Who can find…?: in 20:6 and Eccl 8:1 the question implies that finding such a person is well-nigh impossible.
  3. 31:12 Profit, not loss: a commercial metaphor.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Proverbs 31:19-20 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her fingers ply the spindle.[a]
20 She reaches out her hands to the poor,
    and extends her arms to the needy.

Footnotes:

  1. 31:19 The wife weaves linen cloth from flax and wool from fleece, which she cultivated according to v. 13. Distaff: staff for holding the flax, tow, or wool, which in spinning was drawn out and twisted into yarn or thread by the spindle or round stick.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Proverbs 31:30-31 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

30 Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
    the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.[a]
31 Acclaim her for the work of her hands,
    and let her deeds praise her at the city gates.

Footnotes:

  1. 31:30 The true charm of this woman is her religious spirit, for she fears the Lord; cf. note on 1:7.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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