How She Is Remembered
The summary of what weve learned is given in the last two verses. Eloquent manners can hide the true character of a person. Beauty is only temporary. However, a follower of God, a woman who fears the Lord , will receive praise. She deserves the results of her labors and those efforts will praise her to the community where she lives .
Notice that the fruit of her hands is the same key phrase from Proverbs 31:16, which was the central point of the inner chiasm. Also, in the gates is the same key phrase from Proverbs 31:23, which was the central point of the main chiasm. But also notice that these echos the statement at the beginning in Proverbs 31:3, a man should not give his strength to immoral women which will destroy him, but he should give his wife the products of her hands which will establish him .
A Dangerous Cocktail From Lemuels Mother
- Chapter 17 A Foolish King, Women, and Wine
- Oxford University Press
Proverbs 31:19 is a mothers teaching to her son, King Lemuel, on administration of ones life , on royal justice , and on strong drink for those who need to forget. Studies deal generally with the issue of wine or justice, leaving out vs. 13, her first words. A feminist study looks at the dynamics of female wisdom, evident in Lemuels Mother, but also at matters of gender solidarity. The mothers warning against female recipients of the kingly issue has a double effect: it works to alert young people on the importance of right and wrong decisions for those involved including the subject of those decisions), but it also alerts us against stereotyped, biased depictions of women by women.
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What Makes A Virtuous Woman
Virtuous woman definition The Bible, in Proverbs 31, defines a virtuous woman as one who leads her home with integrity, discipline, and more. All the virtues she practices are aimed at making her husband’s life better, teaching her children, and serving God. This, essentially, is the meaning of a virtuous woman.
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The Search For A Valiant Wife
But we need to return to the question asked at the start of this poem: How can you find a valiant wife? Clearly for any man, let alone a king, the outcome of that decision will have a significant impact on his future. But oddly, the poem doesnt answer the question instead, it lays out what a valiant womans life might be like through the years. I suspect the reason it is not directly answered is that no future is guaranteed. The resulting life is not just the mans decision but also the womans choices.
The Hebrew word, chayil, is a military term carrying the meaning of strength, whether we are talking about military might in the form of an army, economic might in the form of wealth, the strength of character, physical strength or competency in a job. The woman Lemuel is urged to find is a strong woman and the poem proceeds to show a woman who is strong in a variety of ways. In our Bible, Ruth is described as being that type of woman .
The value of such a woman to her husband is extremely valuable. She cannot be purchased or hired. She only can be found but, like jewels, it takes effort to find such a woman.
A Wife Of Noble Character
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it.14 She is like a merchants ship, bringing her food from afar.15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the days work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it with her earnings she plants a vineyard.17 She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.20 She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.21 She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.23 Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.24 She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.27 She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
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Who Was King Lemuel
Recently, a reader asked me to explain who King Lemuel was. Lemuel is an enigmatic figure that appears twice in the Old Testament. His name appears in Proverbs 31:1 and 31:4. However, in Proverbs 31:4 his name appears as Lemoel in Hebrew.
Because King Lemuel is not listed among the kings of Judah and Israel, several theories have been developed to explain the presence of Lemuel in Proverbs 31. In this post, I will review some of the proposals developed by scholars in order to identify Lemuel.
1. The Name of the King was MuelSome scholars believe that the lamed at the beginning of the name Lemuel is a preposition meaning to or for. Under this view the name of the king was not Lemuel but Muel. Thus, Proverbs 31:1 would be translated Words for Muel. This is the view adopted by Justo J. Serrano in his commentary Proverbios, La Sagrada Escritura , p. 524.
Although the name Muel does not appear in the Bible, the name is related to Nemuel, a descendant of Simeon . Nemuels name appears as Jemuel in Genesis 46:10.
This explanation of the name of Lemuel is questionable because it does not resolve the problem of identification, that is, it does not explain who king Muel was, if such a king ever existed. This view has not been accepted by many scholars.
2. Lemuel was another name for Solomon
3. Lemuel was not the name of a person
4. Lemuel was the king of Massa
Behavior Unfit For Kings
Her first warning is against sex with multiple women because that has led to the downfall of many kings, including Solomon . The Hebrew word for strength, chelekha, is a military term for power but can be used figuratively of physical strength or fertility . It is a waste of time and effort to be having sex with multiple women , especially for a king who has a kingdom to run. Consider the damage David did to his kingdom by committing adultery with Bathsheba. It nearly cost David his life . As a side note, the word for kings in Proverbs 31:3 is in Aramaic instead of Hebrew hinting that the writer is from another country.
Alcohol is also not fit for rulers because it interferes with their ability to recall the laws and it distorts their judgment . Like fornication, alcohol makes the user weaker while deceiving him into thinking he is stronger.
In both the case of fornication and drunkenness, there is a lack of restraint on the physical appetites. This is another bad characteristic in a ruler as choices revolve around what the ruler wants instead of what is right or good for the people .
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Rolling Hills Community Church
The last Chapter in the book of Proverbs begins, The words of King Lemuel. Ever heard of him.Probably not! So who is King Lemuel? Well lets do some investigating. First, Lemuel is no where else named in Scripture. Second, there is no extra-biblical historical data to support that such a King ever reigned in Israel.
So who is Lemuel and why is he given credit for authoring a chapter in the Book of Proverbs?
Though King Lemuels identity is not officially known, Jewish tradition holds that King Lemuel is simply a poetic pseudonym for King Solomon. Lemuel in Hebrew means For God. Therefore, if true, Proverbs 31:1 may be read The words of a King for God, the utterance which his mother taught him.
If indeed Lemuel is Solomon, then the wisdom which is taught in Proverbs 31 was first taught to Solomon by his mother, Bathsheba. She is the women with whom King David committed adultery and whose husband, Uriah the Hittite, was killed in battle at the order of King David, Solomons Father.
Biography Of King Solomon: The Wisest Man Who Ever Lived
- M.A., English Composition, Illinois State University
- B.S., English Literature, Illinois State University
King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and also one of the most foolish. God gifted him with unsurpassed wisdom, which Solomon squandered by disobeying God’s commandments. Some of Solomons most famous achievements were his building projects, particularly the temple in Jerusalem.
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Who Was King Lemuel And His Mother
Lemuel would be King Hezekiah of Judah.
However, in the Bible there is no mention of Hezekiah’s mother and his father, King Ahaz of Judah, is considered one of the worst kings of the Jewish nation, who even immolated some of Hezekiah’s brothers in worship of false gods.
Faithful Instruction From Wise Women
Many Christians who restrict women to certain roles and functions within the Christian community overlook the Proverbs 31 woman mentioned in verse 1 and concentrate instead on the second woman mentioned in the latter half of the chapter. One thing these two Proverbs 31 women have in common, however, is that they both spoke and taught with wisdom and faithfulness: She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue .
Many women have worthwhile and wise words to share and to teachpractical, spiritual, and theological wordsand their instruction and advice is trustworthy and faithful. Despite what some people have presumed, the Protestant Bible does not say that women are more easily deceived, or more deceptive, than men.
Moreover, the consensus of what the Bible says about women speaking to men, and instructing men, does not support the idea that wise and godly women cannot teach men. Yet many Christian men seem content to miss out on wise and faithful instruction from their sisters. Sadly, many Christian women, too, seem intent on keeping their fellow sisters from teaching and leadership within the church community.
King Lemuel valued, respected, and trusted the teachings of his mother. My hope is that the church will respect and trust her women and their abilities, including their ability to teach inspired and theological messages.
Some believe that Proverbs 31:1031, written as an acrostic, is another inspired message of King Lemuels mother.
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Who Is King Lemuel In Proverbs 31
Who is King Lemuel in Proverbs 31? I did a search for King Lemuel in my entire library of encyclopedias, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, etc. and there is very limited information on him. Some see him as a descendent of Ishmael depending on how one answers the previous question on Proverbs 31.
- Why do you think that anyone here might provide better information that the considerable resources that you have already consulted? I am flattered but personally cannot help. user25930Oct 23, 2018 at 6:27
- 1Just checking. We have many unanswered questions on our list. I wanted to see if anyone had any information I did not find.Oct 23, 2018 at 8:39
- You never know that someone could have real gem!! user25930
Not that I have a whole lot to add because as you have already noted there is not much to go on as to Lemuel might have been.
2) Jewish Tradition also has argued that he was king of Massa which as you pointed out was a descendant of Ishmael. The term Massa comes into the picture through the Hebrew as a change in the punctuation. That term is rendered in many English versions as “the prophecy” or “an oracle” instead of the title of the place Lemuel was king of as this rendering, “Lemuel King of Massa.”
Here is what the one entry suggested about Lemuel :
Behavior Fit For Kings
What a king ought to be doing is being outspoken for the rights of the unfortunate, afflicted, and needy. He should speak for those who have no voice, not necessarily to speak for them but to make sure their words are not ignored. When he judges, his decisions should be righteous. This is not to say that the poor are given an advantage over the rich rather, there is to be no partiality .
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King Lemuel And His Mother
I must admit that I often skip the first nine verses of Proverbs 31 when I read it. I guess Im in a hurry to read about the woman who is worth more than rubies.
But, Ive recently been giving the beginning of this book a good hard look. Much to my surprise, I have found incredible words of wisdom between a mother and son that still need to be used today!I also found something of a mystery.
I also found something of a mystery in the very first verse of this revered chapter. We will take a look at that mystery today. The first verse reads,
The sayings of King Lemuelan inspired utterance his mother taught him
Proverbs 31:1 NIV
You can search the annals of Israels history all you want but youre never going to find a King Lemuel of Israel or Judah! He just isnt there.
I cant resist investigating a mysterious Bible character so I started looking at who Lemuel could be. There seem to be four possibilities!
In conclusion, there are many theories on who Lemuel and his mother were and we will adhere to the most commonly recognized theory, that they were none other than Solomon and Bathsheba. Next week we will take a look at the words of wisdom given from mother to son.
Bible Hub. Proverbs 31. Cambridgle Bible for Schools and Colleges. Accessed June 2020.
Bible Hub. Proverbs 31. Pulpit Commentary. Accessed June 2020
Guzik, David. Proverbs 31-The Wisdom of King Solomon. 2017
Strong, David. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Abingdon Press, 1890.
About Shonda Holt
Who Were Agur And King Lemuel
I was under the impression that Solomon wrote Proverbs, but what about the names of Agur and King Lemuel in chapters 30 and 31?
A. There are differing views as to just who Agur and, especially, King Lemuel really were. Proverbs 30:1 states that Agur was the son of Jakeh. Little or nothing else is known about him. Chapter 31 is stated to be the words of King Lemuel, as taught by his mother . Many identities have been offered, especially the idea that King Lemuel is indeed another name for Solomon. But it is not for certain. Proverbs 25:1 shows that various proverbs of Solomon were copied down by the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah. And Hezekiah is another person suggested as Lemuel. But in both cases, Agur and King Lernuel do not have to be noms de plume .
Do you have feedback or a Bible question to submit? Send to or mail to Norman A. Olson in care of the Baptist Bulletin, 1300 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173-4806.
Reprinted from the Baptist Bulletin . © 1990 Regular Baptist Press. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Finding An Excellent Wife
The Book of Proverbs ends with a complex poem. It has 22 verses, each verse begins with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet thus, creating an acrostic. It also goes through the phases of married life in roughly chronological order: dating , youth , middle-age , late middle age , old age , and her memory (verses 30-31. It is also a chiastic poem that contains smaller chiasms. To combine a chiasm while restricting word choices to match an acrostic and all the while describing a growth through life is an art of the highest degree.
The following attempts to give a more literal reading of Proverbs 31:10-31 so that the word order is better preserved.
In a chiastic poem, the main point is found in the center of the nested ideas. It is Proverbs 31:23, but it is not what you might expect in a poem that praises the accomplishments of a valiant woman. Commentators have called this verse an interrupting thought, but it cannot be. The layout states that this is the focus of everything else that is being discussed.
The Sayings Of King Lemuel
31 The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.
2 O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows,3 do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol.5 For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed.6 Alcohol is for the dying, and wine for those in bitter distress.7 Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves ensure justice for those being crushed.9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
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