Along side the misconception that the Proverbs 31 woman is a stay-at-home mom who cooks and cleans, I ran into another one: that the Proverbs 31 woman is a collection of women because no single lady could possible accomplish as much as she does. This misconception lies in not looking into the passage in-depth enough. I believe that if the Proverbs 31 woman was a collection of characters, the bible would have mentioned something about it, and that simply thinking that what’s on her plate is too much to handle is not reason enough to deduce that she is multiple people.
Besides, I don’t think there is too much on her plate. From what I am reading, she has a main business of making linen garments, supplemented by being a middle man between the tradesmen she deals with and someone else. From what she makes from that she later plants a vineyard. She also seems to make time to work out and cook breakfast for her immediate family. Sounds like any driven woman these days to me. I am deducing this from the following verses:
“She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16
“She makes linen garments and sells them…” Proverbs 31:24
“She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.” Proverbs 31:17
But what about the rest of the verses? Let’s take a brief look at each one that may be stumping you:
“She seeks wool and flax,and works with willing hands.” — in order to produce linen, you need flax. We will look at why she seeks wool in a later post.
“She puts her hands to the distaff,and her hands hold the spindle.” — this is what needs to happen to produce that same linen we talked about above.
“all her household are clothed in scarlet.” — IF she made her household’s clothes, it was a one-time deal and not something that takes up her time on a regular basis.
“She makes bed coverings for herself;her clothing is fine linen and purple.” — as in the case above, this is a one-time deal. I will write later why I don’t think she makes her own clothes or that of her household.
“she delivers sashes to the merchant.” — this is where I think the P31 woman serves solely as a supplier. It does not say that she makes the sashes, but possibly utilizes her connections with the merchants to get someone else’s work delivered to them. Either that, or the sashes ARE the linen garments that she makes. Stay tuned for finding out why she is so connected.
Did I miss any other verses that make it seem like the Proverbs 31 woman does more than a single person can handle?