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She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple – Proverbs 31:22

If Pinterest were around in biblical times, this woman of noble character would certainly be a “Pinterest worthy” wife!  She is quite the accomplished seamstress, it seems. But, dear friends, she is so much more than just that.

Strong’s commentary on the Bible gives us some context on the words used in this verse:

Makes – Strong’s 6213 – עשׂה – asah =  to do, fashion, accomplish, make

Coverings – Strong’s 4765 – מרבד – marbad = [from the verb rabad (Strong’s 7234) meaning to spread], spread (as in bedspread), coverlet.

 

Clothed in fine linen and purple

 

As we look at this verse, it’s important to consider the verse that comes before it.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.  Prov. 31:21

When we look at that verse, with this one, we might assume that the coverings for her bed are part of her preparedness for winter or hard times.

While we know that she makes the coverings, we aren’t given clues to how she makes them or exactly what those coverings are.   Although the King James Version translates marbad as “coverings of tapestry” both here and in Prov. 7:16, the Hebrew word itself doesn’t necessarily imply this.  It is interesting to note that a derivative of this word is used to describe God’s own works of creation as well as the miracles He performed on Israel’s behalf.  From that, we catch the idea of the creative process involved.

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In historical context, we can assume that the cloth for the coverings was woven and then sewn.  We have already seen the Proverbs 31 Woman as a handspinner, but besides the added “tapestry” in the King James translation, no weaving terms are used in the passage.  We don’t know if she wove the cloth herself, or had someone else do it.

The second half of this verse, mentions coverings of a different kind.

Clothing – Strong’s 3830 – לבשׁ  or  לבוּשׁ – lebush’ = clothing, garment, apparel, raiment

Fine linen – Strong’s 8336 – שׁשׁי  or שׁשׁ – shesh or shaysh = something bleached white, linen, fine linen, marble, silk.  Translated only once (Prov. 31:22) as “silk” in the KJV.

Purple – Strong’s 713 – ארגּמן – ‘argaman = purple,  red-purple (either the color or the dyed goods).  Due to its cost, it is associated with royalty or the favor of royalty, nobility, the priests, and the temple.

 

She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple

In Proverbs 31, the words “clothing” and “clothed” are used both literally, this verse, and symbolically (verse 25).  According to The Blue Letter Bible, the word lebuwsh’  implies more than just articles of clothing.  It also assumes that clothing reveals something about the wearer: rank, status, or circumstance.  In today’s world, we still see evidence of that, although not as overt as in biblical times. As a child, we are taught, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, however, as humans, we know that how we look does make an impression on others. 

How we present ourselves to the world affects us both internally (as self-esteem and self-respect) and externally (how we are viewed by others).  When we, as Christian women, wear clothing that is in conflict with our Christian values (revealing clothing, shirts with worldly or inappropriate text), we are sending a message about ourselves to others.  We are ambassadors of Christ.  As ambassadors, we need to dress the part.  Don’t we want others to see Christ when they see us? (For more on this topic, see this post: When They See Me Do They See Jesus)

We should not be wearing clothing that calls attention to ourselves and our bodies but should dress appropriately to honor God.

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The Proverbs 31 Woman was not showy with her appearance and wealth, but modest and generous.  She understood both her role as wife and woman in her family and society.  She, of course, took care with her appearance, but her true beauty, and what she is “clothed” in,  is found in a later verse: Proverbs 31:25.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,

And she smiles at the future.  Prov.  31:25

How are you “dressed”, my friend?  Are you presenting yourself as a daughter of The King or as a woman of this world?  

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Are you ready to live a Proverbs 31 Life and deepen your relationship with God, strengthen your marriage and better manage your home?  Consider taking the Intro to Proverbs 31 Mini Course or joining the Faith Filled Home Monthly Membership program for Christian wives.

Because of Him,

Sue

virtuous woman, woman of noble character
clothed in fine linen

susanjnelson