Posted by: Ety W. | September 2, 2008

Prov. 31:15 – Organized Manager

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This is part 6 in a series on the Proverbs 31 Woman.
To start at the beginning, click here.

She rises also while it is still night,
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.  Prov. 31:15

I’ve heard more than one Christian homemaker joke that this early rising business is what keeps her from becoming a truly excellent wife.  I have often felt the same way.  It would be nice to think that this is just part of the Excellent Woman’s personality, yet when we consider how busy she is, we have to admit that rising early is the only way to accomplish so much.

Is she dragging herself out of bed every morning?  Apparently not.

Rises – Strong’s 6965 – קוּם – quwm = to arise, to stand, to be set, to fulfill, to establish, to endure, to stir up, to carry out.  Often used with a sense of rising in preparation or rising in power.

Quwm does not refer to getting out of bed, which is an entirely different word in Hebrew (shakam). It refers to rising up with a plan and a purpose.  This is what we see the Excellent Woman doing.

The first two items on her daily agenda are to feed to her household and attend to her maidens.

1.  Gives food to her household – We’ve already seen in verse 14 that she is diligent in selecting and purchasing choice foods for her household. Here we see that she supervises the meals as well.  Does she cook them herself?  We don’t know.  The passage doesn’t tell us that.  What we do see is that she pays attention to all aspects of feeding her family.

2.  Gives portions to her maidens – Two words are of interest here: portions and maidens.

Portions – Strong’s 2706 – חק – choq = an appointment of time, space, quantity, labor or usage. Commandment, custom, decree, prescribed task

Maiden -Strong’s 5291 – נערה – na`arah = girl (from infancy through adolescence), young woman, marriageable young woman, maid, female attendant, female servant

Are these young women her daughters or her servants?  Na`arah can be used either way.  Because the Excellent Woman and her husband are obviously well off, it is highly likely that these are maid servants, who are being given their work assignments for the day.  If some or all are daughters, then we see the Excellent Woman training them to become managers of their own homes when they marry.

Either way, we see that the Excellent Woman has a plan before the day begins.  She is aware of the needs of the household, and is organized in addressing them. As we see in verse 21,

She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.  Prov. 31:21

The fruit of this habit is abundant.  Not only are her husband and children happy (verse 28), but in addition to running her household well (verse 21), she has time to run a home business (verse 24), as well as have a ministry to the poor (verse 20).

Time for reflection.  I’ll be the first to admit that this is not me.  I do rise early to do my Bible study, but at the end of the day I can count the ways that I have frittered away my time.  Now that my children have left the nest, I find that I am more relaxed in my approach to housework and meal preparation, so that some things get neglected.  In other words, I need to heed this lesson!

How about you?


  1. […] Early Riser – v 15 […]

  2. She’s able to do all this because she’s able to focus on certain things while her maidens focus on other things that in the end complete the daily tasks.
    If I had maids most defintely would I not be so exasperated at the end of the day. Everyone would be at peace. I don’t believe the maidens refer to her daughter’s since the passage states “gives food to her household and portions to her maidens”. Let’s face it we cannot do everything we are not superwomen we are human women who need help in our household in order to complete tasks. We need to stop beating ourselves up and be honest with ourselves and confess I can’t do this by myself You know I need help God! I know I’ll be doing that from now on.

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