Posted by: Ety W. | September 6, 2008

Prov. 31:16 – Shrewd Investor

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This is part 7 in a series on the Proverbs 31 Woman.
To start at the beginning, click here.

She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.  Prov. 31:16

Considers – Strong’s 3754 – זמם – kerem = thinks about, devises, plans, considers, purposes

This definition confirms something we saw about the Excellent Woman in the last verse we studied;

She rises also while it is still night…. Prov. 31:15a

We saw that “rises” is another word which connotes having a plan and a purpose.  From these two verses we might very well conclude that the Excellent Woman is not one who relies on impulse and serendipity to determine the course of her life.  Rather, she knows exactly what she is doing and why she is doing it.

From her earnings – This is actually a two part phrase in the Hebrew, translated “with the fruit of her hands” in the King James Version.

Fruit – Strong’s 6529 – פּרי – perîy = fruit (literally or figuratively): fruit of the ground (produce); fruit of the womb (offspring); or figuratively, fruit of one’s actions.

Hands – Strong’s 3709 – כּף – kaph = the hollow hand or palm; figuratively, power.

I like the idea of “the hollow hand.” It gives an image of starting with nothing, as something hollow is empty.  The Excellent Woman doesn’t take from others to benefit her own plans, rather she relies on her own abilities. And how does she manage that?  From the household accounts? With a loan? Rather, from her own earnings.  It confirms that she is industrious.

In verse 15, we saw that she managed her household in a well planned, organized fashion.  Here, we see how she manages her money.  She has her own earnings which she carefully considers how to spend.  She does not use it wastefully or frivolously. She does not use it on fleeting pleasures, or things that can be used up or depreciate in value.  Rather, she purchases something with the potential to give her a return: a field in which she can plan a vineyard.

Does this mean her purchase is a business venture?  Perhaps, but not necessarily.  The purpose of the vineyard may be to supply to her own household.  The passage doesn’t tell us either way.  What it does tell is

She senses that her gain is good… Prov. 31:18a

In other words, she knows she has made good decisions and has no regrets about them.  She doesn’t look back and admonish herself for wasteful or imprudent spending.  Rather, she invests her money wisely.

The question for us is, can we say the same?  As we look at how we manage our own our money or the household accounts, can we say that we feel good about it? One clue may be the temptation to complain that we don’t have enough money, that if we only had more we could manage better.  It may well be true that we are on tight budgets, but we still have a responsibility to wisely manage what the Lord has allotted us. On the other hand, if we are financially well off, are we guilty of being frivolous and indulgent with it?

The Excellent Woman used her money wisely, as a tool.  This is a goal all Christian women would be wise to work toward too.


  1. […] Prudent – v 16 […]

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