Posted by: Ety W. | October 12, 2008

Prov. 31:25 – No Fear

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This is part 17 in a series on the Proverbs 31 Woman.
To start at the beginning, click here.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.  Prov. 31:25

Even though the Proverbs 31 Woman dresses well and takes care of her appearance (see verse 22), we learn here that the important things about her appearance are inner qualities.

Strength – Strong’s 5759 – עוז or עז – oze = boldness, loud, might, power, strength, strong.  Can refer to material, physical, social, or political strength.

We studied this word previously, in Prov. 31:17, where we learned that it also implies strength of character.

Dignity – Strong’s 1926 – הדר – hadar = magnificence, that is, ornament or splendor: beauty, comeliness, excellency, glorious, glory, goodly, honor, majesty

When we studied Titus 2:3-5, we took a close look at theh word “dignity“.  We learned that in the Greek, “dignity” is a quality which inspires reverence and awe  It refers to a self-respect, not to stoically never cracking a smile.  From the Hebrew word above, we get a much broader sense of how that applies to the Proverbs 31 Woman.

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

We took a look at this word also, when we studied Prov. 31:22.  At that time we learned that the word  “clothing” can be symbolic as well as literal.

The New Testament makes similar allusions.  Consider these verses:

And let not your adornment be merely external — braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.  1 Peter 3:2-3 (NASB)

But can a person have dignity and strength and be gentle and quiet?  Absolutely.  How is that?  Because true self confidence doesn’t need to prove itself to anyone.  It’s not what comes out of a woman’s mouth that commends her, it’s her attitude.

Even though we know that the Proverbs 31 Woman dresses expensively, we see that biblically, it’s not what’s on the outside that makes her excellent, it’s what’s on the inside.  The Excellent Woman wears her self confidence and self respect like a suit of clothes.  They are obvious to everyone who sees her.

What else does the verse tell us about her?

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

Smiles – Strong’s 7832 – שׂחק – sachaq = to laugh, rejoice, play, mock

According to The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, it’s use in this verse means “…..of laughing in achievement…. The able and virtuous woman can live without concern and ‘smile [rejoice, KJV] at the future’ (Prov. 31:25, NASB)”1

“Future” is actually a two word phrase in the Hebrew:

In time – Strong’s 3117 – יום – yowm =  literally a day, figuratively a time period defined by an associated term (in Prov. 31:25, “to come”).

To come – Strong’s 314 – אחרן  or  אחרין – ‘acharown or ‘acharon = behind, following, subsequent, western

Putting those two together, we might say “a time period following the present.” In other words, the future.  In fact, the King James Version words it, “And she shall rejoice in time to come.”

In this light, see this as an extension of her self confidence. She has been faithful to work hard and the reward of this is freedom from worry and fear about the future.

1The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Laird, Archer, & Waltke, (Moody Press, Chicago, 1980) Vol II, p.763


  1. […] Confident – v 25 […]

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