“She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple…Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”
The word used here for clothing is the same Hebrew word both times, so I thought it fitting that we talk about both kinds of clothing that we wear. The first kind is in verse 22, “her clothing is silk and purple.” The silk there is the word "byssus" and since I had no idea what that was, I borrowed the definition from Wikipedia; “An exceedingly fine and valuable textile fibre and fabric known to the ancients; apparently the word was used, or misused, of various substances, linen, cotton, and silk, but it denoted properly (as shown by recent microscopic examination of mummy-cloths, which according to Herodotus were made of βύσσος) a kind of flax, and hence is appropriately translated in the English Bible 'fine linen'.” In other words, it is fine white flax from Egypt. The purple is not a type of fabric but rather a very colorfast dye in a reddish purple shade. So basically she is dressed in quality garments and yet very simple. Linen is not your fanciest fabric, it is quite simple actually. But her clothing is well made from good materials. We don’t see any ornamentation mentioned. No gold or silver fabrics. Just what is feminine and pleasing.
In verse 25, we see what her “inner clothing” looks like. She is clothed with strength, meaning might or power and honor. (The same word translated honor here is translated as majesty in Ps. 104:1, “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.”) She is clothed with prized virtues. No one can deny her worth.
I found it very interesting what is translated, “and she shall rejoice”, literally means to laugh at in contempt. In our day and age, we are ridiculed constantly for wanting to be keepers at home; wives and mothers who are willing to serve others instead of seeking our own way. We are told that that is not enough, that we should be doing something that will really contribute to the family instead of selfishly and faithfully, I might add, fulfilling our mission at home. But here we are told that the Proverbs 31 woman is able to sit back in times to come and see the folly in the ways of the world. She can laugh at those boasters who have laughed at her for all the times she “sacrificed” to stay at home and care for her family. She will be the one laughing in the end. This is not to say that our goal in life is to walk around telling others who mock “I told you so!” We are told to be humble. But you can rest assured that those who are willing to do things according to God’s plan and God’s will will be the ones who can “rejoice” when all is said and done.
May we all be content with simple outer garments and inner clothing that will shine in times to come!
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