She Plants a Vineyard – Proverbs 31:16

She Plants a Vineyard – Proverbs 31:16

She considers a field, and buys it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
Proverbs 31:16

Whether it be fit for use and of a reasonable price, and how she may purchase it. This excludes the rashness, as the proceeding to buy it excludes the inconstancy, which is often incident to that sex” (Benson Commentary). Yes, many of us women often buy things on impulse. We see something we like and buy it without pondering if we even need it or can afford it. There’s advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, and all over trying to get us to buy another dress or product even though we have plenty of everything! Next time you want to buy something, carefully consider if you really need it and don’t act rash about it. Yes, use wisdom and even prayer in your purchases. Most of us don’t need any more stuff!

She turns her attention to a certain field, the possession of which is for some cause desirable; and, after due examination and consideration, she buys it” (Pulpit Commentary). She “considers” a field before buying it. “Can I afford it?” “Is it a good use of our money?” “Will it be profitable for us?” She weighs her options and then decides whether or not to purchase it.

Do you notice that she buys “a field”? Not many fields. No, she is not a real estate agent as some try to convince me. This isn’t her career. She is buying one field and considers carefully before buying it to see if it is a wise purchase. She didn’t leave her home for hours every day five days a week, her children in the care of others, and worked for a boss. She is NOT a career woman.

I am sure she bought this land with her husband’s hearty approval since she lived in submission to him. She was free to leave her home to shop, make things in her home and sell them to the merchants and then use this money to buy a field, but remember that she was known for “looking well to the ways of her household,” not her job or career.

The field are the Scriptures, in which are hid the rich treasures of Gospel doctrines and promises; and the church, and all truly enlightened persons, consider to what use this field may be put, to what account it will turn; how profitable the Scriptures are, for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness; what a rich mine and valuable treasure is in them; things more desirable, and of greater worth, than thousands of gold and silver; and therefore will buy this field at any rate, and not sell it; will part with all they have before they will part with that; even life itself, which in an improper sense is called buying of it, though it is without money and without price; see Matthew 13:44” (Gill’s Commentary).

The greatest treasures we own are the Scriptures. They are far more valuable than the things of this world. The greatest seeds you can plant, mothers, are not the stuff of this world but the seeds of truth into your children’s minds and hearts so that they may grow into trees of righteousness with deep roots in Jesus.

…with the fruit of her hand she planteth a vineyard; her own vineyard…it is observable, that in the Hebrew text there is a double reading; the ‘Keri’, or marginal reading, is feminine; but the ‘Cetib’, or writing, is masculine; to show that she did it by means of men, she made use of in her vineyard for that service; it being, as Aben Ezra observes, not the custom and business of women to plant vineyards, but men. It may be rendered, ‘he planted’, and be applied to her husband, Christ; who, through the ministry of the word in his church, plants souls in it; and happy are they who are the planting of the Lord! trees of righteousness, that he may be glorified, Isaiah 61:3.” (Gill’s Exposition). It’s interesting that it was actually men who planted her vineyard, not the Proverbs 31 woman! This debunks the theory that the Proverbs 31 woman had a career as an agriculturalist as some have also claimed; for “it was not the custom and business of women to plant vineyards, but men!”

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Isaiah 61:3

13 thoughts on “She Plants a Vineyard – Proverbs 31:16

  1. I always think that even *if* one could argue successfully that righteous women had careers in the Old Testament (which I have yet to see done), that these women could still bring their children with them. In our modern world the workplace pulls families apart. There are not many jobs where you would be welcome to bring your children every time unless you were working from home or in a daycare/school and all your children were the exact right age to be in your class. So the argument that these OT women had careers made by modern women is a moot point.

  2. Thank you for for this post Lori. I have to admit my weakness is tea. I love to buy all kinds of tea mostly herbal so my cabinet has at least 20 kinds of tea. We are taking are taking a temporary break from coffee including decaf so we will be drinking lots herbal tea for the next few weeks. And I won’t be buying anymore until most of the tea is gone!
    Thank you again for this very timely post.

    1. Yes, with the “fruit of her hands…” The woman who is being spoken about was going to be a queen and I seriously doubt that a queen would plant a vineyard herself. If ordinary women back then didn’t do such a thing, it seems likely that a queen wouldn’t either but regardless, we do know that she looked well to the ways of her household and didn’t eat the bread of idleness. We must try to take out the things that we know to be true about her as an example for us.

    1. No, I don’t. When Jesus said to pluck out our eye or cut off our arm if they cause us to sin, should we do this? No, because He was speaking to those who were living under the Law and was pointing them to their need for a Savior. There are many, many instances like this that we must take in context, what the culture was like at the time it was written, who is was written to and why, etc. This is why we need godly men to study and teach us the Word of God besides doing our own indepth study.

  3. You know that the commentaries you are using are way out of date, right? The only commentaries you should be using should be post 1950s, after the Dead Sea scrolls were found, examined, and translated. This is coming from the wife of a seminarian (4 classes short of a Master of Divinity degree), and was raised in the church with seminary classes for high school Bible classes. Also, my pastor was the president of said seminary. Needless to say, I know my theology and know what I’m talking about. I’m not saying everything old is bad, just most most of it.

    1. Hi Kim,

      I have an M. Div and further study beyond, and I am curious as to what in particular you want Lori to rethink in that the MT text vs. the Qumran scrolls as they are generally in agreement with each other. As this article well states: “A comparison of the MT to this earlier text revealed the remarkable accuracy with which scribes copied the sacred texts. Accordingly, the integrity of the Hebrew Bible was confirmed, which generally has heightened its respect among scholars and drastically reduced textual alteration.” http://ap.lanexdev.com/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=357

      The idea that because we have older dating documents in the Qumran somehow negates what the older commentators write is fallacious. It seems nothing more than a nice try to excuse a new modern day interpretation of some of the Bible so that it now fits our new culture of feminism and homosexuality, instead of recognizing how miraculously God has delivered his perfect word throughout history as He builds His church and the family of God on Christ Jesus.

      If anyone was meticulous in transferring the Word of God from one scroll to another it was the Jewish scribes. They painstakingly did everything in their power to keep every scroll as accurate as possible, and I would challenge you to find anything that is pertinent to our faith that shows any significant disagreement between the texts.

      Please let us know specifically what you think the old commentators have wrong instead of some blanket statement that seems to wipe them all out because some scrolls may be .01% more accurate in some passages. Apart from any specifics to discuss your comment is unfruitful and misleading, in that the older commentators have much to offer the church, often times more than the comparatively lazy scholarship of some modern day commentators who want more to wrestle the scriptures to fit our culture instead of allowing God’s Word to be the standard by which our culture stands judged.

    2. In trying to find what you may see as objectionable from the commentators in the post I discovered that Proverbs 31 is not in the Dead Sea Scrolls at all, so would have no affect on how the commentator would have understood the passage as compared to a more modern translation. http://dssenglishbible.com/scroll4Q102.htm

      Why you would find most of the old as bad is baffling to me as the old commentators are very consistent with the church’s theology throughout the centuries. No matter how much culture may change throughout the ages, the Word of God remains unchanged, and not difficult to discover or discern for those who have a heart to please Him as Lord… and are unafraid to accept Him at His Word.

  4. Amen. I copied the following paragraph to my notebook.
    “The greatest treasures we own are the Scriptures. They are far more valuable than the things of this world. The greatest seeds you can plant, mothers, are not the stuff of this world but the seeds of truth into your children’s minds and hearts so that they may grow into trees of righteousness with deep roots in Jesus.”

  5. Dear Lori,
    Thank you for the wonderful reference and commentaries to match! I was wanting to see what you would post to explain these particular scriptures. When I was newly married I was a Woman Marine but secretly wanted to be a keeper of the home. Don’t get me wrong, I loved serving this wonderful country under the Woman Marine motto : “To Free a Man to Fight”! I worked diligently as a woman in a man’s world. But, ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a stay at home wife/mom. While I was newly married and new in Christ, I was not knowledgeable in scripture. I thought, maybe this desire to be home with my future children was because I was just lazy.

    This hunger was crazy big and greatly conflicted with the feminist teaching I was influenced by during the 1980’s. I was amazingly blessed that sometime after I was honorably discharged I was able to stay home with my baby while my husband got out of the Marine Corps and finished college. I enjoyed taking care of children of professor’s for a couple of days a week to give their wives a time for a Mother’s morning out. This helped to pay for some necessary expenses. As a child of parents who were married 3 times, marriage was a proving ground of faith. But it was women like you who were committed to teaching scripture and my husband, who loved the Lord, that helped me realize that my desire to raise the children and support my husband by becoming a keeper at home was also God’s blessing for my life. I had to work on this particular scripture to come to peace with God’s will because of the guilt I had from not having a paycheck to contribute. Praise God for a loving and hard working husband who grew up in a Christian home!

    The world says that it takes two full-time incomes to solve a family’s financial issues and because of that mothers and wives need to have careers . It would love to make us feel lazy or stupid for not “helping” to make ends meet. It hasn’t always been easy, however, whenever we obeyed scripture, God always gave us peace and strength and new ways to be creative with our finances. I was blessed to find your website/blog. There are many modern women of today that may feel the same way I did and have misplaced guilt but your words and articles will be of immense encouragement and enlightenment!

    Thank you for your dedication and sharing. Blessings and health to you and yours!

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