And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. (Ruth 3:11)
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. (Proverbs 31:10)The common thread here is that the Bride is seen as a virtuous woman. This phrase is a 'loose thread' link for the Bride-Candidates' benefit, so that she might easily trace the Bride-clues through the Scriptures. There are many of these loose threads, which we will try to discuss in another writing.
The phrase virtuous woman appears 3 times in Scripture, giving us an immediate announcement that this is a resurrection phrase, signaling its importance. The word virtuous is Strong's number <02428>. It comes from the Hebrew word <02342>, which means "to be formed, brought forth, to be pained, trembled, and to travail." This is one description of what Yahuweh is doing with the Bride, and in the Bride.
She Feeds Her HouseholdNotice that every verse of Prov 31:10-31 gives us revelation as to some quality of the Bride, but here we will look at only a few highlights:
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (Proverbs 31:15)Her rising while it is yet night is not only an ongoing feature in the natural sense, of her diligence. It is also a prophetic portrayal of her resurrection when the Bridegroom arrives at the midnight hour, after which she continues to give meat (Hebrew "prey, spoil, and ravenings") to her household (by virtue of the Elijah-mantle she has passed on to the Elisha Company). Here the use of the word ravenings in the definition of meat reminds us of The Blessing of Benjamin in (Gen 49:27).
It was prophesied of Benjamin, that he would ravin as a wolf, and "at night shall divide the spoil." The wolf is well known to fill up her belly with meat, and then go back to disgorge the contents for her young offspring. Such is the behaviour of the Bride, who feeds ravenously on the Word, only to pass it on to her household, when darkness begins.
We then see that she gives a portion (Heb "statutes, ordinances, and commandments") to her maidens — to those that will become the Bride-Candidates.
We then must ask, "Who are these of the household? Who are the maidens that will be fed by the Bride?"
"He hath given meat unto them that fear him..." (Psalms 111:5a)So we see that it is those that choose the Fear of the LORD (the Fear of Yahuweh) that will receive the meat, and the portion intended for the maidens.
She Considers a FieldNext we see another major attribute of the Bride:
"She considereth <02161> a field, and buyeth <03947> it..." (Proverbs 31:16)We saw in The 3-Fold Harvest that the Yahuweh's entire Harvest of souls is represented by one Harvest Field, and actually consists of 3 separate resurrection-phases. We then note the word definitions of Strong's number <02161> and <03947>. The Hebrew word zamam <02161> is used 13 times, flagging this word as an important Bride-attribute word. Here we see in the above passage, that the Bride considers — meaning "purposes, devises, and considers" — the Field (the 3 phases of the "Harvest"). This implies that she is diligently searching, considering the Word of Yahuweh, with a purpose in mind.
We then see that she buys the Harvest-Field. The Hebrew word laqach <03947> means "to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away." These attributes all speak of the attitudes and actions of the Bride, even suggesting some of the Purposes of the Bridegroom.
Now let's look at a related passage:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matt 13:44)In the above Proverbs 31:16 passage, we saw the Virtuous Woman as one who is diligently searching the Word of Yahuweh. Likewise, we are given a hint as to the meaning of Matt 13:44 from the chapter and verse numbers: Thirteen is a Bride number, for it speaks of love; and 44 speaks of ones walk, or lifestyle (See Prophetic Numbers In Scripture).
Now compare the Proverbs passage: "She considers a field, and buys it." Just as in the Matt 13:44 passage, we note that as the Bride finds the treasures hidden in the Scriptures, she willingly gives up all she owns, as to her own previous understanding, as well as all her earthly valuables — such as reputation, friendships, and riches. In exchange, she obtains an inexhaustible treasure. Such is the normal way of life for the Bride, as she goes about her kingdom preparation activities.
Her Candle is Not ExtinguishedNext we are reminded:
"...her candle <05216> goeth not out by night." (Proverbs 31:18b)The Hebrew word for candle <05216> meaning "lamp," continues even at night - during the times of great darkness. But what is the prophetic meaning of the lamp?
Thy word is a lamp <05216> unto my feet, and a light <0216> unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)-NUN
For the commandment is a lamp <05216>; and the Torah <08451> is light <0216>; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life. (Proverbs 6:23)
The light <0216> of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp <05216> of the wicked shall be put out. (Proverbs 13:9)In the above passages are a few of many where we see the prophetic meaning of the lamp, and of the light given off from the lamp. These basic Bible definitions will be of great significance when we address the issues of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, and of the Oil for the Light.
So we see that the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31 is a light to those around her, because she is allowing the Bridegroom to live within, by His Grace in her daily life, in full obedience to the Torah. Her candle-lamp does not go out during time of darkness — she now allows "Messiah in Her" to walk in her today, in the same obedience of keeping Torah, as when He lived and walked in His own body 2,000 years ago.
She Makes herself CoveringsA highly significant quality of the Bride is seen in the following passage:
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk <08336> and purple <0713> (Proverbs 31:22)Here we see the prophetic message by association, as well as by tracing definitions of individual Hebrew words. Here we see an association of coverings/deckings with silk [Hebrew <08336> meaning "white linen"] which speaks of righteous actions done by faith (Rev 19:8). We see also her clothing includes purple, which color speaks of covering, illuminating for us another important facet of the Bride — her appointed coverings (See Bride Covering Principles).
Three Choices: Grace, Beauty, or Fear of the LORDAlthough there are many more pictures within the Proverbs 31 passages, we will show only one more in this writing.
Favour <02580> is deceitful <08267>, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)The last two verses of Proverbs 31 serve as a warning to those that would be among the Bride Company, and also to the Virgins her companions that follow her, who come afterwards. First we are shown three possible directions of focus, on which the Bride-Candidates may choose to focus. The first possible focus is Grace; the second possible focus is Beauty/beautifying [her own preparation for her Wedding to the King]; the third possible focus is gaining the Fear of the LORD (Fear of Yahuweh).
Let us look at these, as three possible choices of focus.
Some Choose GraceFirst, we see Grace as a possible focus for the Bride-Candidate.
The word for Favour is the Hebrew word chen, Strong's number <02580> meaning "Grace." Here we are told that Grace is deceitful <08267> meaning "a lie, falsehood, and deceit." Surely we are saved by Biblical Grace through Biblical Faith. So what does this Proverb reveal to us?
Most teachings of Grace today have gone beyond what Scripture actually says. Today, many Bible teachers have abandoned the ancient practice of using Scripture alone to define Scriptural words, and allowing Scripture alone to interpret Scripture. By simply re-defining Bible words with man's own definitions, men today have poisoned the True Grace teaching of the Bible.
As a result, much of the Grace teachings today have become modern, man-made paradigms of Grace — a different way of looking at Grace. Many of the modern-day Grace teachings no longer reflect Grace in the true Biblical sense, but have become Doctrines of Men. This issue of True Biblical Grace is discussed more fully in a separate writing [See reference below].
So, as the Proverb says, much of today's Grace teaching is truly "a lie, falsehood, and deceit."
The First warning to the Bride can thus be seen in Proverbs 31:30. Man's focus on false teachings of Grace today (those that replace the true teachings of Grace as defined by the Bible) can actually prevent the Believer today from gaining her Bridal garments, and can also disqualify one from being among the Bride's companions.
Some Choose BeautyThe second possible focus for the Bride-Candidate is on Beauty/beautifying — and on the Bride's preparation for the Wedding, and on her looking out for the return of the King. This preparation is a good and noble focus. But as we are told in the Passage above, this focus is vain — it is empty, and will result in lack of fruit.
We are told in many ways throughout Scripture, that the beauty of the tree may come from its many branches and green leaves. But the tree will be not be judged by the appearance of the leaves, or the beauty of the tree. The tree will be judged only by the fruit it produces — and since the Seed is Righteousness, and the Tree is Righteousness, so must also the Fruit be Righteousness. The real Fruit that remains will come as a product from choosing the last of the three — the Fear of the LORD.
The Second warning to the Bride can now be seen in Proverbs 31:30. Some Bride-candidates today are focusing on beautifying — on the Bride's preparation, and on her waiting in anticipation as their main focus. They have not considered that the Master will be looking for Fruit when He comes, nor have they considered what kind of Fruit for which the Master will be looking.
Some Choose the Fear of YahuwehThe Reader would do well to investigate the qualities seen in all 28 of the passages containing the phrase, "Fear of the LORD" [The Fear of Yahuweh]. Here is where one may find the Bride issues laid out in detail. It is here where the Fruit is described. It is in putting these into action, where the Fruit will be produced, and found:
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. (Proverbs 31:31)As we see above in the last two verses, Proverbs 31:30-31, the Fruit produced by the Fear of the LORD is her works, which will praise her. It is the Fruit of her works that will give testimony of the true Biblical Grace — the power of the Bridegroom working within the Bride, to produce the Fruit of Righteousness.
The Third warning to the Bride can be seen in Proverbs 31:30-31. For those who do not choose the "Fear of the LORD," but instead choose Grace or Beauty, we are told the following result, seen in (Proverbs 1:28-29):
Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For [because] that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD... (Proverbs 1:28-29)The Proverbs as a whole give grave and serious warnings to those Bride-Candidates who desire to be among the Bride Company. When the Bridegroom knocks, some will be seriously lacking, unless they choose wisely — in advance.
These examples of the Woman of Proverbs 31 are only a few of many, given to us in Scripture by the Bridegroom Himself, in order that the Bride-Candidate might be spurred on to further investigating, on her own, some of the many Bride preparation issues. Abundant light has been sown, or planted, and there is much light to be reaped (Psalms 97:11).
May you, Dear Bride-Candidate, glean much light during the time of Harvest.