Proverbs 31 is known as the Eshet Chayil in Hebrew meaning ‘woman of strength’ or ‘warrior woman.’ The Eshet Chayil is an ‘shadow’ of the Bride of Yeshua. Each sentence of this Proverb begins with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alef-bet.
Alef – Ox (first, strength)
“Who can find an eshet chayil (a woman of valor, an excellent wife)? Her value is far beyond that of pearls.”
A man looks for a strong, brave, and courageous woman whose worth is that of a valuable pearl.
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for fine pearls. On finding one very valuable pearl he went away, sold everything he owned and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46).
Bet – A Tent (house, family)
“The lev of her ba’al (the heart of her husband) securely trusts in her so that he shall have no lack of gain” (Orthodox Jewish Bible).
The eshet chayil will keep and protect the heart of her Husband, who is the head of the house and family.
“He told him, “‘You are to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength‘” (Matthew 22:7).
Gimel – Camel (lift up, pride)
“She will do him tov (good) and not rah (harm) all the days of her life.”
The eshet chayil will not walk in her own pride, but will lift up her Husband in goodness as long as she lives.
“So Yeshua said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM [who I say I am], and that of myself I do nothing, but say only what the Father has taught me” (John 8:28).
Dalet – Door (pathway)
“She procures a supply of wool and flax and works with willing hands.”
Wool and flax represent the redemption/sanctification message. Wool is the covering of the Lamb through which we receive the atonement for our sins. From flax, fine linen is made, the covering for the the priesthood and the Bride.
The eshet chayil knows the pathway for her family. She works with her hands during times of cold (wool) and heat (flax).
“They were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands; and they shouted, “Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10).
Hey – Window (behold, reveal)
“She is like those merchant vessels, bringing her food from far away.”
The eshet chayil is compared to a merchant vessel who travels, even to faraway stores, wherever there is revelation for good food offering the best nutrition.
“Yeshua answered, “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).
Vav – Nail (secure, binding)
“She rises also while it is yet lailah (nighttime), and provides food to her bayit (house) and a portion to her na’arot (servant girls).”
The eshet chayil is bound to her home, even rising at night, to see to the needs of her family and servants.
“When a strong man [woman] who is fully equipped for battle guards his own house, his possessions are secure” (Luke 11:21).
Zayin – Weapon (divide, cut)
“She considers a field, then buys it, with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”
The eshet chayil cuts deals, buys lands on which she can bring forth nourishing fruit; she plants a vineyard.
“You will recognize them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16).
Chet – Fence (protect, surround)
“She girds her loins with strength and strengthens her arms.”
The eshet chayil is prepared to protect her her family from ‘warfare,’ surrounding them with the strength of her arms.
“I don’t ask you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the Evil One” (John 17:15).
Tet – Snake (twisting)
“She sees that her business dealings are good; her ner (lamp) does not go out at night.”
The eshet chayil makes sure her business deals are true and honest, even it she has to work through the night.
“Your word is a lamp for my foot and light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Yod – Arm and Closed Hand (finished work)
“She puts her hands to the distaff with the flax; her fingers to the spinning rod.”
The eshet chayil keeps to her own affairs, stays busy in her own home teaching the next generation.
“They should teach what is good, thus training the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to take good care of their homes and submit to their husbands” (Titus 2:3-5).
Kof – Open Hand (to allow, to open)
“She reaches out to embrace the poor and opens her arms to the needy.”
The eshet chayil has an open arms of hospitality, taking care of the widow and the fatherless; the poor, the homeless, and those in need.
“The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world” (James 1:27).
Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff (urging forward)
“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; since all of them are doubly clothed.”
The eshet chayil looks toward the future and makes extra preparations for winter: snow, cold, and illness.
“Therefore you too must always be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you are not expecting him… pray that you will not have to escape in winter or on Shabbat.” (Matthew 24:20, 44).
Mem – Water (mighty)
“She makes her own coverings; she is clothed in fine linen and scarlet (purple).”
The eshet chayil is a mighty woman sewing her own garments and covering herself as is appropriate for a royal Bride: fine linen and purple.
“For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his Bride has prepared herself — fine linen, bright and clean has been given her to wear.” (“Fine linen” means the righteous deeds of God’s people.)” (Revelation 19:7-8).
Nun – Fish (life)
“Her husband is known at the city gates when he sits with the leaders of the land.”
The eshet chayil‘s Husband has an honored life and is known for His wisdom.
“So that all may honor the Son as they honor the Father” (John 5:23).
Samech – To Prop (support)
“She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchants with sashes.”
The eshet chayil supports the community and the local merchants with her talents.
“All the women who were skilled at spinning got to work and brought what they had spun, the blue, purple and scarlet yarn and the fine linen” (Exodus 25:35).
Ayin – Eye (see, understand)
“Oz (strength) and hadar (dignity) are her clothing; and her smile is toward the yom acharon (coming day, future).”
The eshet chayil is a woman of integrity and dignity. She is prepared for the future – physically as well as spiritually.
“Adonai gives the command; the women with the good news [of the kingdom] are a mighty army” (Psalm 68:12).
Peh – Mouth (speak, mouth)
“When she opens her mouth, she speaks wisely; on her lashon (tongue) is torah chesed (loving instruction).”
The eshet chayil is a source of wisdom and God’s loving instructions.
“Let your conversation always be gracious and interesting, so that you will know how to respond to any particular individual” (Colossians 4:6).
Tzadik – Fishhook (desire, pull toward)
“She watches how things go in her house, not eating the lechem atzlut (bread of idleness).”
The eshet chayil is not pulled toward the ‘rat race’ of life. She focuses on her home and does not get ‘caught in the fishook’ of gossip and slander that accompanies idleness.
“Let it be the inner character of your heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit. In God’s sight this is of great value” (1 Peter 3:4).
Qof – Back of the Head( what is behind, final)
“Her children arise; they make her happy; her husband too, as he praises her:”
The eshet chayil‘s final blessing is her children who grow up godly and faithful; her husband praises her for her faithfulness to the family.
“The righteous live a life of integrity; happy are their children after them” (Proverbs 20:7).
Resh – Head of a Man (leader, highest authority)
“Rabbot (Many teaching women) have done wonderful things, but you surpass them all.”
The eshet chayil has a spiritual life that teaches other women because her Husband is her her highest authority.
“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is the Messiah, and the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of the Messiah is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
Shin – Teeth (consume)
“Chen (charm) is sheker (deceitful), and yofi (beauty) is fleeting, but an ish Yirat Hashem (a woman who fears Adonai), she shall be praised.”
The eshet chayil is consumed with her fear Adonai; she is not concerned with aging and there is no ‘charm’ or deceit found in her.
“I am continually consumed with longing for your rulings” (Psalm 119:20).
Tav – Two Sticks Crossing (sign, covenant)
“Give her of the p’ri (fruit) of her yadayim (hands); and let her own works praise her at the city gates.”
The eshet chayil is the ‘sign of the covenant’ for her Husband. She is known at the city gates because of the work she has done in her home and community while providing for her family and servants, gathering food and making business deals in the market square.
“Also I saw the holy city, New Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).
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