Eshet Chayil – Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31 is another writing where each sentence begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alef-bet.  Playing around I wondered how or if the word pictures of the letters had any significance to what was written.  Here’s what I came up with.

Alef – Ox Head (strong, powerful leader)

Who can find an eshet chayil (a woman of valor, an excellent wife)?   Her value is far beyond that of pearls.

A man is looking for a strong, powerful, brave courageous woman who has the value of fine jewels. 


Bet – A Tent (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.

The eshet chayil will keep the heart or home of her husband. 


Gimel – Camel (gather, walk, self-will or 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 self-will and pride, but will consider whether her actions bring good or harm to her husband.


Dalet – Door (entrance, move)

She procures a supply of wool and flax and works with willing hands.

The eshet chayil will move and work with her hands during times of cold (wool) and heat (flax). The eshet chayil brings life, understanding of salvation and redemption into her family.  

Wool and flax represent the salvation/redemption message.  Wool is the covering of a lamb.  We receive the covering for our sins from a lamb.  The priesthood wore linen and fine linen is  given to the Bride of Messiah as a symbol of her righteous acts.


Hey – Man with Arms Raised (look, reveal, breath)

She is like those merchant vessels, bringing her food from far away.

The eshet chayil travels like a merchant ship to bring the best nourishment for her family  from far away places. 


Vav – Tent Peg (secure, hook)

She rises also while it is yet lailah (nighttime), and provides food to her bet (household) and a portion to her na’arot (servant girls).

The eshet chayil not only brings security to her home,  but also to those who serve in her home.  


Zayin – Weapon (food, cut, nourish)

She considers a field, then buys it, with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

The eshet chayil is a wise economist and works with her hands so that she can bring forth fruit – the cutting and nourishing of a vineyard.  Yeshua spoke of four seeds in the Parable of the Sower.  The eshet chayil understands the spiritual heart condition of her family and sows seeds in order to reap a harvest.  


Chet – Fence (separate, protect)

She girds her loins with strength and strengthens her arms.

The eshet chayil prepares mentally and physically to protect her family. 


Tet – Snake or Basket (surround, contain)

She sees that her business dealings are good; her ner (lamp) does not go out at night.

The eshet chayil keeps herself and her family from from the darkness of the evil one (snake).  She is wise and discerning and surrounds herself with good business associates and fills her basket wisely. 


Yod – Arm and Closed Hand (finished work, throw)

She puts her hands to the distaff with the flax; her fingers to the spinning rod.

The eshet chayil uses a distaff to keep all things (spinning and weaving) from becoming tangled.  She keeps to her own affairs – those of women – rather than the affairs of her husband.  According to Titus 2, a woman is to be busy in her own home, teaching and training her children.  But doing this, the order of the home is maintained there is no confusion. 


Kof – Open Hand (allow, bend, open)

She reaches out to embrace the poor and opens her arms to the needy.

The eshet chayil is open to hospitality, taking care of the widow and the fatherless.  She will help the poor, the homeless, and those in need.  


Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff (teach, yoke, bind, toward)

When it snows,  she has no fear for her household; since all of them are doubly clothed.

The eshet chayil has vision as she looks toward the future and prepares.  Her household is ready for winter and everything that comes with it: snow, cold, illness, food storage …. 


Mem – Water (chaos, mighty, blood)

She makes her own coverings;  she is clothed in fine linen and scarlet (purple).

The eshet chayil not only makes coverings for her family’s beds and pillows, but also for herself.   She covers herself as is appropriate for a ‘queen’ (linen and purple (scarlet)).  


Nun – Sprout (continue, heir)

Her husband is known at the city gates when he sits with the leaders of the land. 

The eshet chayil has a good reputation and her husband has the liberty to sit at the city gates with leaders because he knows that his household is being taken care of.  


Samech – To Prop and Support (to twist and turn aside as in a plant)

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.   


Ayin – Eye (watch, know)

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 who has integrity and dignity.  The eshet chayil  knows that she is prepared for the coming days – physically as well as spiritually.  She has prepared herself, her family, and her husband and can smile and ‘rest’.   


Peh – Mouth (speak, open, the beginning of a river)

When she opens her mouth, she speaks wisely; on her lashon (tongue)  is torah chesed (loving instruction).

The eshet chayil is a river of life with her wisdom bringing words of life, love and instruction to others.


Tzadi – Fishhook (stronghold, desire, trouble something inescapable)

She watches how things go in her house, not eating the lechem atzlut (bread of idleness).

The eshet chayil is not caught up in the ‘rat race’ of life (the school of fish).  Her home is her stronghold and she she keeps her focus there.  She does not become ‘caught in the fishook’ that is the gossip and slander that may accompany idleness because she has a focus on her home and family. 


Qoof – Back of the Head or Sun at the Horizon (circle, what is behind, ‘last’, final)

Her children arise; they make her happy; her husband too, as he praises her:

The eshet chayil uses her time wisely.  She is blessed as the sun sets on the horizon of her day (yom), week (Sabbath), month (Rosh Chodesh), year (Teruah), and lifetime.   


Resh – Head of a Man (first, top, beginning)

Rabbot (Many women) have done wonderful things, but you surpass them all.

The eshet chayil surpasses all other women because of her spiritual as well as physical life.  


Shin – Two Front Teeth (sharp, press, eat) – Sometimes considered the Shekinah glory

Chen (charm) Charm is sheker (deceitful), and yofi (beauty) is fleeting, but an ish Yirat Hashem  (a woman who fears Yahweh), she shall be praised.

The eshet chayil will be praised because of her evident faith (fear) of Yahweh.  She will bring glory to the Father because of her faithful lifestyle. 


Tau – Two Sticks Crossing (mark, sign, ownership, 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 has the mark of the covenant, a sign of her relationship with her husband.  She is a woman who is known at the city gates because of the work she does in her home and community –  in providing for her family and servants, business dealings in the market, and food preparation, business dealings in the market square. 

©2013 Tent Stake Ministries

2 Responses to “Eshet Chayil – Proverbs 31”

  • Donna says:

    How can I share this article ?

    Also; is there a way to receive a copy of this article?

    • Yahulia says:

      Absolutely, you may share this article. I write them to encourage others. As far as a ‘hard copy’, this particular article is not in the book Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive so I will sent you a copy that is a PDF. Please make sure that you give Tent Stake Ministries credit as you pass it around. Thank you.

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