How Ruth is described as a virtuous woman in the Bible.
What a virtuous woman is, and Proverbs 31.
In what ways we can be virtuous women.
Ruth 3:11 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.
Here we see how that Boaz addresses Ruth that he is quite a bit older than her, by addressing her as “my daughter”. He also says something that really touches the heart, the same Words Jesus spoke often “fear not”.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Or Be not afraid:
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
I don’t know about anyone else but these words really comfort me as a caress on the cheek wiping away a lonely tear from the Savior, “be not afraid.” Boaz was comforting Ruth with his words and tells her that all she has spoken he will do. He was accepting her in his presence as Jesus accepts us when we humble ourselves at His feet, He will in no wise cast us away.
The next thing he says speaks volumes, it is a very amazing thing to hear from another person let alone a whole City. This word for city is gate in Hebrew and she was not only called a “virtuous woman” by those in the city of Bethlehem itself, but also by the elders that sat at the gate, these elders were the judges, and those coming through the gate! He tells her “for all the city of MY PEOPLE does know that you are a Virtuous Woman!
There is not a greater compliment that can ever be given to a woman alive than this one. Outward beauty fades as we discussed last week, it is the beauty within that shines brightly that makes men, women as well as children from afar stare and ponder what it is that makes you so beautiful a person. Outwardly you may be pleasant to look at or again you may be very plain.
There is one person written about that was born that was not good-looking, as a matter of fact no one would look at Him to lust after, but everyone that came in contact with Him was so in awe of Him. He was the most beautiful person to have ever lived and it was not outwardly that made Him that way, but who He was inwardly. Jesus Christ!
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
I do not know what Ruth looked like outwardly the Bible is silent concerning that, but I do know that to me she was the most beautiful woman of her day and time, honestly to me, for all time. For she had within her the beauty of God and was a virtuous woman, and only one who fears the LORD and walks with Him can be as such. I cannot find any other woman in the Bible called a “Virtuous Woman”, I am sure there have been many but she is written about as an example to see and understand. Also, think about this, Ruth was the mother of Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David, who was the father of Solomon, who is the author of PROVERBS 31! Ruth was the great-great-grandmother of Solomon and he pens these words. Now it is said his mother who was Bathsheba told him these words to write and live by. Many do not realize king Lemuel was a name Bathsheba called Solomon, and it is not far-fetched in believing that Bathsheba met the great-grandmother of David. Is it possible that Bathsheba was describing Solomon his own great-great grandmother’s Godly character and traits? Even if she had never met her it is probable she heard of the young Moabitess woman that married Boaz because when you marry a person you share intimate stories and family lines and family matters with one another. Just something to think on and consider how Solomon had this very rare woman he describes in his own lineage.
We read in Proverbs 31 this was given to king Lemuel by his mother. In Hebrew this name “Lemuel” signifies as one from God. Most Jewish and Christians scholars believe this was a name the Bathsheba called Solomon since he was a gift from God after the death of her firstborn son by David. His mother is teaching him to avoid certain things and certain woman and then tells him in detail the kind of Godly woman he is to choose and to love and respect. We see in this Chapter how Bathsheba demonstrates for each of us how we are to raise our own children. Teaching them the ways of the LORD verses the ways of desire and flesh. We as mothers and grandmothers should be raising our sons and daughters as Solomon’s mother raised him, and we see the same example in the New Testament with Timothy and his mother and grandmother teaching him. Eunice and Lois.
From TSK Cross Reference:
“This is the commencement of an alphabetical poem, each verse beginning consecutively with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet; in which we are presented with an admirable picture of a good wife, according to the primitive manners of the East.”
This poem is like those you have seen written that will start with the first letter of a name and each line the second letter then the third and so forth. That is how this is written but using the Hebrew Alphabet. In the Hebrew Alphabet we have a beautiful picture of the Godly woman, wife and mother God calls us all to be.
The Virtues of Noble Woman
10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
A Virtuous woman, then and especially now not easy to find. They are very rare and when found should be treated as the rare treasure she truly is. Rubies are far rarer than diamonds even. I said she is a rare but not impossible to fine, this is why it is so important when you seeking a wife or husband you seek the LORD first and foremost. He alone knows exactly who He created for you and when He chooses your spouse you are blessed.
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
The husband of a Virtuous woman has no reason not to trust her in everything, as well as money. He has no need to gain riches by any other way than working hard and honestly for them. He knows his wife will not spend money foolishly and is frugal with it. She is not one to just spend to feel good, or out of want and desire, but spends money wisely. She is not interested in outdoing the neighbor or sister in material things. If a household runs more like this, then there would be fewer women in the workforce, more at home taking care of the needs of her family and I personally I believe the husband will be able to work a 40 hour a week, provide comfort for the family, giving him the time to study the Word of God, pray without being exhausted and be the Spiritual leader he is called to be. If we were to actually look around our homes, the money coming in and going out, how much can be done away with? Do we really need cable tv and internet? Is it honestly necessary for your household to have 4-5 cell phones? How many flat screen tv’s does one household need? Does your child really need a tv in their room spending time away from the family and watching who knows what? Do you need to eat out once or twice a week? Isn’t is more profitable to home cook meals rather than by frozen quick and easy microwave meals? Why are you going to high-end stores to buy clothing? When at simple retail stores have the same thing just cheaper? Why not take a sewing class and learn to make a few things yourself? Is it a necessity to get your nails, toes, and hair done each week or bi-weekly? Do you need expensive perfumes and top of the line cosmetics? Honestly, if we do away with the foolishness and the desire to keep up with others (which is pride) then we can live a good as well as well to do life. In turn would give us extra to help the poor and those in need with the abundance God provided as we follow His guidelines, would we not?
12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She will always do him good, in front of him but more importantly away from him. She will always uphold his good name and speak kindly of him. She will never tear him down in the eyes of others. She lifts up her husband and his character until the day she dies. She truly honors him and his name she bears.
13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
In this passage we tend to overlook this one, thinking this has nothing to do with modern times. Because we do not weave wool and use flax in everyday life today, but the point it is making is she seeks out work to do at home and works willingly with her hands. We are to do this as well, a Virtuous woman is not sitting around, filling her face, playing on Facebook as her husband works during the day. She is always busy and if there is a way for her to bring extra money into the household by working from home she will do it without complaint. By doing this she also teaches her children the joys in working and not to be lazy.
14She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
In the time they lived in there was a lot of trade, and merchandise coming from foreign lands with the choicest of items. She would herself by import and export provide the best for her family. Like a merchant ship carries goods so does she that she made herself, exchanging for the best foods from distant lands. It would be like women today traveling that extra mile or two for the best strawberries lets say but at a fairer price. Instead of settling for bruised soft and over priced fruit in order to save time.
15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
This woman will rise early before all before the sun rises in order to provide breakfast for them to begin their day. She not only provides breakfast for her family but for her servants as well!
16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
If she finds a parcel of land that is good for planting she will buy it, not as bragging rights but to actually till it and plant food for her family as well as to sell. She does not just buy it without thinking about it and looking into it, she does nothing on a whim. Again we see how she is anything but lazy and she is very industrious, working from home.
17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She keeps her mind and her body fit and ready always to work. Girding your loins gives you the picture of tucking in a long garment about the waist to be able to perform certain tasks. She is fit and able to perform the duties needed to sell and trade as needed. She is fit to be able to work along side of those she employs as well.
18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
Her merchandise is good and obviously sells well. She has a good reputation concerning her merchandise. No matter how much she works for her household she is never too busy or too tired to be readily available for anyone in her household.
19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
Again, we see how industrious and none lazy a Virtuous woman truly is. If she is not working for her own household she will provide for others as well.
20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She helps others by the abundance her household has, through her prudence and hard work she is able to lend a helping hand and supply the needs of the poor. And it never comes out of the household needs or budget but always from the abundance that comes in through her working and never staying idle at home.
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes sure her household is clothed for the weather conditions at all time. Whether through making them herself or purchasing them, her household is never in need.
22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
She makes her own blankets and clothing. She dresses as a women and is not mistaken for a man. Some may not like this but the day we live in you have women wearing men’s clothing and no one thinks any thing of it, yet we have men wearing women’s clothing and get horrified. Why? What is the difference? Men and women are created different and we should be able to tell them apart by their appearance. What does God say about apparel? Is He into the unisex clothing, which means either sex can wear it? I am not saying a woman should be in a dress or even a skirt all the time, there are obvious apparel that are women’s and obvious apparel that are men’s. You have color’s and styles that speak loudly if it is feminine or not. A Virtuous woman looks like a women. We as women should at all times have a pleasant appearance, be modest, and be adorned beautifully for her husband. Note I said for her husband, not for herself or others.
The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
Her husband holds great honors because of her and her respected reputation. So much so he is seated in the gates with elders and those esteem honorable. If she was a slanderous woman he would not have the invitation to do so.
24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Again we see how industrious this woman is.
25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She wears her praises from others well and is not boastful about them, but the goodness she does clothes her. Her studious actions will pay off as she sees her children grow into Godly, industrious adults. She will rejoice seeing the fruit of her labor as they will follow in her steps. Also she is a woman at peace and when hard times come she will not be in despair but be able to rejoice because of the fact she was never idle but stored up for difficult times.
26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She is a very wise woman and a few verses down we will see why. Because she fears the LORD, and the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. The Virtuous woman does not speak foolishly, she speaks when it is needed and avoids idle chatter which brings forth sin. She has learned to bridle the tongue and when she does speak it is with wisdom and in kindness. She does not use a hateful or condensing tone but it is with true kindness. We are to limit what we say, it actually says to let your yah be yah and your nay be nay anything more comes sin. She is not a gossip a talebearer, she does not backbite or speak in anger.
27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
She has her family at all times on her mind. Her aim is to take care of and teach her children in the ways of the LORD and a morally sound work ethic. She does not just sit around shouting orders out to her children to get her this or to do that but she will work along side them to teach.
28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Her children and husband will have nothing evil to speak of her. Her children are not spoiled she does not do everything for them but teaches them in gentleness and kindness. She does not yell and scream to get things done in her home. She does not raise her voice to her children or husband therefore they can do nothing more than to praise her.
29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
The woman that walks in these ways of the LORD will excel in her life naturally and spiritually as well.
30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
The word favor can be deceiving almost because it makes no sense in our minds according to our language.
This is what it means: Means generally good will, acceptance, and the benefits flowing from these; in older usage, it meant also the countenance, hence, appearance. I also read in Webster’s that says it means disposition. So, we see when it says favour is deceitful it is talking about their appearances like a fake smile, and a kind gesture but done with evil intentions. People can control their facial expressions and look pious, look gentle and kind but not be inside, it can be deceitful. Favor is a mask of sorts hiding the true person underneath.
Next, it says beauty is vain, we live in a society that outward appearance is everything. Hollywood has dictated what females should look like through movies, commercials, magazines and videos. If you are not a size 3, face painted, false lashes, luscious lips, fake nails and fancy clothing then you are not accepted. Everyone is trying to keep up, even the older women, look around so many are focused on the outward appearance. Those in their 40’s and 50’s trying to look like they are in their 20’s again. It is sickening honestly. Check out those on social media on how many selfies and videos people have of themselves! Outward beauty will fade regardless how much makeup you use, false lashes, lip plumper or surgeries performed. Your outward beauty will fade, but the fear of the LORD is to be praised. There is not a more beautiful person than that of someone who has a Holy fear of the LORD! A woman loves to hear praises, it is a fact. Some relish in praises of her outward beauty, her body, her intellect, but a Virtuous woman is honored to be praised for her fear of the LORD for her Godly behavior in which she points to the LORD for her Virtue and glory’s in Him.
A Virtuous woman does not seek the praises of men but of God who sees not as man sees!
31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
The work of her hand will praise her. Everyone will know of her and will praise her. She does not praise herself, others praise her. This woman in Proverbs 31 is the picture of Ruth who is a picture of the Bride of Christ.
Boaz was describing Ruth’s excellence and worth, which is far above rubies! She was morally uncorrupt, she was chaste meaning she was pure from sexual sins, her speech was undefiled, she was righteous and graceful. They knew this by her conduct since returning with Naomi and leaving her own father and mother, the land of her nativity, the plenty it offered to live in a city with her mother-in-law, poor, widowed, in a land that was filled with people who despised her people. I believe many watched her closely to see what she was all about, I believe they judged her actions and found her to be virtuous the more they watched her.
David Guzik writes:
- Literally, Boaz called Ruth a hah-yil woman. The basic meaning behind this Hebrew word is “strength; moral strength, good quality, integrity, virtue.” This same word is used in a term for heroes in the Bible: A mighty man of valor. Just a courage and strength make a man a hero, so Ruth’s courage and strength, shown in her virtue – make her a hero, on the Pro_31:1-31 kind of definition of a woman of virtue. Her humility paved the way for honor.
The non-existence of her proclaiming her own virtue makes other people shout about it!
Boaz accepts her, Jesus accept us
Boaz refers to her as daughter, Jesus refers to us as daughter
Boaz tells her to fear not, Jesus tells us to fear not
Boaz tells her the people call her a Virtuous Woman, Jesus is coming back for His Bride who is a Virtuous Bride.
Though those in Boaz day had great admiration for her, those in our day see the Virtue in the True Bride of Christ and hate her for it. This is a distinct difference in the time we live in.