Far above rubies

Proverbs 31--10

One of the most dramatic portraits of an ideal wife and mother is found in Proverbs 31:10 which asks a question, and subsequent verses provide the answer:

 Who can find a virtuous wife?

For her worth is far above rubies.

This passage indicates that she is priceless, implying that as a good wife and mother, the woman so described is of inestimable worth. Mother’s Day and other occasions provide an opportunity to express just how valuable wives and mothers are in our daily lives. Here are a number of renderings of the celebrated passage.

Proverbs 31:10 (Amplified Bible)

An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her? Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.

English Standard Version:

 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

Expanded Bible:

 It is hard to [Who can…?] find a good [noble; virtuous] wife [Ruth 3:11], because she is worth more than ·rubies [or pearls].

New Life Version:

Who can find a good wife? For she is worth far more than rubies that make one rich.

The Voice:

 Who can find a truly excellent woman? One who is superior in all that she is and all that she does? Her worth far exceeds that of rubies and expensive jewelry.

According to the Comprehensive Guide to Buying Rubies on Ebay,

. . . Rubies are one of the most expensive and sought after of all gems.  Rubies have been loved for thousands of years According to The Bible a Ruby was the chief stone in Aaron’s Breastplate and the stone of Judah. Because Israel’s king came from Judah, the ruby came to be associated with royalty.

Prior to the 20th century, rubies were considered more valuable than diamonds, and in the mid-16th century a fine ruby was priced at eight times more valuable than a comparable diamond.   Today an exceptionally fine ruby of three carats or more will still command a higher price than a diamond of the same size.

Proverbs 31 goes on to comment on the character of this noble, resourceful woman and the response of her children and her husband:

Proverbs 31:27-28 (NKJV) has this to say:

She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:

The Verse of the Day for May 13, 2016 offers closing comments on the fleeting nature of beauty:

Proverbs 31:30 (KJV):

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

The Amplified Bible says this:

Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.

Listen this description of a “Proverbs 31 Woman”:

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