Proverbs 31:10

ESV An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
NIV A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
NASB An excellent wife, who can find her? For her worth is far above jewels.
CSB Who can find a wife of noble character? She is far more precious than jewels.
NLT Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
KJV Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
NKJV Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.

What does Proverbs 31:10 mean?

This begins a famous passage in the Old Testament. The ideals given in these verses are often referred to as a description of "a Proverbs 31 woman / wife." The virtues explained are not overtly male, but some are more stereotypically associated with men, such as business acumen and leadership. Yet, Scripture here explicitly applies these to a woman; this demonstrates that women are capable of those strengths, as well. While some commentators attempt to interpret "an excellent wife" to mean the Old Testament law, the church, or the Holy Spirit, there is no valid reason to do so. The depiction is straightforward: of a woman of virtuous, godly character.

Just as men of integrity are not common (Proverbs 20:6), this verse notes that few women attain these qualities. Abraham wanted to find the right wife for his son Isaac, so he sent a trusted servant on a mission to find her. His mission was successful, and he credited the Lord with the success (Genesis 24:48). When a man trusts the Lord and is guided to the right woman, he will discover that she is "far more precious than jewels."

Scripture uses poetic structure in this section. The last twenty-two verses of the chapter form an "acrostic:" each line begins with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet.
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