Proverbs 31:22

ESV She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
NIV She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
NASB She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
CSB She makes her own bed coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
NLT She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
KJV She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
NKJV She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

What does Proverbs 31:22 mean?

The industrious, excellent wife (Proverbs 31:10) is depicted using imagery common to ancient middle eastern homes. Earlier verses mentioned working with enthusiasm, also by referring to textile work (Proverbs 31:13, 19). This passage has also noted her ability to care for the basic needs of her household (Proverbs 31:14–15). The prior verse mentioned provision against cold weather (Proverbs 31:21); this reference implies a similar ability to arrange a home. Her skill and dedication include seeing to the clothes and bedsheets needed by the family. As with the last verse, the color is mentioned as an indicator of quality.

Purple dyes were originally made by drying secretions from a sea snail. This made them extremely expensive, so purple was associated with royalty and great prestige in the ancient world. When Paul and his missionary companions entered Philippi, they found a group of women praying by a river. One of the women was Lydia, a seller of purple (Acts 16:11–15). This suggests her business was high-class; purple robes were popular but pricey. Philippi was a Roman colony chosen to copy Rome's culture and spread that culture throughout Macedonia. Because the nobles of Rome wore purple garments, the Philippians followed the custom, likely contributing to Lydia's success as a businesswoman.
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