Searchfortreasure's Blog

…a Bible student's notes…

Nabal & Abigail, cont’d,….introducing virtuous behaviors…

Abigail is going to display some virtuous behaviors. You might have read on ahead and seen this woman at work.

I have been reminded of – in the meantime – of the Proverbs 31 lady and want to review her behaviors at this point in my study and meditations. The word, “proverb” means, “to rule.” They are written pertaining to a son, or sonship, as an application for me. Rules of behaviors given as a guide to those who aspire to be “placed as a son” in the coming kingdom of our Lord. This is the attitude of my heart as I read. I want to know how to govern myself, so as to be a wise “governor” in the age to come.

Verse 10, in chapter 31, begins: Who can find a virtuous woman?” The question is written in such a way as the answer to be understood – “Well, hardly is there such a woman.” There is only one that is named in the Scriptures – Ruth.

The word, “virtuous” is a masculine noun! Go ahead – read that again, look it up yourself; but it is still a masculine noun used to describe a woman. It is #H2428 and has been translated in varied valiant, masculine ways 243 times in the Old Testament. The first time it appears is “wealth” in Genesis 34:29. (I am using the KJV.) It has been translated: “army,” “company” in 2 Chron. 9:1, “forces,” “war,” “strong,” “power,” “might,” “strength,” “soldiers,” “host,” “able men,” (such as fear God), “men of valour,” “valiantly,” “train” in 1 Kings 10:2, “riches,” “substance,” “worthy,” “worthily,” and spoken of Zadok, one of David’s faithful men. I looked at each of the 243 verses for my information.

Pro 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

I want to leave you with a rather long quote from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words for your edification and consideration:

First, this word signifies a faculty or “power,” the ability to effect or produce something. The word is used of physical “strength” in the sense of power that can be exerted: “If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength…” (Ecc_10:10). Quite often this word appears in a military context. Here it is the physical strength, power, and ability to perform in battle that is in view. This idea is used of men in 1Sa_2:4 : “The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength” (cf. Psa_18:32, Psa_18:39). Psa_33:17 applies the word to a war horse. An interesting me of chayil appears in Num_24:17-18, where Balaam prophesied the destruction of Moab and Edom at the hands of Israel: “And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and lsrael shall do valiantly” (Num_24:18). The idea here is dynamic; something is happening. One might also render this phrase: “Israel performs mightily.” This translation of the word is somewhat inexact; a noun is translated as an adverb.

Second, chayil means “wealth, property.” This nuance of the word focuses on that which demonstrates one’s ability, his wealth or goods; Levi, Simeon, and their cohorts attacked the Shechemites: “And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the home” (Gen_34:29—the first biblical occurrence of the word). In Num_31:9 chayil includes all the possessions of the Midianites except the women, children, cattle, and flocks. Thus it seems to be a little narrower in meaning. When this nuance is used with the Hebrew word “to do or make,” the resulting phrase means “to become wealthy or make wealth” (cf. Deu_8:18; Rth_4:11). This is in marked contrast to the emphasis of the same construction in Num_24:18. Joe_2:22 uses chayil in the sense of “wealth” or products of the ability of a tree to produce fruit.

Third, several passages use the word in the sense of “able.” In Gen_47:6 the ability to do a job well is in view. Pharaoh told Joseph: “The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity [capable men] among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.” This word can also represent the domestic skills of a woman—Ruth is described as a woman of ability and, therefore, either potentially or actually a good wife (Rth_3:11; Pro_12:4). When applied to men, chayil sometimes focuses on their ability to conduct themselves well in battle as well as being loyal to their commanders (1Sa_14:52; 1Ki_1:42). When used in such contexts, the word may be translated “valiant”: “And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him” (1Sa_14:52; cf. Num_24:18; 1Sa_14:48).

Fourth, this word sometimes means “army”; “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honored upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host [army]…” (Exo_14:4). The word can also refer to the army as troops in the sense of a combination of a lot of individuals. Under such an idea the word can represent the members of an army distributed to perform certain functions. Jehoshaphat “placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah…” (2Ch_17:2). This is also the emphasis in 1Ki_15:20 : “Ben-hadad…sent the captains of the hosts which he had [NASB, “commanders of his armies”] against the cities of Israel….”

Fifth, chayil sometimes represents the “upper class,” who, as in all feudal systems, were at once soldiers, wealthy, and influential; Sanballat “spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria,” i.e., in the royal court (NASB, “wealthy men”; Neh_4:2). The Queen of Sheba was accompanied by a large escort of upperclass people from her homeland: “And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train…” (1Ki_10:2).

 

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November 3, 2010 - Posted by | Just for Women, Nabal and Abigail

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