“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
Strong’s H6605 – pathach
1) to open
a) (Qal) to open
b) (Niphal) to be opened, be let loose, be thrown open
1) to free
2) to loosen
3) to open, open oneself
d) (Hithpael) to loose oneself
2) to carve, engrave
a) (Piel) to engrave
b) (Pual) to be engraved
She openeth – hmmmmm, look at “b” – be let loose, be thrown open. Now that paints are fairly clear picture doesn’t it. How many times in our lives have we opened our mouth and just let loose – wagging our tongues, blabbing anything and everything that comes into our heads. Oh Father – forgive us! How many jokes are there about the stereotypical woman with her mouth wide open? Sadly, there is a great deal of truth in that stereotype. On the other hand I have met a number of women in my life who are not very bright, nor very deep spiritually – in fact very shallow spiritually, but because they are quiet they are considered Godly and wise. Interesting.
Have you ever heard the phrase “open a can of worms”? I actually thought of that when I read this definition because so often when a person speaks it seems that there are all kind of directions their statements can take. We know that written words, especially through emails and texts, do not always convey exactly what is wanted because there is no intonation in the words, no fluctuation of tone, no facial expression to accompany those words and therefore misunderstanding becomes more common. I saw a funny sign the other day about punctuation:
Funny! But how true it is that simple mistakes in punctuation as well as phrasing and tone can change a simple statement to something cruel and brutal. How important it is to guard our mouth! Have you ever seen a scary movie and just as the person gets to the door the music begins to swell and the drums begin to beat loudly and more rapidly and as the door opens the music is almost deafening? What if that happened every time our lips began to part for us to speak? I think we would definitely be a bit more cautious opening our mouths, wouldn’t we?!!!!
Notice also number 2 of our Strong’s definition above: to carve, engrave. It really causes me to realize that words have so much strength, so much force, that they could be permanently engraved on someone’s heart and mind. I remember clearly things that were said to me years ago when I was a child that still come back in my mind – some sweet, kind words and some harsh and hurtful. Truly it is like they are engraved in my memory and though they cannot and do not hurt me anymore, the memory is still there. As we mature in Christ, those hurts heal – or at least they should heal, but the memory is not gone. I think the Lord allows the memory to stay to help us remember where He brought us from. When you can look back on painful and sorrowful times and it not hurt you anymore, then you know you are healed. If you are still hurting then you need to go to the Father and seek His healing touch in those areas. That being said, we need to examine the areas we have wounded others with our words.
Wisdom – Strong’s H2451 – chokmah
a) skill (in war)
b) wisdom (in administration)
c) shrewdness, wisdom
d) wisdom, prudence (in religious affairs)
e) wisdom (ethical and religious)
Webster’s definition of Wisdom:
1 a : accumulated philosophic or scientific learning : knowledge
b : ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight
c : good sense : judgment
d : generally accepted belief
2 : a wise attitude, belief, or course of action
3 : the teachings of the ancient wise men
Some of the aspects listed in this definition in Webster’s are intriguing because, as we think them out, I wonder if they are accurate. I refer specifically to letter “d” under section “1″ - “generally accepted belief”. I am not a scholar but I do believe that simply because an idea is “generally accepted”, that does not make it wise. There was a generally accepted idea for centuries that the Earth was flat like a table – obviously that was not wisdom. This is one example.
I don’t think there is a person on the planet who does not wish to be considered wise. It is one of the highest compliments, don’t you agree? To have discernment, insight, good judgment and knowledge is much to be desired. You desire these things or you would not be seeking a Bible Study on Proverbs 31.
I desire them and that is why I am studying Proverbs 31.
Eve desired to be wise and that is one of the reasons she ate the forbidden fruit: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Genesis 3:6
The question is did she truly want wisdom or did she want knowledge. She already knew good – God had shown her all that He had made in the garden and “it was good”. He had a relationship with her – we KNOW that was good. She had a wonderful, loving husband and that is always good. She had all that she needed physically. All her needs were met. Intellectually she was stimulated – I say that because she had daily conversations with the Creator of the Universe. She was a participant in caring for this incredible garden. But something was obviously lacking. All her knowledge was not enough for her. She was not content. So her eyes turned toward that which was forbidden to her. And her excuse for partaking in this forbidden thing – it would make her wise. NO, she thought it would make her like God – she already had everything she needed in life, but she wanted to be like God and she didn’t care if it meant destroying everything else. She wanted power and control.
Look at number 1. a. under Webster’s definition – accumulated philosophic or scientific learning : knowledge. She was about to obtain scientific learning. She was accumulating philosophic knowledge, not Godly wisdom.
- Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.
- Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.
- The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.
I don’t want to overkill on definitions here but let’s be sure of what we are talking about. Eve did not pursue wisdom, not Godly wisdom. She looked at the tree – the FORDIDDEN tree and then pondered on its merits. It looked pretty and the fruit looked tasty and nutritious and oh, so beneficial. So she decided – SHE decided – that she knew better than God or her husband because SHE had examined the situation and made her conclusion. Did she even have to eat the fruit to have been in rebellion? Hmmm I wonder. Was she not already in rebellion in her mind and in her heart? All that pondering and determining and making those decisions essentially saying that she knew more than God and her husband – wasn’t the deed already done. I think it was.
That reminds me of something in the book of Matthew - Matthew 15:19, 20a, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man:”
Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Did Eve have the fear of the Lord? Did she truly honor and respect His Word or did she think she could see the situation a bit better than He could. I mean, after all, He was just floating around Heaven, right?! He only came down once a day in the afternoon and chit-chatted with Adam in the garden. How could GOD know all about that tree? She had examined it, pondered it and SHE had it all figured out. Sisters – are we using God’s wisdom or are we leaning to our own understanding and making our conclusions thusly?
Do we want the world’s philosophical idea of wisdom or do we want God-given wisdom. Women often times are quick thinkers. I mean we think we can come to conclusions about things much more quickly than men do and we tend to hold those conclusions as if they are absolute truth like a bulldog holding a bone. The problem is that while we hold those philosophies and believe that we have some sort of revelation, oftentimes we do not have the wisdom that our knowledge may require. This leads us right into the next part of this verse. Before I go there let me add one more point to “she openeth her mouth with wisdom” – not only is this addressing what comes out of her mouth but also WHEN she opens her mouth. Sisters – WE TALK TOO MUCH, TOO OFTEN and TOO QUICKLY. Let us use God’s wisdom and learn when NOT to speak even if we feel confident in what we want to say. I exhort you and I exhort myself in this.
Next Phrase – “and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
Strong’s H2617 – checed
1) goodness, kindness, faithfulness
*2) a reproach, shame
We all can truly understand what kindness is. We may not be able to define in words but we know it when we see it or hear it, don’t we? The word law is defined as rule – so our rule should be to speak in kindness. Now I do want to say that sometimes it may seem that the greatest kindness we can speak is perceived as harsh, but in that we must learn how to phrase things. We must use that Godly wisdom in choosing our words, tone, facial expression so that what we say can be absorbed by the other person and leave them feeling loved and cherished. Do you know what I mean? A rebuke can be spoken in complete kindness and the other person can walk away feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit but also feeling loved. Let us make every endeavor to do this with each and every person we speak to – including ourselves. Remember the phrase “you can catch more flies with honey” – it is a good thing to remember. Those around you will appreciate you more if you are speaking with kindness and that can only come when you have the love of the Lord emanating from you.
I think I will close this here – so excited to read your comments on this part of our study. Please do share so that we all can work through this study together!!
*(I have looked at the #2 portion of this definition in the scripture and several sources of translation but I don’t think it is pertinent to this study. Out of 248 uses of this word in the Bible there are only 2 times when this is used as the root of these two words and therefore is not necessary to be added into this verse as a definition.)