Proverbs 31:16

She considereth a field, and buyeth it.

The word “considereth” is from a verb which often is used to describe the wicked who devise evil or are actively plotting evil.  Here are some examples:

“The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth” (Psalm 37:12). “While they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life” (Psalm 31:13b).  “And now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined doing” (Gen. 11:6b).  In this last passage, the people of Babel considered in their minds all kinds of evil, and their evil plots would have come to fruition had not God confused their tongues and scattered them.

In Psalm 17:3 this same verb is used in determining a course of action:  “I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress” (Psalm 17:3).

When wicked men devise evil they often will put a lot of thought and planning into it.  We can think of the horrific terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11/01.  These successful attacks were the fruit of enormous planning and premeditation.  It was a very carefully thought out operation.

The godly woman considers a field (a plot of land in open country).  She doesn’t do this rashly or on a sudden impulse, but she has given very careful thought to the matter. She has a plan for her family and she carefully thinks about what she needs.  She decides that a prosperous vineyard would be beneficial to all, and thus she decides upon a field that would be suitable.

“She buys it.”  Literally, she takes it. She acquires the field, probably by purchasing it.  The fact that she buys a field indicates that the godly woman was involved in financial decisions relating to the family and involved in financial transactions.  From what we know about this godly woman, she did not act independently of her husband.  We know that the heart of her husband did safely trust in her (v. 11), which would not be the case if his wife were running around purchasing all kinds of things without his knowledge!   The godly wife, under the headship of her husband, can play a significant role in managing family finances.  Some wives are very good at keeping a chequebook and managing the family budget, and it would be to the advantage of the family for the husband to delegate this responsibility to her.

How many women buy all kinds of things on the spur of the moment without giving the matter careful thought and deliberation?  As she races out to the shopping mall with her friends, can her husband safely trust her?  [We also might ask, can the wife trust her husband when he goes shopping?]

With the fruit of her hands, she planteth a vineyard.

The purpose of the field was to provide a place for a vineyard so that the family and others could enjoy the fruit of the vine.  The fruit of her hands signifies the result of her labour.  To cultivate a field and to maintain a vineyard requires much labour.  The vineyard was the fruit of her loving toil.

Before we buy something we need to count the cost.  Before we buy a field, we need to ask, “Am I willing to work the field?”  Many things that we purchase require a good bit of maintenance, and if we are unwilling to provide the labour that is needed for the maintenance, then the purchase is probably unwise. [Think of people who rashly procure a pet, not considering all the time and effort that is required to properly take care of the animal.] When the godly woman planned for the purchase of the field, she also calculated the amount of toil that would be needed to maintain the vineyard.

The “fruit of her hands” could also be understood in another way, as “the fruit of her earnings.”  That is, with the fruit of her hands (see verse 13) she was able to earn enough money to purchase and plant a vineyard. Perhaps she employed her servants (maidens, v. 15) to work the field or to help her work the field.

Author: Godfrey Gregg