Proverbs 31:31

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.

A godly and virtuous woman will be rewarded.  What she gives out she will get back.  It is the boomerang effect:  she hurls out many a good deed, and they are all going to come back to her. In devotion to her God and in love for her household, she is willing to expend herself (“to spend and be spent”).  As she steadfastly labours and abounds in the work of the Lord, she knows that her labour will not be in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).  God is a very generous Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6), “knowing that whatever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:8).  The Lord who knows all our works will faithfully reward all that is done in His Name and for His glory.  It pays to live in a right manner.  It pays to fear the Lord.

The “fruit of her hands” indicates the result of her labour.  In this passage, we have seen that her hands have been very busy for good (verses 16, 19, 20).  As Frances Havergal wrote, “Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.”

What is the significance of the phrase “in the gates”?  In ancient cities, the space inside the gate was a public meeting place, where all manner of business was conducted (like our city hall).  Her own works, her own deeds will praise her in the gates.  That is, she will be publicly recognized for her good works and accomplishments.  The idea of the verse is simply this:  Give her the praises which she so richly merits.  “Say to the righteous, that it shall be well with them; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings” (Isaiah 3:10).

So today may Christian women adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour by their good works (compare Titus 2:10).  God’s special people should be “zealous of good works (fervently seeking to please God in all we do)” (Tit. 2:14).  May our light shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father who is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).

Comparison of Ruth & the Proverbs 31 Woman
Devoted to her family Ruth 1:15-18 Proverbs  31:10, 11, 12, 23
Delighted in her work Ruth 2:2 Proverbs  31:13
Diligent in her labour Ruth 2:7,17,23 Proverbs  31:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 27
Dedicated to godly speech Ruth 2:10,13 Proverbs  31:26
Dependent on God Ruth 2:12 Proverbs  31:25b, 30
Dressed with care Ruth 3:3 Proverbs  31:22, 25a
Discreet with men Ruth 3:6–13 Proverbs   31:11, 12, 23
Delivered blessings Ruth 4:14,15 Proverbs   31:28, 29

Our Matriarch

Author: Godfrey Gregg