I’ve been doing this kind of roundabout study on some things in the Bible that pertain to women, and what I’ve found has blown me away. I didn’t set out to study this, actually, I sort of stumbled upon it over the years through various other studies. What has really taken me by surprise is that God created the woman with incredible power. The reason this surprised me as much as it did when it was fully revealed to me was because religion and culture has claimed such a total hold on women that it has effectively stunted their full potential and growth.
Ever since my teen years, I was completely fascinated with the Proverbs 31 woman and fervently prayed to God that He would transform me into her. (Little did I know what, precisely, that transformation would entail.) But over the course of the years, as I was put to the test and subjected to battle upon battle, I was bewildered and confused and disheartened, and there was many a time I cried out to God, “God! What is the point of these exercises?! All I do is continue to fail harder every time I try harder!!” (Strangely enough, I was failing up towards success–but that is a different topic altogether.)
One day I was listening to a sermon on Hebrew roots in the Bible, and the preacher stated that a word in the Proverbs 31 chapter had been incorrectly translated–the passage that asks, “A woman of virtue who shall find?” The Hebrew in that passage is actually, “A woman of VALOR who shall find?” Okay, at face value, that seems kind of odd. Valor means to have great bravery in times of war or an intense battle or danger. A courageous warrior displays valor when he performs feats of great bravery in securing victory in a battle. So why would a woman have valor? Better yet, what would she need it for? So digging deeper into this question, I uncovered the roots of the formation of woman, and what, exactly, was in God’s mind when He was creating her. When God said, “Let Us create a suitable helper for Adam,” the Hebrew word for “helper” there is ‘ezer.’ Loosely translated, it vaguely means “helper.” But that is not the actual and correct translation for that word. The roots that are used in the Hebrew to make up the word ezer mean “strength” and “power.” In other instances of the Bible where ezer is used, it is describing an encompassing power that surrounds the godly person to protect and shield him from danger and harm. With that being said, I am pasting this passage from an article I read that summarizes everything up quite neatly:
“Therefore, could we conclude that Genesis 2:18 be translated as “I will make a power [or strength] corresponding to man.” Freedman even suggests on the basis of later Hebrew that the second word in the Hebrew expression found in this verse should be rendered equal to him. If so, then God makes for the man a woman fully his equal and fully his match. In this way, the man’s loneliness will be assuaged.
The woman was never meant to be an assistant or “helpmate” to the man. The word “mate” slipped into English since it was so close to the Old English word “meet,” which means “fit to” or “corresponding to” the man which comes from the phrase that likely means “equal to.”
What God had intended, then, was to make a “power” or “strength” for the man who would in every way “correspond to him” or even “be his equal.””
Okay, back to my own voice *wink* –After I realized the full spectrum of intent that was in God’s mind when He was creating the woman, I understood fully why the Proverbs 31 woman is a woman of valor. If she is to be a power and a strength unto her husband, (coupled with the godly mandate to be his protector) then she is supposed to come equipped with the courage it takes to head into battle and overcome it with victory. We are all in the war, and we each also fight our own personal battles. Our foes have many faces–fear being chief among them. The fear of social rejection, stigma, what other people will think, being branded as this or that, etc. etc. etc. I listed those fears specifically because our culture has made those fears into an Olympic sport.
“A woman of valor, who shall find? Her price is far above rubies.”
*Note–I carried this over to my blog from my personal journal. I apologize for not citing my sources, I was pouring this down into my journal and simply copied and pasted there.