Proverbs 31: Week 8 | The Wolfe Notes

Welcome to Week 8 of Proverbs 31! This week we're talking about uplifting each other and we're doing it by studying gates, relationship roles, and God. If you'd like to go back to one of our previous stops, let our "Wolfe Notes" guide you. 

  • Week One set the background for our study and defined valuable. 
  • Week Two began our examination of Proverbs 31:10. 
  • Week Three finished our interpretation of Proverbs 31:10 and introduced Proverbs 31:29.
  • Week Four delved into Proverbs 31:29 research and interpretations.
  • Week Five wrapped up valuable and introduced uplifting.
  • Week Six focused on Proverbs 31:11.
  • Week Seven wrapped up Proverbs 31:11 and introduced 31:23.
If you're ready to travel with us, welcome! Grab your February calendar with daily activities, the lamp for your feet (the Bible), and let's get going! We're journeying through the concluding poem of Proverbs and we're so glad you decided to walk along this road with us! Imagine as we walk, we're talking about the daily activities. Our side of the discussion is outlined below. What would you add? How would you challenge us?  (Ideas that are our thoughts alone are designated with an *.)

Light tan bricks with a gate in the background; text overlay quotes proverbs 31:23 KJV

About Gates From several perspectives.
Other Versions Comparing several versions, then writing our own.
Commentaries Digesting authoritative analyzations.
*Look at Roles Interpreting what this verse means for helpers and keepers.
*As Christ's Bride Interpreting what this verse means for The Church.
*Godly Wisdom Sharing what this verse teaches us about God.
*Application Describing how we previously, currently, and hope to apply this verse.

About Gates

From several perspectives.

  • Hebrew (from Bible Hub
    • shaar - a gate
    • In Proverbs 31:23: space inside a gate, a public-meeting place, market
  • Definition (from Merriam Webster)
    • an opening in a wall or fence
    • a city or castle entrance often with defensive structures (i.e. towers)
    • means of entrance or exit
  • "What is the significance of a city gate in the Bible?" (from Got Questions)
    • General purposes:
      • Serves as protection for the city including determining who comes and goes.
      • A place for business transactions, legal decisions, and public announcements.
    • Biblical references:
      • Proverbs 1:21 NIV - on the top of the wall she [Wisdom] cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: (She went to the gate so she could spread her news to the maximum number of people.)
      • Matthew 16:18 NIV - And I tell you that you are Peter [which means rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Because gates are where plans are devised, this verse is effectively saying that all the evil plans of Satan himself could never defeat the church.)
  • Cross References
    • Revelation 22:14 NIV - Blessed are those who wash their robes [in the blood of the Lamb], that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. (RESTRICT ACCESS) *Reminds me of "Come Into the Holy of Holies" by Pete Sanchez
    • Psalm 24:7-8 MEV - Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, you everlasting doors, that the King of glory may enter. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. (OPEN UP) *Reminds me of "King of Glory" by Passion
    • Proverbs 8:34 MEV - Blessed is the man who hears me [Wisdom], watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. (ATTEND)
    • I Corinthians 16:9 NOG - I have a great opportunity to do effective work here, although there are many people who oppose me. (OPPORTUNITY)
    • 2 Chronicles 14:7 ERV Asa said to the people of Judah, "Let's build these towns and make walls around them. Let's make towers, gates, and bars in the gates. Let's do this while we still live in this country. This country is ours because we have followed the Lord our God. He has given us peace all around us." So they built had had success. (PROTECTION)
  • *Conclusions
    • The husband shows up, interacts by accepting opportunity and making decisions that protect the welfare of his dominion because he is known by people in authority.
    • Women, keepers of the home (Titus 2:5), are to have the same responsibilities but on the home front. Be available, interact, accept opportunities, and make decisions that protect the welfare of your domain, because you are known (well) by the head of your household.
    • We, spiritually, are to open wide our gates to Jesus. Accept His cleansing of us so we can enter the heavenly gates. Attend daily to His wisdom. Embrace every opportunity He presents - don't look for them; they are right in front of us. Finally, protect our hearts and minds in choosing what we permit to enter.

Other Versions

Selecting several versions we like, then writing our own.

  • KJV Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
  • CEV Her husband is a well-known and respected leader in the city.
  • EXB Her husband is known at the city meetings [gates; the place where the city leaders meet], where he makes decisions as one of [sits with] the leaders [elders] of the land.
  • MSG Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.
  • Wolfe Stew Versions
    • Personally: Show up. Interact, connect. Know and be known.
    • Relationally: Notice the good things others do and the wise decisions they make. Observe who respects them, who seeks them out, and who they spend their time with. Use your findings to uplift them.
    • Intellectually: When you marry yourself to Godly wisdom, you will be confident in your decision-making because you are known by and sit with (pray to) The Elder of all the land.
    • Spiritually: Your husband (Jesus) is certainly known in the gates and intercedes on your behalf when He sits with His Father - The Elder of all the land.


Digesting authoritative analyzations.
  • John Gill
    • Gates were where courts of justice were kept, and causes were heard and tried.
    • The husband was known for his wisdom. He was at leisure to attend public business because he knew the domestic business was handled.
    • Christ 
      • IS KNOWN by us - He's our husband; in the gates of Zion; in public ministering; and by His name.
      • SITTETH WITH THE ELDERS, His saints as the King, head, and husband of His people; on a throne in the church with four and twenty elders surrounding Him (Revelations 4:2-4); when He takes his great power and reigns (Isaiah 24:23); when He comes to judge (Matthew 19:28)
  • *Concluding Thoughts: God's name will be known. From the beginning this has always been His aim and my how hard we've tried to fight it. Be a good wife to the King; work to make His name known. See your husband, your King, He is honorable. Lift high His name; make Him known!

*Look at Roles

Interpreting what this verse means for helpers and keepers.

  • Helpers
    • Submit by being known as a faithful wife who anticipates how best to support him so that his work is more effective.
    • Respect him by knowing him so well that you can confidently uplift him to others, recognize his contributions, and connect him with others to serve.
  • Keepers
    • Lead by working faithfully to be known for your wisdom and love in honor of your wife who supports and uplifts you.
    • Love by seeking to know her increasingly more. Learn how to provide her with the appreciation, honesty, and resources she needs.

*As Christ's Bride

Interpreting what this verse means for The Church.

  • As Christ's Bride we...
    • Submit by doing our part here on earth to support His mission in His way.
    • Respect Him by praising His name to others, telling of His marvelous works, suggesting His services to those in need, giving thanks to Him for services rendered, and praying to Him on behalf of others.
  • Because He...
    • Leads us by being the person known at the gates who everyone seeks. He always acts for the good of those who know Him, who listen to His voice.
    • Loves us by:


*Godly Wisdom

Sharing what this verse teaches us about God.
  • Personally: God is waiting in those gates for us to approach and seek His wisdom. YOU are known there - approach with confidence!
  • Intellectually: God knows decision making is hard but tells us exactly where to go to find wisdom.
  • Relationally: God longs for us to "stop and ask directions," to seek counsel and not "go it alone."


Describing how we previously, currently, and hope to apply this verse.

  1. In the Past: I struggled to see my husband in this verse, to see how he was "known in the gates" or what gates they were referring to. Nor could I imagine that he would want to be "known in the gates."
  2. Present: I now confidently know that he is fully known in the gates, and I am too! But I realize that being known requires action and interaction. So, to apply this verse in my life today I want to invest more fully in this "being known" business, and especially consider where I long to be known and what I want to be known for.
  3. Hopes for the Future: In ten, twenty, a hundred years from now, I hope that I still find myself completely awed knowing that I am fully known by God. And loving that I get to spend each day knowing Him more.

Final Thoughts

And that concludes our eighth week! What insight revealed this week most excited you? Where did you struggle? 

After struggling to interpret the intellectual version of this verse, I was struck with this image of God sitting in the gates waiting for me. He was waiting with no expectations. He was simply waiting to meet with me. To spend time with me. To know me. Since then, each time I pray I ready myself with this image. God is waiting for you with no expectations. He just wants you to want to spend time with Him. Imagine that. The God of the Universe longs to spend time with you and invites you to speak whatever is on your mind. Why do we hesitate?

Amid this week's researching, analyzing, and interpreting, I struggled with the why. Is it worth wrestling so hard and so long with this one verse? What's wrong with simplicity? What if the ultimate purpose of this verse, and of the entirety of the Bible, is so that all the earth may know that He is the Lord? He longs to be known - from beginning to end - in us and through us. This is His purpose. So, is that where my studies are leading, or am I complicating things? Do all the various perspectives matter when the simplest and most powerful is the only one that truly matters: God will be known.

Keep praying for the Holy Spirit to move, to show you what is true. Continue uplifting others and spend time getting to know God; He's waiting in the gates for you.

Growing with You,

Ready for Week 9?

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