Proverbs 31: Week 14 | The Wolfe Notes

Welcome to week 14 of our Proverbs 31 journey! This week we research seeking, working, and write our own interpretations. If you'd like to go back to one of our previous stops, let our "Wolfe Notes" guide you. 

  • In January we examined our value with the help of Proverbs 31 verses 10 and 29.
  • In February we learned what uplifting means by looking at Proverbs 31:11 and 23.
  • In March, we considered the virtue of respect by studying Proverbs 31:12 and 28.
  • In April, we are training to be hardworking with Proverbs 31:13 and 19 as our instructors.
If you're ready to travel with us, welcome! Grab your April 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 that 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 *.)

A table covered in yarn and fabrics with text overlay that quotes Proverbs 31:13

Verse One Noting key phrases and words from Proverbs 13:13.
*Literal Meaning Writing what this verse means at face value.
What is Weird? Researching a part of the verse that seems odd.
About Seeking From various sources.
About Working From various sources.
Other Versions Exploring interpretations of the verse and writing our own.
Commentaries Reading what authorities think about it.

Verse One

Noting key phrases and words from Proverbs 13:13.
She seeketh wool / and flax / and worketh willingly / with her hands.

Key words: seeketh, wool, flax, worketh, willingly, hands 

*Literal Meaning

Writing what this verse means at face value.

A woman searches for materials and by her own might labors without complaint.

What is Weird?

Researching a part of the verse that seems odd.

Why is she seeking wool and flax? Would they not have been readily available during this time?
  • The short answer, yes. (
  • Both wool and flax met people's needs 
  • Wool and flax hold spiritual significance
    • Wool was cleaned to be white as snow, like our sins (Isaiah 1:18); the Ancient of Days had hair like clean wool (Daniel 7:9); wool was used in the blood covenant ceremony by Moses (Hebrews 9:19), and to seek guidance from God by Giddeon (Judges 6:37).
    • Flax, woven into linen, was used in the tabernacle curtains (Exodus 26:1), will be worn in the future by the High Priests (Ezekiel 44:17) and also signifies the works of the church (Rev. 19:8)
  • Wool and linen were not allowed to be mixed (Deuteronomy 22:11)
  • God meets our needs when we trust Him
    • Matthew 6:26-30 Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
    • Hosea 2:8-9 AMP: "For she has not noticed nor understood nor realized that it was I [the Lord God] who gave her the grain and the new wine and the oil, And lavished on her silver and gold, Which they used for Baal and made into his image. Therefore, I will return and take back My grain at harvest time And My new wine in its season. I will also take away My wool and My flax Given to cover her nakedness."
  • *Conclusions: She's seeking provision. More than material needs, she's seeking soul-sustaining needs - everlasting clothes that cover her nakedness, her sin.

About Seeking

From various sources.

Hebrew (from Bible Hub)
  • darash: to resort to, seek
  • Most used: seek, inquire, require
  • In Proverbs 31:13: seek with care, care for
Definition (from Merriam-Webster)
  • to go in search of: look for
  • to ask for: REQUEST
  • to try to acquire or gain; aim at
Article: "Why is seeking God important?" from Got Questions
  • None of us truly know God (Romans 3:11 NIV: There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.)
    • We have not always sought the true God 
    • We perceive only bits and pieces of the real truth about God therefore our conceptions are blurred (*I Corinthians 13:12 KJV: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.)
    • Now, we only see what God chooses to reveal when our eyes are open and we are truly seeking.
  • But eternal life is knowing God. (John 17:3 NOG: This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Yeshua Christ, whom you sent.)
    • Continuing to seek, desiring to know Him more, is the essence of true, eternal life.
    • Our most important thoughts are thoughts of God because they determine direction and quality of life.
    • Seeking God is an ongoing responsibility and privilege for all Christians.
  • Challenges we face in knowing God.
    • Separating misconceptions and deceit planted by Satan and reinforced by our culture and sinful nature with the truth.
    • Jeremiah 17:9 KJV: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
    • James 1:13-15 KJV: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
  • Hope in overcoming challenges to seeking God.
    • Ephesians 1:13-14 VOICE: Because you, too, have heard the word of truth - the good news of your salvation - and because you believed in the One who is truth, your lives are marked with His seal. This is none other than the Holy Spirit who was promised as the guarantee toward the inheritance we are to receive when he frees and rescues all who belong to Him. To God be all praise and glory!
    • Philippians 1:6 TLB: And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.
    • Philippians 2:12-13 TLB: Dearest friends, when I was there with you, you were always so careful to follow my instructions. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to do the good things that result from being saved, obeying God with deep reverence, shrinking back from all that might displease him. For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.
    • Romans 8:26-30 TLB: And in the same way - by our faith - the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don't even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God's own will. And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him - and all along he knew who would - should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the First, with many brothers. And having chosen us, he called us to come to him; and when we came, he declared us "not guilty," filled us with Christ's goodness, gave us right standing with himself, and promised us his glory.
  • How to Seek God
    1. Read the Bible. (Psalm 119:105 KJV: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.)
    2. Pray. (Jeremiah 33:3 KJV: Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.)
    3. Worship. (Psalm 63:3-4 KJV: Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless the while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
    4. Fellowship. (Matthew 18:20 KJV: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.)
    5. Trust. God does not hide himself from the seeking heart. (2 Chronicles 15:2-4Deuteronomy 4:29; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:7; Acts 17:27 and James 4:8)
Scripture (from Open Bible)
  • Matthew 6:33 KJV: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
  • Jeremiah 29:13 KJV: And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (*working willingly - wholeheartedly - to seek)
  • Hebrews 11:6 KJV: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
  • Psalm 27:8 MEV: When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."
  • Psalm 34:10 KJV: The young lions do lack and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
*Conclusions: You are free to seek what you desire, but God calls for us to seek Him beyond anything else, to trust Him for provision, protection, and direction. Consider this as you search to fulfill your desires.

About Working

From various sources.

Hebrew (from Bible Hub)
  • asahi: do, make
  • In Proverbs 31:13: work
Definition (from Merriam-Webster)
  • to perform work or fulfill duties regularly for wages or salary
  • to do with sustained effort or continuous, repeated operations
  • exert physically or mentally
  • to function according to plan or design (*As we're designed by God, our work is to function according to His plan)
Article: "How to Find JOY in Your Work?" from Desiring God
  • Work is a creative activity.
    • Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 
    • Not drudgery (In Genesis 2:2, He rested.) 
    • but enjoyable. (In Genesis 1:31, He noted it was very good.)
      • Philippians 2:13 TLB For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.
      • Hebrews 12:2 KJV: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
      • Psalm 92:4 KJV: For you, O LORD, have made me glad through Your work: I will sing joyfully at the works of your hands.
  • We are designed to work for JOY.
    • Genesis 1:27-28 KJV: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
      • Be creative (fruitful and multiply)
      • Vigorous (have dominion...subdue)
      • Find joy in it (He blessed us through this mandate)
    • Our work is sharing with Him in His work. We don't work for money, worth, identity, drudgery, or necessity.
  • What destroys our JOY?
    • Because of the fall, we now experience (Genesis 3:17-19
      • Exertion. Our sweat-producing efforts are required to remove the thorns and thistles.
      • Struggle. The "ground" fights us, our tools fail, indwelling sin (pride, slothfulness) inhibit us, bodies weaken, other sinners impede progress, demons assail.
      • Confusion. We question our purpose. (Romans 8:20-21 PHILLIPS The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God's purpose it has been so limited - yet it has been given hope. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God!)
    • Our sinful nature and the curse make work difficult.
      • Our response: avoidance, making industriousness our goal, or wrapping our identity in it.
      • The result is hollow because we were meant to get provision, purpose, and JOY by creating and vigorously stewarding some part of His creation.
  • What restores our JOY?
    • I Corinthians 15:58 MSG: With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don't hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.
    • Colossians 3:23-4 GNT: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people. Remember that the Lord will give you as a reward what he has kept for his people. For Christ is the real Master you serve. (Kingdom work is ALL our work.)
      • Work in faith (2 Thessalonians 1:11 CEV: God chose you, and we keep praying that God will make you worthy of being his people. We pray for God's power to help you do all the good things you hope to do and your faith makes you want to do.)
      • In His strength. (I Peter 4:11 TLB Are you called to preach? Then preach as though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies so that God will be glorified through Jesus Christ - to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.)
      • Through surrender. (I Corinthians 6:20 You were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.)
Scripture (from Open Bible)
  • Colossians 3:23 GNT: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as through you were working for the Lord and not for people.
  • I Thessalonians 4:11-12 MEV: Learn to be calm, and to conduct your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk honestly toward those who are outsiders and that you may lack nothing.
  • Proverbs 12:24 MSG: The diligent find freedom in their work; the lazy are oppressed by work.
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 ERV: Do your best to be the kind of person God will accept, and give yourself to him. Be a worker who has no reason to be ashamed of his work, one who applies the true teaching in the right way.
  • Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 MSG Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what's given and delighting in the work. It's God's gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It's useless to brood over how long we might live.
*Conclusions: Find joy in whatever your hands find to do and perform it vigorously to glorify God.

Other Versions

Exploring interpretations of Proverbs 31:13 and writing your own.
  • KJV: She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
  • CEV: and with her own hands she gladly makes clothes.
  • GNT: She keeps herself busy making wool and linen cloth.
  • EXB: She looks for [goes out to find] wool and flax and likes to work with her hands.
  • MSG: She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.
  • VOICE: Delight attends her work and guides her fingers as she selects the finest wool and flax for spinning.
  • Wolfe Stew Versions:
    • (She=Wisdom) Wisdom labors purposefully to hand pick outward and inward coverings that will benefit you.
    • (She=Earthly wife) Wives of good character willingly toil to wrap their families in warmth and purity.
    • Personally: Willingly work at selecting words and actions that provide grace and righteousness.
    • Spiritually: By your own will, make every effort to find Christ's coverings.
    • Relationally: Carefully choose words and actions that cover others in grace and truth.
    • Intellectually: Take it upon yourself to labor diligently to know the Lamb of God and to study His precepts.


Reading what authorities think about it.

Benson and Matthew Poole
  • The materials provide resources for her servants so they can yield a profit.
  • She encourages them by working alongside them.
  • The duty of all is to improve our talents and time to the service of God and community.
  • Jewish saying: "There is no wisdom in a woman but in the distaff." (*Meaning, mind your own business and life will be gravy. This woman kept busy, so she didn't get caught up in other people's affairs. I Thessalonians 4:11)
  • The wool was for outer garments and the linen for inner which holds spiritual significance: she participated in outer and inner acts of worship.
    • Outer acts: Hearing the word, attending church, doing good deeds.
    • Inner acts: fearing God, humility, applying the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • Her willing hands work to do the will of God in love and find pleasure in all they do.
  • She labors, not because she has to, but because she considers labor a duty for all and idleness a transgression of a universal law.
  • Septuagint: "Weaving wool and flax; she makes it useful with her hands." Proverbs 31:13 (*Interesting that there is nothing about seeking but usefulness is added. Through her labor, what was once unsuited for her purpose is now deemed worthy. Sounds like God working on us.)

Final Thoughts

How are you doing in your Proverbs 31 journey? What revelations are causing your spirit to soar? What's holding you back? 

I continue to be amazed at what I uncover. There is such a depth of spiritual significance it bewilders me. When I first considered this verse, I'd think "Well, this should make sewers and knitters happy." But now, I think it's about more than that. Sure, at a surface level, it's about providing for your household but what are you carefully selecting for your household? What are you letting in? What are you surrounding them with? Are you seeking God diligently to make the wise choice? I pray that you are. I pray that I am.

Growing with You,

Ready for week fifteen?

Interested in more faith-related blogs? Then you're looking for Faith Food. At Faith Food, you'll find links to all our faith-related blogs and a short description of each.


Popular posts from this blog

World Turtle Day | JOY for Today

October 2023 | Calendars