segunda-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2008
The Perfect Wife
This beautiful poem of the biblical virtuous woman is designed to show what wives the women should make and what wives the men should choose. This exquisite picture of a truly lovely wife is conceived and drawn in accordance with the customs of Eastern nations, but its moral teachings are suitable for all times. It consists of twenty-two verses, each beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet starting from the first in order, as some of the Psalms, eg Psa 119.
There is no reason to attribute it to Lemuel or to his mother nor was it part of the lesson which Lemuel's mother taught him, but a poem by itself, written by some other hand, suggesting that it had been commonly repeated among the pious Jews, for the ease of which it was made alphabetical. It is an anonymous appendix to the whole book of Proverbs, exalting, as Proverbs does elsewhere, the honour and dignity of womanhood, and the importance of a mother's teaching to her children.
The abridgment of it is repeated in the New Testament where the duty prescribed to women agrees with this description of a good wife; and with good reason is so much stress laid upon it, since it contributes as much as any other thing to the keeping up of religion in families. For the sake of posterity it is important that the mothers be wise and good and submitted to godly order, and in a practical way completely given to the prosperity of their homes in a sensible manner.