She considereth a field. Like math? You don’t have to like algebra, just simple adding, subtracting, and multiplying, with maybe a quick understanding of percentages for good measure! Even if you weren’t good at ‘math’ in school, you can be a whiz when it comes to economics. You just have to buy low and sell high!
She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. Proverbs 31:16
Hebrew: zamam. . . sadeh. . . lasach. . . periy. . . kaph. . . nata. . . kerem
Translation: plan/plot/devise. . . property. . . acquire/take possession of. . . produce/offspring. . . hands. . . plant/establish. . . vineyard
The Proverbs 31 Woman knew how to figure a profit. She looked at all the figures, made some quick calculations, plotted a plan and a course of action, and when she knew she could add a little effort to her ingenuity, she acquired and took possession of a field, harvested it, and sold the produce, for a profitable yield.
I don’t claim to be an Old Testament scholar, but what I’ve learned from studying the Old Testament texts and stories leads me to make a few conclusions about the Proverbs 31 Woman that you might enjoy pondering for your own personal enrichment in striving to be an Average Proverbs 31 Woman.
Since the land of the Hebrews could not be sold, but must remain in the family tribe, when talking about purchasing a field, it usually referred to purchasing the rental or lease rights of the field, or perhaps, purchasing the right to harvest a crop. It is possible that this thrifty, frugal, industrious, and shrewd woman looked at a nearby field, saw the potential of the barley harvest, negotiated with the owner for the right to purchase the crop, and then either with her own two hands, or hiring some neighborhood moms, harvested the crop. Then she sold the crop to merchants, or traders, or preserved it, storing it to sell later when the price went up. She probably even sold the stalks, or turned them into fiber material to produce another product during the winter months. She didn’t have all her money tied up in land, taxes, high payments, fluctuating land prices, high interest payments. . .
Our Proverbs 31 friend, evidently had a good head for business, could predict how much return she would get on her investment in the purchase of the crop, knew she could make a profit in selling the harvest, plotted her figures, submitted a bid, and then she rolled up her sleeves and made it happen. She made enough of a profit to turn it into an even more lucrative investment. . . a vineyard.
Reminds me of the elves and the shoemaker. . . make a pair of shoes, sell it, buy materials to make two pair of shoes, sell them, buy more materials, always doubling your money. Smart way to do business — the only way to do business is to make a profit — otherwise it’s called a hobby! There are many scams that claim to be money-makers, but the Proverbs 31 Woman won’t be fooled by those . . . more than once!
This Proverbs 31 Woman must be praised because she added her effort to ingenuity, and was able to produce a profit, while doing a job that could be accomplished with her children by her side, or strapped to her back, or playing under a nearby tree. They could play in the barley stalks, learn the value of hard work by helping mother, or just lay on a blanket and watch the clouds float by, all the while under the safe and watchful eye of their mother.
What ways could you find to turn a profit on a commodity, while keeping your children by your side? Buy old furniture, refinish it, and resell it? Buy supplies, turn it into fashionable clothing or accessories? Pick apples and turn them into pies to sell at the Farmer’s Market? I would love to hear how you have added effort to ingenuity to create a profit!
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