A Glorious Link between First Corinthians 13 and Proverbs 31!

December 9, 2013

In his glorious passage on love, the apostle Paul declares, ”Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up” (1 Cor. 13:4). With these words, he reveals that genuine love manifests itself in multiple characteristics, including a person’s being kind.

Solomon extols the virtuous woman because “she openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Prov. 31:26). The excellent woman is thus one whose tongue has in it “the law of kindness,” which is what Paul teaches is a premier characteristic of genuine love!

Based on what these two writers of Scripture teach us, a hallmark of a truly loving woman is the kindness with which she speaks. Such a woman is truly a priceless treasure whose worth far exceeds material jewels (Prov. 31:10)!

Correction:

When I first posted this 10 hours ago, I had only thought about the English text and had not looked at the original languages or even given as much thought as I should have to the English wording. What I wrote is still true implicitly, but it is not quite the main point of the comparison.

More accurately, what Solomon teaches about the virtuous woman is that the instruction (Heb. torah) of lovingkindness or loyal love (Heb. hesed) is in her tongue. This still implies that she herself is kind in her own speaking, but the main thought is that she instructs others to be people of such loyal love.

Furthermore, there is truly a glorious tie between these two premier passages because comparing them reveals a conceptual link between two of the greatest words in Scripture: hesed (Heb.; Prov. 31:26) and agape (Greek; 1 Cor. 13:4)! The virtuous woman is indeed a priceless treasure far exceeding material jewels because she teaches people to be people who are truly loving people characterized by loyal love, and she is able to teach this glorious truth effectively because she herself is such a person!

Rajesh

Posts

Copyright © 2011-2017 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.