After writing the first part of this two part series, I discovered further confirmation that the virtuous, valiant woman in Proverbs 31 is to be likened to a gracious eagle soaring high above the earth with her God. This comes in Proverbs 31:29 (below). It is wonderful how whenever we on the right track in spiritual insight, the more we delve into the Word, the more our insight will be confirmed, over and over again. Truly wisdom comes from Yah, and He will direct our understanding.
And so, I will delve a little deeper here into verse 29 regarding this woman’s excellence – she is one who “excels them all”.
Proverbs 31: 29 reads the following – of the rare and precious Woman of Valour:
“Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.”
That word for excel is the Hebrew word: עָלָה – “Alah”. Upon looking into the meaning of this word, I found, as you may have guessed by now, it carries the meaning to “go up over” / “ascend” / “rise” / “climb”. Wow! How amazing. This does not simply mean to be more accomplished, or skillful, or talented – it means to “rise” like the sun rises upon the earth giving it’s beautiful light. With this insight, we can profitably read verse 29 in this way:
“Many daughters have done well, but you ascend above all.”
Is that not a picture of a gracious eagle in flight – soaring high above the earth – with no need to be bogged down by the roadblocks on the ground? How wonderful.
Of course, the concept of ascending also carries with it the concept of people of faith being connected with their Almighty Creator who dwells in the “highest of Heavens”. In Jacob’s dream when He observed the ladder that was upon the earth with the top reaching to the heavens, he saw that there were angels ascending and descending on it. He called the place of that dream Bethel – meaning house of “El” (God). It was a place that, by Jacob’s declaration, he was connected with His God. From Jacob, of course (whose name was changed to Israel), came the 12 tribes of Israel by his sons. In this we see illustrated for us, the close relationship that true Israel develops with their God.
To take this a little further, we see the Hebrew word “Alah” / “Rise up” appear in the very place in Scripture where Jacob’s name is changed to Israel. That is in Genesis 32, where we see him wrestling with the angel. In fact, it’s written twice in these few verses in Genesis – just in case we missed it the first time!
Both times, it is speaking of the “rising up” of the dawn – the beginning of a new day. Jacob wrestled with this angel all night long right up until the rising up of the dawn. He was intensely seeking the blessing of God and did not want to let this individual angel go without being blessed! He was acting upon a belief that if he just sought the blessing of God long enough and hard enough, God would give it to him – and give it to him, He did! Yes – because of Jacob’s amazing determination – he was honoured with a beautiful, marvelous and stunning name – Israel.
The Scriptures put it this way:
“And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” – Gen 32:28
As we too learn about God, and learn what it truly means to be true Israel – there is going to be some wrestling and absolute determination involved. Our God will allow us to see the profit of our determination – by allowing us to go through the process of seeking His blessing with determination – knowing that it IS His will to bless us – and we just need to learn to dwell in that will.
There is something even more here we can consider from Genesis 32… going back to the occurrence of the word: “Alah” / “rising up”. As mentioned, the word “Alah” appears twice in this Scriptural scene and both times it refers to the “rising up of the dawn”. This immediately brings to my mind the Song of Solomon. Ultimately – in its highest sense the Song of Solomon speaks to us about the relationship between the Almighty and His people – His “beloved bride”. (See also Jer. 3 – Israel being a bride married to her God)
From the Song of Solomon:
“My Beloved spoke, and said to me:
‘Rise up, My love, My fair one,
And come away.
For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
And the vines with the tender grapes
Give a good smell.
Rise up, My love, My fair one,
And come away!’
[And then His love speaks]
Until the break of day,
And the shadows flee away,
Turn, my Beloved,
And be like a gazelle
Or a young stag
Upon the mountains…
~ Song of Solomon 2
The day is coming when true Israel will be ready to fully heed this call. To rise up, for spring is here – a new and luscious beginning. This will be that rising up of the dawn – when Israel has finished wrestling with their God, has sought His blessing, and has been honoured with the name – “Royal Ones with their God”.
May we be like Jacob – seeking our God in truth, with determination. And be blessed beyond our highest aspirations.
Praise Yah! For His love and mercy endure forever – to every generation.