My name is Kathy and I was once an obsessed collector of Beanie Baby Bears.
The bear I worked the hardest to find was the one that commemorated Princess Diana. Plush, royal purple with a white rose on her chest, Ty© released “Princess” in December 1997 just months after Diana’s death. Admirably, Ty© donated the profits from the bear to the Princess Diana of Wales Memorial Fund.
“Princess” was almost impossible to find. I combed stores. I stood in lines. Finally, I found the object of my affection. Now it’s in a storage container somewhere.
You know what’s harder to find than a Princess Diana Beanie Baby? A virtuous woman of noble character. Here’s how the wisdom of Proverbs puts it:
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies. Proverbs 31:10, NLT
The author of this acrostic poem compares a virtuous woman to the rarity of a valuable gemstone. The Hebrew word, which means “a precious stone,” is translated as “ruby” more often than “jewel” in popular versions of the Bible including the KJV, NIV, ASV, and the NLT. Either one is accurate.
I chose to use a version that translates it as “ruby” because of the unique value the ancient world put in this particular jewel. The ruby was known as “the king of gems.” Some used it as a talisman to warn its owner of danger. Many ancients believed that the ruby – ground to a fine powder and placed on the tongue – could cure blood diseases, stop bleeding, ensure good health, and treat indigestion.
Throughout the history of mankind, rubies have been considered a prized possession. Treasured by royalty and held in awe by the common man, this scarce gemstone commanded extremely high prices. Even today large rubies are hard to find and are therefore more valuable than diamonds of the same size.
So what makes the woman described in Proverbs 31 so rare? It’s her “virtuous” or “noble” character. The Hebrew word used to describe our “rare as rubies” woman is used 85 in the OT as a human attribute, but only three times for a woman. The word means “might, strength, power; able, virtuous, valor. It is most often translated as “army” and “valor.” Our rare lady was a warrior woman of strength and character who fought daily for her family. Mighty rare indeed.
Do you know a “rare as rubies” woman? I would love to hear about her today!