Eshet Chayil

Proverbs 31:10-31

This is the only place chayil is translated “virtuous.”

Over 170 times it is translated in more militant terms: valiant, valor, power, forces, army!

Chayil is used of Gideon when an angel calls him “you mighty man of valor” and it is used of David’s “mighty men of valor/courage”

Chayil is traditionally sung on Friday nights at the beginning of Sabbath in many Jewish homes.

Eshet Chayil is often used as a greeting, meaning “woman of valor”


Let’s look at the story of one Eshet Chayil, the Shunammite Woman

2 Kings 4:8-37

The problem came out of nowhere! There has perhaps never been a time in history where there have been so many attacks coming out of nowhere, without warning, against families,especially children.

She carried him to the room she had prepared.

She went to the man of God, to Mt Carmel, about 20 miles, and not by limousine! Like Naaman we’ll pay but will we obey? We’ll pay but will we pray?

She reminds Elisha that this son was not just her wish. This was something divinely given to her!

Romans 11:29

She has watched her son die, been told to wait, was interrupted, given the brush-off and the next answer she hears is “No.”

But she was determined. She built, she blessed, she prayed, she worked, she carried, she went as far and as long as it took and that’s why she could say with confidence, “It is well!”