Proverbs as a gendered text: Proverbs 31:10ff.

The poem in Prov 31:10ff. has been read in various ways, by men and by women, as an oppressive and as a liberating text. I will suggest two clues to making sense of the poem. The first is to read it in the context of the book of Proverbs (and not as an isolated poem), and the second is to read it precisely as a gendered text.

This podcast was provoked by reading a short piece on this text by Ann Wansborough produced back in 1992 for the Uniting Church in Australia’s “Commission on Women and Men”. (Thank you Judy 🙂

BTW since Proverbs is a gendered text, and since I read it as a male, I offer an invitation to my women listeners to do a short (ideally 4-6 minute) female reflection on this text from a woman’s perspective to set alongside mine… Where/How do you find the Strong Woman?


  1. dissapointed, only in that I couldn’t agree more with you. 😉 Sorry not to be able to help you with a female perspective – despite my credentials as a feminist scholar. I hope someone does.

  2. brilliant! and reasoned from what is the essential Hebraic structure – I love it.

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