Wedding Ministry by Design

Foundations for Marriage

Proverbs 18:22

Many wedding ceremonies often include a verse which has been tremendously distorted through translation and which should be correctly translated to understand itsí true meaning and message from God. The verse I refer to is Proverbs 18:22.

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the       Lord. Ė KJV

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. Ė NIV

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord. Ė Nelson   Study Bible

Whoso hath found a wife hath found a good thing, and hath obtained favor from Jehovah. Ė Darby Translation

Regardless of whatever Biblical source you use, this verse is intrinsically wrong in its translation. As it stands, this verse is telling us that any woman is a worthy wife for any man who comes along. This is an obvious misguided point of doctrine that begs for clarification.

My point is not to go into a lesson on the semantics of the Hebrew language and itsí usage here, but simply to render a more appropriate understanding of this misunderstood and often misused verse. The subject here, translated as he or whoso, refers to the man, but it is far more complex than that. It refers specifically to the man with the mental capacity for love.  You might think, ďAll men have the mental capacity for love.Ē Perhaps in some hidden recess of their frontal lobes, you might be correct as far as emotional love is concerned, but the mental capacity to love comes from many sources; spirituality, maturity, respect, etc. It DOES NOT come from emotion. If love is based on emotion it is based on the maturity level of a teenager and most likely will falter in time, when the emotions subside. The Hebrew here refers specifically to men who have reached the mental capacity to love a woman with agape love as God intended.

ďA wifeĒ should be correctly translated ďa good wifeĒ. So we must delineate what constitutes a good wife. Could it be a woman who cooks, cleans, does laundry, etc.? No! Many women possess these abilities, but if these were their only abilities, they would make horrible wives! In fact, what is referred to here, really has little to do with the womanís abilities, it has to do with THE MANís capacity to love that particular woman! ďA good wifeĒ is a woman the man recognizes as one whom he has the mental capacity to love. That is to say, a woman whom, through the ultimate source of the manís soul, he would protect at all cost. Iím not just talking about protecting from physical harm. Iím talking about protection from defamation. Men often abuse their authority over women, demanding that she do this thing or that thing. He belittles her in public. His jealousy causes him to rule over her every move. Thatís not protection! 

The Hebrew goes on to infer that the only way a man can, through the ultimate source of his soul, give his mental capacity of love to a woman, is if he recognizes in her, the ability to respond to his love. Women are designed by God to be the responders to a manís love. So, ďa good wifeĒ is a woman who is capable of receiving from the ultimate source of a manís soul, his mental attitude of love, and responding in kind.

To finish cleaning this verse up, what does the man who finds a good wife find? He finds ďgrace from God the FatherĒ. Marriage is designed to be one of Godís greatest blessings to man and when a man finds the woman whom he has the capacity to love and who displays the ability to respond to that love, you have received grace from God the Father.

Corrected translation; Proverbs 18:22 

The man who finds a good wife receives grace from God the Father.

Expanded translation; Proverbs 18:22

The man with the mental capacity to love from the ultimate source of his soul, who finds a wife he recognizes as having the ability to respond to his love, receives grace from God the Father.

It is worthy to mention here that the more ancient manuscript of the Septuagint also adds the following verse to Proverbs 18:22;

He that divorces a good wife, divorces a blessing and takes a woman that is unchaste and stupid.

Pastor Monty Rainey





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