Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord – Proverbs 18:22
Meaning of Proverbs 18:22
The meaning of the verse, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” is that finding a God-honoring person is a true blessing for a person. The verse specifies wife, but it is considered applicable to both men and women. The author, King Solomon, wants the reader to know that when he or she finds a partner who truly honors God, then they will enjoy a happy marriage and God’s blessings. The verse also portrays a good wife as faithful and valuable. The verse also rejects the claim that God wants his children to live lonely and single life. The word “favor” does not mean that God will love the person more, but rather that He will be pleased by choice.
Interpretations of Proverbs 18:22
The verse of Proverbs 18:22 is a commonly quoted verse in Churches and Christian families to prepare a woman for marriage. However, the verse is interpreted in different ways. Here are some examples.
Interpretation #1 Marriage is important to be in a Church
The verse, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” confirms that marriage is an important activity in the Church. In this interpretation, the reader believes that being married is similar to being qualified to be an official church member. The church priests in denominations like LDS encourage the members to get married at a young age and raise families. While this analysis is not acceptable to many believers, the readers also consider this part of the verse ‘obtaineth favour of the LORD’ as a promise for blessing in their finances and relationships. God hates relationships outside wedlock.
Interpretation #2 God hates relationships outside wedlock
The meaning of the verse, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” is that God detests infidelity in marriages. The readers believe in being chaste until they get married, according to this verse. Every church and denomination encourages its members not to indulge in romantic relationships outside their marriage. Here the reader understands that being single for long can lead them to make the wrong choice or live in incompatible marriages, which can lead to divorce. Hence, to avoid God’s anger the reader believes the commandment sincerely. This verse is also spoken by King Solomon out of the experience of his failure to follow God’s commandments and multiple concubines.
Interpretation #3 A good wife is virtuous and faithful
According to this interpretation, the readers measure the quality of a woman even before they are married. Also, the Christian community, despite the denomination, takes counseling or special workshops for young women to teach them how to be virtuous wives. The elders of a traditional church also encourage men to choose a woman who is honorable and trustworthy so they can have a happy and strong marriage. Thus, the reader here believes the phrase ‘Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing’ to have a successful marriage and life.
Interpretation #4 God loves family
In this final interpretation, the reader understands that as a man must find a good wife, the woman must also find a good husband. Both are valuable and honorable in the sight of God. The author, King Solomon, included this verse as he wanted the readers and the believers to choose their spouses wisely to have a stable family. In modern times the churches quote this verse, ‘Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD’ to help the listeners or Christians understand that a stable family also allows the wife and husband to raise their children with good morals. It also means that a good family is pleasing to God, and hence He blesses them in everything.
Historical background of Proverbs 18:22
The book of Proverbs was written mostly by King Solomon, son of David, as he was considered one of the wisest people in the Bible. It is believed that although he was the primary author of the book, the book was not finished until 200 years after his death. It is speculated that it might have been completed by the time of Babylonian exile. The eighteenth chapter of Proverbs contains 24 verses. Each verse consists of different hidden meanings and lessons. The twenty-second verse, in particular, talks about how finding a partner is the greatest blessing for a person.
Literary Devices of Proverbs 18:22
The verse of Proverbs 18:22 consists of some noteworthy literary devices. Here are some examples.
Consonance – The verse has a few repeated consonant sounds, though not in quick succession. For example, the sound of /d, the sound of /th/, and the sound of /f/ in ‘Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord’.
Assonance – The verse also has repeated vowel sounds without quick successions. For example, the sound of /I/ in ‘Whoso findeth a wife findeth’, the sound of /a/, and the sound of /o/ in ‘obtaineth favour of the Lord’.