Her Lamp Does Not Go Out at Night

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path


The Proverbs 31 verse about her lamp not going out at night is often interpreted to mean that she worked long after it was dark. In fact, some translations read that she worked long into the night.

This has led critics of the Proverbs 31 woman to claim that she was sleep-deprived. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If she didn’t get enough sleep, she would have been unable to manage everything she did.

It was easier for the Proverbs 31 woman to get enough sleep than it is for the modern woman—she didn’t have electric lights to delay the onset of darkness. The Proverbs 31 woman went to bed at the same time each night and got up at the same time every morning. We know that she was rested after her sleep, because she prepared breakfast for her household.

In every household it was common practice to sleep with a lamp burning because of the absolute blackness if one had to get up during the night. To do so took some advance planning and organization; since the small lamps held very little oil they would quickly burn out.

Compare this to the New Testament parable of the Ten Virgins. We must be ready when Jesus returns for us, not needing to get more oil for our lamps.

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