Not a Cook but a Lioness August 25 2013
She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household.
All my life I have read this verse and thought that the woman was diligent - which is nice - but there is a greater meaning buried in this text.
We read that she gets up early and feeds her household and we assume that she is cooking them breakfast.
Here is what the verse really says.
(I have added the Hebrew and the Hebrew sounds for those who need them. If it seems too much, just ignore them.)
וַתָּקָם בְּעֹוד לַיְלָה וַתִּתֵּן טֶרֶף לְבֵיתָהּ
va-ta-qam be-od lay-la va-ti-ten te-ref le-vey-ta
The Hebrew says that she is like a lioness that feeds her house prey (ripped, torn meat).
"She also rises while it is yet night, And provides prey (meat ripped by her teeth) for her household."
She is not a cook, she is a lioness!
The Hebrew is very clear.
Gesenius uses the Hebrew word teref.
טֶרֶף Te-ref prey from ta-raf טָרַף to pull, tear, in pieces as a wild beast. (Strong’s - teref # 2964, taraf # 2963)
Teref, or prey, is used only 23 times in the Bible; 18 times the King James translated it as prey; 3 times as meat (ripped or torn); 1 time as leaves (again ripped or torn); and 1 time as spoil (as in war).
The New American Standard Bible translates it as prey; 16 times as food (ripped or torn); 4 times as from his teeth (prey being torn); 1 time as leaves (again ripped or torn); and 1 time as spoil (as in war).
This is not a gentle word.
What difference does it make if a woman is providing her family food or if she is a lioness providing her house prey?