Proverbs 31: King James Bible
What What What? – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter thirty one, Verse 2
2 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
Daily Inspiration from This Verse – What What What?
Here we enter in to the caring words of a mother to her son. This is King Lemuel’s recollection of the words of his mother.
This verse is poetically worded, seeming a little redundant on the surface, but isn’t. We learn three things from this verse.
What, my son?
Have you ever started off a conversation asking “What?” Personally I don’t recall doing so. Though this is our starting point, I don’t think this is the beginning of the conversation.
Whether or not this is the beginning of the conversation, sets the mood for the talk his mother is giving him. One of the reasons people think that Lemuel is a pen name for Solomon, is due to the many wives and his use of wine and strong drink.
People who think this way, believe that his mother “Bathsheba,” initiated this conversation whilst Solomon was in a debaucherous drunken stupor. The repeated “what’s” in this verse is a mother agonizing over the condition of her son.
All that being said, a different picture can be painted if we take the “what, my son” and use it the way most anyone would. As a response. What’s the first thing that comes out of your mouth when someone calls your name, or if your child comes to you and says, “Hey mom?” You’re going to say, “What?”
Lemuel’s mother is talking without interruption from verse 2 to at least verse nine. From verse ten on appears to shift gears a little, leading one to believe that the conversation ends and from there Lemuel starts fresh.
But, at the same time, the whole rest of the chapter could be the mother talking. Regardless, the point I’m trying to make, is that we’re only being told one side of a conversation. We don’t see recorded, any response from Lemuel.
This, at least in my mind, supports the idea that Lemuel initiated the conversation with his mother. It wouldn’t be a strange thing for a son to ask advice or seek out wisdom from his mother. Would it? I don’t believe so.
With Lemuel completely removing himself out of the conversation, we see it start with “What?”
What, son of my womb?
We learn here, that Lemuel is her son from birth, not by any other means. We know that since Abraham’s day, surrogacy would take place if a wife was found to be barren.
Also, this cancels out the possibility of adoption, or taking in a child. We’re witness to this in the record of a baby Moses being taken in, after being found floating downstream by the Queen of Egypt.
Lemuel was her son by birth, not by any other means.
What, the son of my vows?
This indicates to us, that perhaps she had trouble for a time bearing a child. Lemuel being the focal point of her vows to the Lord, indicates to us that she had plead at some point for a son.
Fervently in prayer, making sacrifices unto the Lord, pleading her cause unto him, making vows in order to find favor, and be blessed with a son. The vow that she’s particularly referring to, could have been a dedication of her son to the Lord, should the Lord see fit to bless her with one.
This may explain why her son was named “Lemuel.” As we discussed concerning this character in the previous devotional, the word “Lemuel” means: “Towards God,” or “To God.” Could her vow have been dedicating her son to the Lord?
It wouldn’t be a surprise. We see that happening a couple of times throughout the Word. First that comes to mind is the birth of Samuel, the second would be the birth of Samson.
Bring it Together
This one sentence isn’t necessarily packed with any Heavenly inspired revelation. But it is abundantly revealing as to the context of this conversation that we’re going to experience in verses ahead, as well as some insight into the spiritual condition of Lemuel’s mother.
Related New Testament Scripture
47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Thank you for your Word, as always there is something to gain from being careful with the details as we traverse through it. Thank you for this resource into your ways, your will, your thoughts toward us, and your instruction that leads us toward righteousness. May all of your Saints be filled with every fruit of your Spirit, and move forward through this world in power, demonstration, and the love of the Lord toward each other and our neighbors. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Does it sound like an impatient response to a question saying, “What, What, What?”
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 31 P. 489 – Words of King Lemuel
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 20 P. 291 – Father and Mother
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 10 P.92 – Wisdom of Solomon
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs P.4 – Hear the Instruction
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 15 P.198 – A Wise Son