"Give her the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
If this woman WAS a real woman, she was a sinner. I know I've spent over 2 months praising her and being amazed by her, but the fact is, she was not perfect. But look at what she was able to accomplish despite her sinner's nature. She was an excellent wife, a great mother, a hard worker, a smart, efficient business woman, AND, according to this verse, she had a great testimony. You get the distinct impresion from this verse that "giving her the works of her hands" would have been a reward for her, not punishment. And her reputation preceded her--she was well respected, even in the gates where her husband sat. What a privilege--to be so highly regarded at my husband's workplace. Not because of my career, but because I was helpful to the needy, industrious, and a woman of excellence.
I have thoroughly enjoyed studying this chapter. God has shown me truth, convicted my heart, and I have had just a good time reading about such a highly praised woman from the Bible. I'd encourage any woman to study this chapter!