Eshet chayil mi yimtza v'rachok mip'ninim michrah
An accomplished woman, who can find? - Far beyond pearls is her value.
Batach bah lev ba'lah v'shalal lo yechsar
Her husband's heart relies on her and he shall lack no fortune.
G'malathu tov v'lo ra kol y'mei chayeiha
She does him good and not evil, all the days of her life.
Darshah tzemer ufishtim vata'as b'chefetz kapeiha
She seeks wool and flax, and works with her hands willingly.
Haitah ko'oniyot socher mimerchak tavi lachmah
She is like th emerchant ships, she brings her bread from afar.
Vatakom b'od lailah vatiten teref l'vetah v'chok l'na'aroteiha
She arises while it is still night, and gives food to her household and a portion to her maidservants.
Zam'mah sadeh vatikachehu mip'ri chapeiha nat'ah karem
She plans for a field, and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
Chagrah v'oz motneiha vat'ametz zro'oteiha
She girds her loins in strenght, and makes her arms stong.
Ta'amah ki tov sachrah lo yichbeh balailah nerah
She knows that her merchandise is good; her candle does not go out at night.
Yadeha shilchah vakishor v'chapeiha tamchu felech
She sets her hands to the distaff, and holds the spindle in her hands.
Kapah parsah le'ani v'yadeiha shil'chah la'evyon
She extends her hands to the poor, and reaches out her hand to the needy.
Lo tira l'vetah mishaleg ki chol betah lavush shanim
She fears not for her household because of snow, because her whole household is warmly dressed.
Marvadim astah lah shesh v'argaman l'vushah
She makes covers for herself, her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Noda bash'arim ba'lah b'shivto im ziknei aretz
Her husband is known at the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
Sadin astah vatimkor vachagor natnah lak'na'ani
She makes a cloak and sells it, and she delivers aprons to the merchant.
Oz v'hadar l'vushah vatischak l'yom acharon
Strength and honor are her clothing, she smiles at the future.
Piha patchah v'chochma v'torat chesed al l'shonah
She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the lesson of kindness is on her tongue.
Tzofi'ah halichot betah v'lechem atzlut lo tochel
She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Kamu vaneha vay'ash'ruha ba'lah vay'hal'lah
Her children rise and praise her, her husband, too, and he lauds her.
Rabot banot asu chayil v'at alit al kulanah
Many women have have done worthily, but you surpass them all.
Sheker hachen v'hevel hayofi ishah yir'at Hashem hi tit'halal
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears G-d, she shall be praised.
T'nu lah mip'ri yadeiha vihal'luha vash'arim ma'aseha
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Eshet Chayil, consists of the concluding two verses of the Book of Mishlei (31:10-31), which, on the surface, is a hymn to the perfect wife who is the mainstay of her home. Although the commentators agree that the chapter is allegorical - it is variously interpreted as a reference to the Shechinah, the Shabbat, the Torah, wisdom, and the soul. The very fact that the Jewish women was chosen as the vehicle through which to describe such lofty spiritual manifestations is in itself a profound tribute to her.
The word chayil as it is used in Scripture has various connotations: organized military force, strength, wealth, skill, general competence, or devoutness. It always implies the presence of whatever skills or attributes are needed to carry out the task at hand. As is clear from the context, the wife described here is energetic, righteous, and capable, hence an accomplished woman.
This famous biblical poem has an acrostic arrangement in which the verses begin with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in regular order.
Writing in the 14th century, Rabbi Israel al-Nakawa seems to expatiate on this biblical poem as follows: "If a man is fortunate enough to have found a good wife, he will never miss anything. Though he may be poor, he should consider himself rich.. A good wife is one who manages her husband's affairs correctly, helps him to the best of her ability, gives him her honest advice, and does not urge him to spend more than is necessary. She intelligently supervises the needs of the home, and the education of their children... She does not act snobbish toward her husband's family even if she happens to come from a more refined environment... Marriage is not a one-sided affair. The man has obligations as well as the woman... A man should sacrifice his personal needs in order to provide more abundantly for his wife and children. Above all, he should treat his wife with love and sympathy, for she is part of him. He must never abuse her..." (Menorath Hammaor).