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Her husband is known in the gates

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in which he sits with the elders of the land.


Her husband is well-known in the judicial system and in the decision-making bodies of the community because he is one of the leaders who exercises authority in those ways.



“in the gates” means “in one of the gates of the city.” City gates in ancient times were much more than just an entrance to the city, they were a complex of rooms where the leaders of the community positioned themselves in order to carry out their roles as judges and decision makers. The more prominent the leader was, the more important was the gate at which he sat. City gate complexes also included towers on the city walls for lookouts to be stationed, and there was usually a way for soldiers to drop down from the higher level into the rooms of the gate area to fight off an enemy that had managed to break through the door.

The fact that her husband sits at the gate means he is an important leader in his city and she has been an important part in helping him get there and in keeping him there. Since he is gone from the homestead much of the time, she has to run the show and keep the operations prosperous. A man whose homestead was not run well would not be able to remain at the city gate for long and would no longer be seen as a key leader of the city but rather as an ordinary man, struggling to make a go of it. In many cases a man gave managerial responsibilities to a trusted servant, but Solomon’s mother taught him that a wise and capable wife could do the job better than a hired manager who might be tempted to work for the betterment of his own family.