When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
This verse is part of a longer wise saying about the “wife of noble character” (:10-31). Written as an acrostic poem, each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet — verse 21 starting with lamed (“L”).
The situation here in the life of this wife is “when it snows.” Not a common phenomenon in the Holy Land — in antiquity or today — it’s mentioned almost 25 times in the Bible, so the ancients knew something about it.
At such a time, this wife of noble character “has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” The whole poem is about her capable oversight of everyone and everything in her house.
While the region’s temperature seldom gets below freezing, it would get cold – especially for people generally used to warm weather. And they would certainly feel that cold inside their stone and mudbrick houses with open courtyards.
The specific reason she has no fear is because all her household “are clothed in scarlet” — suggesting everyone in her house was wearing red-dyed clothing. For the record, that color was generally produced from the eggs of a particular insect!
But mentioning “scarlet” doesn’t mean these clothes were made from some special material that’s warmer than others.
Because this dyeing process would have been pretty cost prohibitive to the average ancient Israelite, “scarlet” probably suggests these clothes were well-made from good material.
This wife of noble character knew what she was doing. She was prepared — even for unusual times (even “when it snows”) — and her family would all have what they needed.
May all of us be so fortunate to have at least one of these ladies in our lives!