14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
A simile is a figure of speech where two relatively unlike things are compared, often using like or as. It is commonly used in the Bible to create an analogy for understanding. The virtuous woman, the exemplary wife , is compared here to merchant ships that bring food from distant places. While we would have a difficult time drawing a spiritual conclusion from this verse for the Christian wife we can see very clearly how this would apply to the church.
The food the church brings from afar is the bread of heaven, Christ, of which the Manna dropped from heaven in the wilderness is a type.
Exodus 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Nehemiah 9:15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.
Psalm 105:40 The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
John 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
Joh 6:41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
John 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
The church brings the word of God, the Bible, which is food for souls hungering to learn of God and to be changed by Him. There are several verses which liken God’s words to food.
Job 34:3 For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
The church brings these precious words of God from afar, even from heaven itself.
Psalm 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.