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Artist Marla Jean Clinesmith knew this had to be her first work to tackle at the beautiful Chateau Orquevaux residency in France where she would be with many other accomplished artists in June 2022. Studying the meaning of this word gave her a seal of confidence that helped her excel and have a wonderfully productive residency.

Seal of Confidence

Kesel (keh’-sel)



kThe ‘Kaf’ represents a palm or open hand, often used to invite another into our home with a sweeping motion of our open palm, but the letter also is used as a seal.
uThe ‘Samech’ represents a thorn bush that would prop up, support, twist, turn, or snare.
lThe ‘Lamed’ illustrates a shepherd’s staff that shows authority.

Oddly, the word Kesel often refers to ones fatness or loins as the seat of ones confidence, which can be either proper or foolish. In a physical sense, that enlarged mass protects the internals. Yet we see this multiple times in the Bible where it means, “the Lord will seal the authority of His truth within my inward parts, holding me up.”

The Lord shall be your confidence Proverbs 3:26

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Woman of Valor

Studying Proverbs 31 inspired Artist Marla Jean Clinesmith to create a beautiful work of art about the woman of valor.

Woman of Valor

Eschet Chayil (aish-et khah’-yil)

LyC hsa

אשה חיל

aThe ‘Aleph’ represents the head of an ox means strong.
sThe ‘Shin’ represents two front teeth that would tear, separate, destroy, or devour.
hThe ‘Hey’ illustrates a man with arms up to get attention, like saying look or behold .

Eschet is a form of the Hebrew word for woman—Eesha. It contains a root word (sa) meaning “strong devourer” or “fire.” Add the (h) meaning “to look” with the root word of “fire” and the interpretation is “look, the one who comes out of fire.” That may initially sound odd to equate a woman with the result of fire, but not if you realize that precious metals, like gold, were of great value after being refined by fire which recognizes the importance of a woman.

CThe ‘Chet’ represents a fence that surrounds or protects or contains.
yThe ‘yud’ appears like a hand or arm and indicates work.
LThe ‘Lamed’ illustrates a shepherd’s staff that shows authority.

Chayil is used in the Old Testament many times, typically in reference to men as warriors portraying force or might. The few times chayil is used in reference to women it is always in a special godly sense. Chayil (valor) appears to be connected to grace — the place God provides where we are empowered to do what He has called us to do. Valor is using the authority He gives us to accomplish His work to benefit the Kingdom. It is a measure of what we do with grace. In other words, how well do we maximize His grace in our lives? May you be valiant for the Kingdom!

Eschet Chayil — The one who comes out of fire (is refined) and takes authority in her sphere of influence to be productive for the Kingdom.