This song is from Proverbs and is a poem about the virtues of the Jewish woman. There is a widespread custom of singing Eshet Chayil on Friday nights at home before kiddush, as a song of praise to the woman of the house. When my husband sings this to me, I can feel his love for me. It brought tears to my eyes when my new son-in-law sang it to my daughter at their wedding.
Additional insights into this poem from the website Alephbeta.org (one of my favorite sites for Jewish learning!) look at the poem as a metaphor. It could be a reference to Shabbat, which is identified with a feminine quality in many places within Jewish liturgy. Jewish mysticism suggests that Eshet Chayil is sung in honor of the Shechina – the feminine Divine Presence – which the mystics say is more accessible to us on the night of Shabbat.
This English translation is from Jewish Women's Archive. "Eshet Chayil (Original text)." (Viewed on September 6, 2022) <https://jwa.org/node/23712>.
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