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Arwen: A Treasure that Knows No Comparison

     "In the middle of the table, against the woven cloths upon the wall, there was a chair under a canopy, and there sat a lady fair to look upon, and so like was she in for of womanhood to Elrond that Frodo guessed that she was one of his close kindred. Young she was and yet not so. The braids of her dark hair were touched by no frost; her white arms and clear face were flawless and smooth; and the light of stars was in her bright eyes, grey as a cloudless night; yet queenly she looked, and thought and knowledge were in her glance, as of one who has known many things that the years bring. Above her brow her head was covered with a cap of silver lace netted with small gems, glittering white; but her soft grey raiment had no ornament save a girdle of leaves wrought in silver. So it was that Frodo saw her whom few mortals had yet seen; Arwen, daughter of Elrond ..." (The Lord of the Rings)

Arwen: A Treasure that Knew No Comparison

Precious little is written about Arwen in the epic trilogy, but what has been written is powerful. To gain a better understanding of Arwen go to the Appendixes. While she is mentioned little in The Lord of the Ring, I thought it important to include her in our studies, especially since Peter Jackson made her somewhat of a focal point. What he did was capture the essence of Arwen which was not portrayed through the epic.

Of the several things we do know about Arwen is that she is beautiful, beyond comparison. She is the daughter of Elrond, and she is loved by and loves Aragorn. To take all these matters in would be too great a task for this poor writer. So I think I will play the part of Frodo, and being overawed by her beauty, talk of that.

The Lady Arwen is described for us as one having the beauty only attained by one other of her people, Luthien, called Undomiel, Evenstar of her people. Notice the aspects of her beauty; dark hair (without any graying), clear skin, clear gray eyes, simple dress, and an ageless quality about her. It seems that wisdom and kindness were her most astonishing qualities of beauty. Some would call these "inner beauty", but Arwen was so filled with these qualities that they emanated outward, and could be seen as clearly as her gray gown.

Our Lord Jesus is like that. One look at Him and we know we have seen One that is unlike any other. If we were to walk the roads with Him when He was on this earth ministering, we would have seen his muscular build, His callused hands, His saddened face, lines engraved upon it by the burden He bore, yet we would have seen such majesty that few ever see. Beyond the sadness, the calluses, the muscular build, beyond the physical appearance was a radiance about Him. He spoke with wisdom, authority, and many times with gentleness. He was beautiful beyond measure, even in His human form. Just as Arwen had both a sense of the young and the old within her, so also Jesus contains the vastness of eternity as well as the vitality of youth. There is none like Him. We see in Arwen, not Jesus, but what we, His Church, can be when we allow Him to shine through us. We can be that pearl of great price, that "virtuous woman", to the glory of God. This is our goal, that God so shines in us that those around us want to possess Him as well. One of the things this means is sacrifice. Without getting into it here it was the sacrifice of Jesus that made His love known unto us, just as it was the sacrifice of Arwen (her immortality) that showed the world of her love for Aragorn.

     "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:10-31)