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Proverbs 21:9 & meaning...


is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than to share a house with a contentious woman.

Proverbs 21:9


Proverbs 21 [5.] The plans of the diligent surely lead to profit;

    and everyone who is hasty surely rushes to poverty.

Getting treasures by a lying tongue

    is a fleeting vapor for those who seek death.

The violence of the wicked will drive them away,

    because they refuse to do what is right.

The way of the guilty is devious,

    but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop,

    than to share a house with a contentious woman.

Proverbs 21 [10.] The soul of the wicked desires evil;

    his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.

When the mocker is punished, the simple gains wisdom.

    When the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.


Wisdom Literature: Proverbs is a collection of sayings and teachings intended to impart wisdom, primarily attributed to King Solomon. The book offers insights on a wide range of topics, including relationships, behavior, and the consequences of various actions.

Themes: This particular proverb addresses domestic harmony and the impact of contentious behavior. It emphasizes the importance of a peaceful home environment and the difficulties that arise from living with a quarrelsome person.

  • Key Elements of the Verse:

Corner of the Housetop: In ancient Israel, houses often had flat roofs that were used for various purposes, including as additional living space. The "corner of the housetop" suggests a small, isolated, and uncomfortable spot, emphasizing the lengths one might go to avoid conflict.

Contentious Woman: The term "contentious" refers to someone who is argumentative, quarrelsome, and difficult to live with. While the proverb specifically mentions a woman, the principle applies to anyone who exhibits such behavior, regardless of gender.

Theological Significance

  • Importance of Peace:

Value of Harmony: The proverb highlights the value of peace and harmony in the home. A peaceful environment is crucial for well-being and happiness. Proverbs 17:1 echoes this sentiment: "Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife."

Impact of Behavior: It underscores how the behavior of individuals, particularly those with whom we live closely, significantly affects our quality of life. Contentious behavior can disrupt peace and create an environment of stress and discomfort.

  • Biblical Wisdom on Relationships:

Mutual Respect and Understanding: The broader biblical context encourages mutual respect, understanding, and love in relationships. Ephesians 4:2-3 urges believers to "walk with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love; being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Peacemaking: Jesus taught the importance of peacemaking, as seen in Matthew 5:9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God." Creating and maintaining peace is a key aspect of Christian living.

Applications for Our Lives

  • Cultivating a Peaceful Home:

Promote Harmony: Strive to create a home environment marked by peace, respect, and understanding. Address conflicts with grace and seek to resolve disagreements constructively.

Self-Reflection: Reflect on your own behavior and its impact on others. Ask yourself if you contribute to peace or if your actions and words might be causing unnecessary strife.

  • Dealing with Contentious Behavior:

Effective Communication: Practice effective and respectful communication. Listen actively and speak kindly, even when addressing difficult topics. James 1:19 advises, "Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger."

Seek Reconciliation: If you find yourself in a contentious situation, seek reconciliation and peace. Approach conflicts with a spirit of humility and a willingness to understand the other person's perspective.

  • Maintaining Personal Peace:

Boundaries: Sometimes, it might be necessary to establish boundaries to protect your peace. This doesn’t mean avoiding conflict altogether, but rather managing it in a way that maintains your well-being.

Prayer and Support: Turn to prayer and seek God's guidance in dealing with difficult relationships. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who can provide wisdom and encouragement.


Proverbs 25:24: "It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop than to share a house with a contentious woman." This similar proverb reinforces the message of Proverbs 21:9, emphasizing the discomfort caused by living with a contentious person.

Proverbs 27:15-16: "A continual dropping on a rainy day and a contentious wife are alike. Restraining her is like restraining the wind, or like grasping oil in his right hand." These verses use metaphors to illustrate the persistent and challenging nature of living with a quarrelsome person.

Romans 12:18: "If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men." Paul's advice to the Romans encourages believers to strive for peace in all their relationships, highlighting the importance of personal responsibility in maintaining harmony.

Conclusion: Proverbs 21:9 offers a vivid illustration of the importance of maintaining a peaceful home environment. It teaches that living in a small, uncomfortable space is preferable to sharing a house with a contentious person, regardless of gender. This highlights the significant impact of behavior on our quality of life and the value of peace and harmony in relationships.

For us today, this proverb serves as a reminder to promote harmony in our homes and to be mindful of our own behavior. Effective communication, self-reflection, and a commitment to peacemaking are essential for fostering a peaceful environment. By seeking God's guidance and striving to live peaceably with others, we can create homes that are sanctuaries of love and tranquility.

anger - peace - simpleton
PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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