Proverbs 21:9
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop.—Though there exposed to all the storms of heaven. The flat tops of houses were, in the East, used for exercise (2Samuel 11:2), sleeping, (1Samuel 9:26), devotion (Acts 10:9), and various domestic purposes (Joshua 2:6).

21:9. It is best to shun bitter contention by pouring out the heart before God. For by prudence and patience, with constant prayer, the cross may be removed. 10. The evil desires of a wicked man's heart, lead to baseness in his conduct. 11. The simple may be made wise by punishments on the wicked, and by instructions to those who are willing to be taught. 12. Good men envy not the prosperity of evil-doers; they see there is a curse on them. 13. Such as oppress the poor by beating down wages, such as will not relieve according to their ability those in distress, and those in authority who neglect to do justice, stop their ears at the cry of the poor. But doubtless care is to be used in the exercise of charity. 14. If money can conquer the fury of the passions, shall reason, the fear of God, and the command of Christ, be too weak to bridle them? 15. There is true pleasure only in the practice of religion. 16. Of all wanderers in the ways of sin, those are in the most dangerous condition who turn aside into the ways of darkness. Yet there is hope even for them in the all-sufficient Saviour; but let them flee to him without delay. 17. A life of worldly pleasure brings ruin on men. 18. The righteous is often delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his stead, and so seems as a ransom for him. 19. Unbridled passions spoil the comfort of all relations. 20. The plenty obtained by prudence, industry, and frugality, is desirable. But the foolish misspend what they have upon their lusts. 21. True repentance and faith will lead him that relies on the mercy of God in Christ, to follow after righteousness and mercy in his own conduct. 22. Those that have wisdom, often do great things, even against those confident of their strength. 23. It is our great concern to keep our souls from being entangled and disquieted. 24. Pride and haughtiness make men passionate; such continually deal in wrath, as if it were their trade to be angry. 25,26. Here is the misery of the slothful; their hands refuse to labour in an honest calling, by which they might get an honest livelihood; yet their hearts cease not to covet riches, pleasures, and honours, which cannot be obtained without labour. But the righteous and industrious have their desires satisfied. 27. When holiness is pretended, but wickedness intended, that especially is an abomination. 28. The doom of a false witness is certain. 29. A wicked man bids defiance to the terrors of the law and the rebukes of Providence. But a good man asks, What does God require of me? 30,31. Means are to be used, but, after all, our safety and salvation are only of the Lord. In our spiritual warfare we must arm ourselves with the whole armour of God; but our strength must be in the Lord, and in the power of his might.A wide house - literally, "a house of companionship," i. e., a house shared with her. The flat roof of an Eastern house was often used for retirement by day, or in summer for sleep by night. The corner of such a roof was exposed to all changes of weather, and the point of the proverb lies in the thought that all winds and storms which a man might meet with there are more endurable than the tempest within. 9. corner—a turret or arbor on the roof.

brawling—or contentious.

wide house—literally, "house of fellowship," large enough for several families.

To dwell, to wit, alone in quietness, as appears from the opposite clause.

Of the house-top; of the roof of the house, which in those countries was flat and plain, and habitable, but was exposed to all the injuries of the weather. In a

wide house; or, in a common house; or, a house of society, where husband and wife live together, or which is capable of many friends or companies. It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop,.... The roofs of houses in Judea were that, encompassed with battlements, whither persons might retire for solitude, and sit in safety: and it is better to be in a corner of such a roof alone, and be exposed to scorching heat, to blustering winds, to thunder storms and showers of rain,

than with a brawling woman in a wide house; large and spacious, full of rooms, fit for a numerous family: or, "an house of society" (u); where many families might dwell and live sociably with each other; or a house where a man, his wife and family, might dwell together, and have communion with each other; it is opposed to the corner of the housetop, and the solitariness of it; as the scolding of the brawling woman, or "a woman of contentions" (w), who is always noisy and quarrelsome, her violent passions, her storming language, and thundering voice, are to the inclemencies of the heavens, to which a man on the housetop is exposed; and yet these are more eligible than the other; see Proverbs 21:19.

(u) "domo societatis", Montanus, Vatablus, Baynus, Mercerus, Michaelis, "et domus societatis", Schultens. (w) "prae muliere contentionum", Montanus, Schultens.

It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. in a corner of the housetop] The LXX. render ἐπὶ γωνίας ὑπαίθρου, with no better hiding-place from the storms of heaven than the narrow corner in which the parapet walls of the flat roof meet (Deuteronomy 22:8).

a wide house] Lit. a house of society. This may mean, a house shared in common with her, R.V. marg., but it is better to understand it of a house large enough for the society of many people assembling there. Comp. Acts 12:12.Verse 9. - It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop. One is to think of the flat roof of an Eastern house, which was used as an apartment for many purposes: e,g. for sleeping and conference (1 Samuel 9:25, 26), for exercise (2 Samuel 11:2), for domestic matters (Joshua 2:6), for retirement and prayer (Psalm 102:7; Acts 10:9). This, though exposed to the inclemency of the weather, would be not an uncomfortable situation during a great part of the year. But the proverb implies a position abnormally inconvenient as an alternative preferable to a residence inside. Hence, perhaps, it is advisable to render, with Delitzsch, "Better to sit on the pinhole of a house roof." Septuagint, "It is better to dwell in a corner of a place open to the sky (ὑπαίθρου)." Than with a brawling (contentious) woman in a wide house; literally, a house of society; i.e. a house in common (comp. ver. 19 and Proverbs 25:24). A solitary corner, replete with inconveniences, is to be preferred to house shared with woman, wife or other female relation, of a quarrelsome and vexatious temper. The LXX. puts the matter forcibly, "than in cieled rooms with unrighteousness and in a common house." So the Latin proverb, "Non quam late, sed quam laete habites, refert." The Scotch have a proverb to the same effect: "A house wi' a reek and a wife wi' a reerd (scold) will sune mak' a man run to the door." "I had rather dwell," says the Son of Sirach (Ecclus. 25:16), "with a lion and a dragon, than to keep house with a wicked woman." 3 To practice justice and right

   Hath with Jahve the pre-eminence above sacrifice.

We have already (vol. i. p. 42) shown how greatly this depreciation of the works of the ceremonial cultus, as compared with the duties of moral obedience, is in the spirit of the Chokma; cf. also at Proverbs 15:8. Prophecy also gives its testimony, e.g., Hosea 6:7, according to which also here (cf. Proverbs 20:8 with Isaiah 9:8) the practising of צדקה וּמשׁפּט (sequence of words as at Genesis 18:19; Psalm 33:5, elsewhere צדק ומשׁפט, and yet more commonly משׁפט וצדקה) does not denote legal rigour, but the practising of the justum et aequum, or much rather the aequum et bonum, thus in its foundation conduct proceeding from the principle of love. The inf. עשׂה (like קנה, Proverbs 16:16) occurs three times (here and at Genesis 50:20; Psalm 101:3); once עשׂו is written (Genesis 31:18), as also in the infin. absol. the form עשׂה mro and עשׂו interchange (vid., Norzi at Jeremiah 22:4); once עשׂהוּ for עשׂותו (Exodus 18:18) occurs in the status conjunctus.

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