Proverbs 12:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

King James Bible
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

Darby Bible Translation
A woman of worth is a crown to her husband; but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

World English Bible
A worthy woman is the crown of her husband, but a disgraceful wife is as rottenness in his bones.

Young's Literal Translation
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, And as rottenness in his bones is one causing shame.

Proverbs 12:4 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband - אשת חיל esheth chayil, a strong woman. Our word virtue (virtus) is derived from vir, a man; and as man is the noblest of God's creatures, virtue expresses what is becoming to man; what is noble, courageous, and dignified: and as vir, a man, comes from vis, power or strength; so it implies what is strong and vigorous in principle: and as in uncivilized life strength and courage were considered the very highest, because apparently the most necessary, of all virtues; hence the term itself might have become the denomination of all excellent moral qualities; and is now applied to whatever constitutes the system of morality and moral duties. In some parts of the world, however, where arts and sciences have made little progress, strength is one of the first qualifications of a wife, where the labors of the field are appointed to them. It is not an uncommon sight in different parts of Africa, to see the wives (queens) of the kings and chiefs going out in the morning to the plantations, with their mattock in their hand, and their youngest child on their back; and when arrived at the ground, lay the young prince or princess upon the earth, which when weary of lying on one side, will roll itself on the other, and thus continue during the course of the day, without uttering a single whimper, except at the intervals in which its mother gives it suck; she being employed all the while in such labor as we in Europe generally assign to our horses. In these cases, the strong wife is the highest acquisition; and is a crown to her husband, though he be king of Bonny or Calabar. It is certain that in ancient times the women in Judea did some of the severest work in the fields, such as drawing water from the wells, and watering the flocks, etc. On this account, I think, the words may be taken literally; and especially when we add another consideration, that a woman healthy, and of good muscular powers, is the most likely to produce and properly rear up a healthy offspring; and children of this kind are a crown to their parents.

Is as rottenness in his bones - Does not this refer to a woman irregular in her manners, who by her incontinence not only maketh her husband ashamed, but contracts and communicates such diseases as bring rottenness into the bones? I think so. And I think this was the view taken of the text by Coverdale, who translates thus: "A stedfast woman is a crowne unto her hussbonde: but she that behaveth herself unhonestly is a corruption in his bones."

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

virtuous

Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish plucks it down with her hands.

Proverbs 19:13,14 A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping...

Proverbs 31:10-25 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies...

1 Corinthians 11:7,11 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, for as much as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man...

she

Proverbs 21:9,19 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house...

Proverbs 27:15,16 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike...

as

Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

Habakkuk 3:16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself...

Library
The Many-Sided Contrast of Wisdom and Folly
'Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. 2. A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. 3. A man shall not be established by wickedness; but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. 4. A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. 5. The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. 6. The words of the wicked are to lie
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Of Having Confidence in God when Evil Words are Cast at Us
"My Son, stand fast and believe in Me. For what are words but words? They fly through the air, but they bruise no stone. If thou are guilty, think how thou wouldst gladly amend thyself; if thou knowest nothing against thyself, consider that thou wilt gladly bear this for God's sake. It is little enough that thou sometimes hast to bear hard words, for thou art not yet able to bear hard blows. And wherefore do such trivial matters go to thine heart, except that thou art yet carnal, and regardest
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Cross References
1 Corinthians 11:7
A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.

Ruth 3:11
And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.

Proverbs 12:5
The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.

Proverbs 14:30
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Proverbs 18:22
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

Proverbs 31:10
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

Proverbs 31:11
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

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