Proverbs 25:24

It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
– Proverbs 25:24

This Proverb is the same as Proverbs 21:9 (see commentary), and joins a group of proverbs on the same theme (Proverbs 19:13; 21:9, 19; 27:15-16). The contrasting parallel of the corner of the housetop and the wide house is contrasting solitude and society. Generally, we do not think it better to be alone in isolation, but it is preferred to the company of a contentious spouse.

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Proverbs 21:9

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

This proverb is one of the “better-than” statements in Proverbs. For instance, in various ways, Proverbs states it is better to be poor and wise than to be rich and foolish. The formula compares two conditions and declares one better and therefore preferable to those who have wisdom. It doesn’t exclude other possibilities. It’s better to be poor and wise than rich and foolish, but it does not follow that being both rich and wise is not better still. It does prevent the assumption so common among people—it’s better to be rich than poor no matter the other conditions that attend.

The phrase corner of the housetop likely refers to a small visitor’s quarters on the roof of the house. The word for wide means in society, or in company, and house is just that. The parallel means the roof is a lonely place of solitude and the house is a place of society. Generally speaking, loneliness is not a desirable or better condition. But loneliness is better and desirable when the society includes a brawling, or contentious, woman. The same sentiment is expressed in Proverbs 21:19, where living in the desert is better than a house with a contentious wife. We could add, it is also better to live with a leaking roof than a quarrelsome woman (Proverbs 19:13; 27:15-16). A selfish, mouthy, hyper-critical wife destroys a man’s peace, deprives him of love, and ruins whatever prosperity he has gained. So, it is better to be poor and live on low means with a good and prudent wife from the Lord than the alternative (Proverbs 15:17; 17:1; 19:14; 31:10-12). And, it works the same way around for the woman with an angry husband.

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