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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 14:1

 

 

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Every wise woman buildeth her house - By her prudent and industrious management she increases property in the family, furniture in the house, and food and raiment for her household. This is the true building of a house. The thriftless wife acts differently, and the opposite is the result. Household furniture, far from being increased, is dilapidated; and her household are ill-fed, ill-clothed, and worse educated.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Every wise woman - literally, Wise women. The fullest recognition that has as yet met us of the importance of woman, for good or evil, in all human society.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-14.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 14:1

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

The wise builder

The Scriptures have adapted their instructions to every character and condition in human life.

I. Describe the wise woman.

1. She must know how to manage with prudence and care the concerns of a family. It is woman’s work to “guide the house.” How many, on marrying, find they need to learn the first principles of domestic economy. If a man can be more happy in any other house than his own, he is a lost man.

2. A wise woman will improve her taste and her manners. This in no way involves her becoming proud.

3. A wise woman will aim to improve her mind. The mind is enlarged by receiving ideas, and by using them as materials of thought and reasoning.

4. A wise woman will endeavour to enlighten and improve her conscience. This is the faculty of the soul by which we weigh the morality of an action. To improve the conscience we must give it light, and let it guide us. Well enlightened, it guides to happiness and heaven.

5. A wise woman will be particularly careful to cultivate the heart. The instinctive affections are capable of improvement by other means than grace. But the female character is essentially defective in the absence of piety. Religion has a peculiar sweetness when it mingles with the modest softness of the female character. By reason of their peculiar trials, females need the comforts, hopes, and prospects of religion more, if possible, than the other sex.

II. A wise woman buildeth her house. To build her house is to promote the best good of her husband and her offspring.

1. How will such a woman affect their estate? Her wisdom will save more than her hands could earn.

2. She will render her family respectable.

3. She will render her family happy. She will so manage as not to irritate their passions. Her example will breathe through the house a mild and soft atmosphere. There is no resisting the combined influence of so many virtues. What she cannot do by her precepts and examples, she effects by her prayers. Her influence surely extends beyond her own family.

Reflections:

1. Females see how they are to rise in the scale of being.

2. See the importance of supporting good schools.

3. See the importance of the gospel.

4. Females should make the Scriptures their daily study.

From the mother, rather than the father, the members of the family will take their character. (D. C. Clark.)

Wise and foolish wives

The foolish woman does not know that she is plucking down her house; she thinks she is building it up. By unwise energy, by self-assertion, by thoughtless speeches, by words flung like firebrands, she is doing unutterable mischief, not only to herself, but to her husband and family. There are, on the other hand, wise women who are quietly and solidly building the house night and day: they make no demonstration; the last characteristic that could be supposed to attach to them would be that of ostentation; they measure the whole day, they number its hours, they apportion its worth; every effort they make is an effort which has been reasoned out before it was begun; every word is looked at before it is uttered; every company is estimated before it is entrusted with confidence. In this way the wise woman consolidates her house. (J. Parker, D.D.)

House wifery

I. Its great power.

1. It can build up. “Every wise woman buildeth her house.”

2. It can pull down. “The foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” There are women who by their miserable tempers and degrading habits ruin their husbands and children.

II. Its necessary qualification. What is the necessary qualification for a good housewife? “Wisdom.” (Homilist.)

Home made happy by a good wife

A plain marble stone, in a churchyard, bears this brief inscription: “She always made home happy.” This epitaph was penned by a bereaved husband, after sixty years of wedded life. He might have said of his departed wife, she was beautiful, and accomplished, and an ornament to society, and yet not have said she made home happy. Alas, he might have added, she was a Christian, and not have been able to say, “She always made home happy.” What a rare combination of virtues and graces this wife and mother must have possessed! How wisely she must have ordered her house! In what patience she must have possessed her soul! How self-denying she must have been! How tender and loving! How thoughtful for the comfort of all about her! (Christian Treasury.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 14:1". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-14.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Proverbs 14:1

"Every wise woman buildeth her house; But the foolish plucketh it down with her own hands."

The hands as used here is a synecdoche for the woman's total behavior. This writer remembers a young banker, many years ago, whose wife, in public gatherings, such as receptions, habitually made derogatory remarks about her husband, apparently unaware that she was wrecking his career and her own as well. She was an excellent illustration of the second clause here. "If Laban and Potiphar were blessed because of helpful and godly servants, how much more must Providence favor the house that has a wise and faithful wife"?[1]


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Every wise woman buildeth her house,.... Not only by her fruitfulness, as Leah and Rachel built up the house of Israel; but by her good housewifery, prudent economy; looking well to the ways of her household; guiding the affairs of her house with discretion; keeping all things in a good decorum; and bringing up her children in virtue, and in the fear and admonition of the Lord. So Christ, who in this book goes by the name of "Wisdom", or the wise woman, builds his house upon himself, the Rock; and all his people on their most holy faith, by means of the ministry of the word, and administration of ordinances: he guides and governs his house, where he is, as a Son in it and over it; and of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, taken care of, and wisely and plentifully provided for: and so Gospel ministers, who are wise to win souls, being well instructed in the kingdom of God; these "wise women"F25חכמות נשים "sapientes mulieres", Munster, Baynus; so the Septuagint and Arabic versions. , so it is in the original text, or wise virgins; these wise master builders lay the foundation Christ ministerially, and build souls on it; and speak things to the edification of the church and people of God, and the building of them up in faith and holiness;

but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands; the Vulgate Latin version adds, "being built"; this she does by her idleness and laziness; by her lavish and profuse way of living; by her negligence and want of economy; by her frequenting playhouses, and attention to other diversions; and so her family and the affairs of it go to wreck and ruin. Thus the apostate church of Rome, who is called a "woman", and may be said to be a "foolish" one, being a wicked one and a harlot; see Revelation 17:2; pulls down the true church and house of God with both hands, as much as in her lies, by her false doctrines, and superstitious worship and idolatry; and by her murders and massacres of the saints, with the blood of whom she is said to be drunk; nay, not only pulls it down with her hands, but treads upon it with her feet, Revelation 11:2. So likewise all false teachers do as this foolish woman does, by their impure lives and impious doctrines, defile the temple of God, subvert the faith of many; by means of whom the tabernacle of David, or house of God, is fallen down; the ruins and breaches of which Christ will repair in the latter day.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Every wise woman a buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

(a) That is, takes pains to profit her family, and to do that which concerns her duty in her house.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-14.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Every wise, etc. — literally, “The wisdoms” (compare Proverbs 9:1) “of women,” plural, a distributive form of speech.

buildeth … house — increases wealth, which the foolish, by mismanagement, lessen.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

1 The wisdom of the woman buildeth her house,

And folly teareth it down with its own hands.

Were it חכמות נשׁים , after Judges 5:29, cf. Isaiah 19:11, then the meaning would be: the wise among women, each of them buildeth her house. But why then not just אשּׁה חכמה , as 2 Samuel 14:2, cf. Exodus 35:25? The Syr., Targum, and Jerome write sapiens mulier . And if the whole class must be spoken of, why again immediately the individualizing in בּנתה ? The lxx obliterates that by its ᾠκοδόμησαν . And does not אוּלת [folly] in the contrasted proverb (1b) lead us to conclude on a similar abstract in 1a? The translators conceal this, for they translate אולת personally. Thus also the Venet . and Luther; אוּלת is, says Kimchi, an adj. like עוּרת , caeca . But the linguistic usage does not point אויל with אוילי to any אוּל . It is true that a fem. of אויל does not occur; there is, however, also no place in which אולת may certainly present itself as such. Thus also חכמות must be an abstr.; we have shown at Proverbs 1:20 how חכמות , as neut. plur., might have an abstr. meaning. But since it is not to be perceived why the poet should express himself so singularly, the punctuation חכמות is to be understood as proceeding from a false supposition, and is to be read חכמות , as at Proverbs 9:1 (especially since this passage rests on the one before us). Fleischer says: “to build the house is figuratively equivalent to, to regulate well the affairs of a house, and to keep them in a good condition; the contrary, to tear down the house, is the same contrast as the Arab. 'amârat âlbyt and kharab albyt . Thus e.g. , in Burckhardt's Sprüchw . 217, harrt ṣabrt bythâ 'amârat , a good woman ( ein braves Weib ) has patience (with her husband), and thereby she builds up her house (at the same time an example of the use of the preterite in like general sentences for individualizing); also No. 430 of the same work: 'amârat âlbyt wla kharâbt , it is becoming to build the house, not to destroy it; cf. in the Thousand and One Nights, where a woman who had compelled her husband to separate from her says: âna âlty 'amalt hadhâ barwḥy wâkhrnt byty bnfsy . Burckhardt there makes the remark: 'amârat âlbyt denotes the family placed in good circumstances - father, mother, and children all living together happily and peacefully.” This conditional relation of the wife to the house expresses itself in her being named as house-wife (cf. Hausehre [= honour of a house] used by Luther, Psalms 68:13), to which the Talmudic דּביתי (= uxor mea ) answers; the wife is noted for this, and hence is called עיקר הבית , the root and foundation of the house; vid ., Buxtorf's Lex . col. 301. In truth, the oneness of the house is more dependent on the mother than on the father. A wise mother can, if her husband be dead or neglectful of his duty, always keep the house together; but if the house-wife has neither understanding nor good-will for her calling, then the best will of the house-father cannot hinder the dissolution of the house, prudence and patience only conceal and mitigate the process of dissolution - folly, viz., of the house-wife, always becomes more and more, according to the degree in which this is a caricature of her calling, the ruin of the house.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-14.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Note, 1. A good wife is a great blessing to a family. By a fruitful wife a family is multiplied and replenished with children, and so built up. But by a prudent wife, one that is pious, industrious, and considerate, the affairs of the family are made to prosper, debts are paid, portions raised, provision made, the children well educated and maintained, and the family has comfort within doors and credit without; thus is the house built. She looks upon it as her own to take care of, though she knows it is her husband's to bear rule in, Esther 1:22. 2. Many a family is brought to ruin by ill housewifery, as well as by ill husbandry. A foolish woman, that has no fear of God nor regard to her business, that is wilful, and wasteful, and humoursome, that indulges her ease and appetite, and is all for jaunting and feasting, cards and the play-house, though she come to a plentiful estate, and to a family beforehand, she will impoverish and waste it, and will as certainly be the ruin of her house as if she plucked it down with her hands; and the husband himself, with all his care, can scarcely prevent it.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

A woman who has no fear of God, who is wilful and wasteful, and indulges her ease, will as certainly ruin her family, as if she plucked her house down.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

CRITICAL NOTES.—

Pro . Wise woman, or "woman's wisdom."

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

THE HOUSE BUILDER AND THE HOUSE DESTROYER

I. A woman's special sphere of work—her house. In this word is included all that in any way relates to the home life. Woman's relation to it is threefold.

1. The house—properly so-called—the interior of the building, is under her especial care. It is her temple of service, she is its priestess. As the female priestess in the Roman temple and the Hebrew priest in the temple of God were responsible for the internal order of their temples, so is every woman responsible for the order, the cleanliness, and comfort of the house of which she is the social priestess. It is her house, and in it she is expected to perform duties to which she is not called in any other house. Her oversight and presence, if not her actual labour, are indispensable to the proper arrangement of everything in it.

2. The affairs or business of the house is her special care. It is for her to preside over the domestic economy of the house—over that which we call housekeeping. All transactions of this nature seem naturally to fall within her jurisdiction, and it looks odd and out of place to see them in other hands.

3. She is specially related to the life of the house. If she is a mother, she, above all others, has the charge of the children, her opportunities for influencing them are greater than those possessed by the father. Her life is always before them. Her words are treasured up and repeated by them. If she is a mistress, the servants are under her special jurisdiction and guidance.

II. The wise woman is a social architect. She "builds her house."

1. Building implies a plan. No man sets about building a house without first having a plan, which is well considered in proportion to the wisdom of the builder. No argument-builder, with any wisdom, enters into an argument without first considering what he is going to do, and how he is going to do it, in order, if possible, to arrive at an unanswerable conclusion. So, to build a house in the sense of the text, there must be a plan of action. Every wise woman has an end in view in the government of her household. She has plans in relation to each department. She knows what she purposes to do before she begins to do anything.

2. Building implies personal exertion on the part of the architect. All his work is not done when he has drawn the plan and issued his orders. He must see that they are executed. He must, if needful, show how they are to be carried out. In times of emergency the general of an army must—like Napoleon at the Bridge of Lodi—engage himself in a hand-to-hand fight with the enemy. So will a wise woman. She does not always say, "Go," but sometimes "Come." She does not say, "That is the way," when "This is the way" is necessary. She never contents herself with saying, "Do this," without assuring herself that it is done.

3. Building implies a union of diverse materials to form a complete whole. Many and diverse materials are brought together to build a house. It would be impossible to erect a building of usefulness and beauty of one material alone. So a wise woman brings together many different elements, and blends them in due proportion, in order to make the home-life true, and beautiful, and good. Her wisdom is shown in developing the abilities and capacities of each member of the household, so that each may contribute to the strength and comfort of the whole. Upon the female head of the house, more than upon anyone else, depends the unity, peace, and concord of this temple of living stones.

III. An unwise woman, who is at the head of a house, caricatures her position by her conduct. Her position implies that she is a builder-up. Her conduct has the effect of pulling down. A clown upon a kingly throne is not more out of place than a foolish woman who bears the name of mistress, wife, and mother. The reins are in her hands, but she does not know how to guide the chariot; the materials are in her possession but she has no skill to use them. She is not only no centre of unity, she is a source of discord; she not only cannot build the house herself but she makes it impossible for anybody else to do anything towards it. She is not only no "crown to her husband," but she is "rottenness to his bones" (chap. Pro ).

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

A good wife is heaven's last best gift to a man; his angel of mercy; minister of graces innumerable; his gem of many virtues; his casket of jewels; her voice, his sweetest music; her smiles, his brightest day; her kiss, the guardian of his innocence; her arms, the pale of his safety; the balm of his health, the balsam of his life; her industry, his surest wealth; her economy, his safest steward; her lips, his faithful counsellors; her bosom, the softest pillow of his cares; and her prayers, the ablest advocates of heaven's blessings on his head.—Jeremy Taylor.

The following is a translation of a Welsh Triad:—A good wife is modest, void of deceit, and obedient; pure of conscience, gracious of tongue, and true to her husband; her heart not proud, her manners affable, and her bosom full of compassion for the poor, labouring to be tidy, skilful of hand, and fond of praying to God; her conversation amiable, her dress decent, and her house orderly; quick of hand, quick of eye, and quick of understanding; her face benignant, her head intelligent, and provident, neighbourly, gentle, and of a liberal way of thinking; able in directing, providing what is wanting, and a good mother to her children; loving her husband, loving peace, and God.—New Handbook of Illustration.

"House" means all interests. "Has built" is preterite. If all interests are prosperous at present, it has been the work of the past. The second clause wisely returns to the future, which we commonly translate as the present, because the act is steadily running on, and includes both the present and the future. Wisdom in woman has built her house, beginning a long time ago; but "folly" in women is an affair of the present. If it had been at work long, it would have had no house to pull down. As entering upon the work of the wise, ungodly mothers tear down the house which generations of the righteous have been slowly building. The grand comment, however, is that this womanly wisdom or wise woman, like the woman of grace (chap. Pro ), or woman of folly (chap. Pro 9:13) has an allegoric meaning. Women do much toward building up. But the text means more, that "wisdom," as personified, is the only builder of a "house," and "folly," as impenitence, all that can pull it down.—Miller.

Only the characteristic wisdom of woman (not that of the man) is able to "build itself a house," i.e., to make possible a household in the true sense of the word; for the woman alone has the capacity circumspectly to look through the multitude of individual household wants, and carefully to satisfy them; and also because the various activities of the members of a family can be combined in a harmonious unity only by the influence, partly regulative, and partly fostering, of a feminine character, gently but steadily efficient. But where there is wanting to the mistress of a house this wisdom attainable only by her, and appropriate only to her, then that is irrecoverably lost which first binds in a moral fellowship those connected by relationship of blood—that which makes the house, from a mere place of abode, to be the spiritual nursery of individuals organically associated.—Elster.

The fullest recognition that has as yet met us of the importance of woman, for good or evil, in all human society. Plumptre.

With calm, clear eyes, deep insight, ready sympathy; active, without bustle; alert, without over-anxious vigilance; ignorant perchance of æsthetic rules, yet with subtle touches transforming into a fine picture the home-spun canvas, and with a soft fairy music blending into harmony the noises of the day; apathetic about stocks and shares, and far-off millions; but with a keen appreciation of new sovereigns and no disdain for sixpences; a mere formalist, if professing interest in city improvements and parochial reforms, but as touching torn curtains and threadbare carpets much exercised in spirit; sure that the commotions of Europe will all come right, but shedding bitter tears at any outburst of juvenile waywardness, and praying earnestly, "Oh, that Ishmael may live before thee!" with small belief in the transcendental philosophy, and allowing that much may be said on both sides, but in the interpretation of the Ten Commandments positive, unreasoning, absolute; in theology hopelessly confounding the theology of the schools, and in an innocent way adopting half the heresies, but drinking direct from the fountain that living water which others prefer, chalybeate, through the iron pipe, or ærated from the filtering pond, and in a style which Calvin or Grotius might equally envy teaching the little ones the love of the Saviour; the angel of the house moulds a family for heaven, and by dint of holy example, and gentle control, her early and most efficacious ministry goes farther than any other to lay the foundations of future excellence, and train up sons and daughters for the Lord Almighty.—Dr. Jas. Hamilton.

St. Ambrose noteth that when God asked Abraham, "Where is thy wife, Sarah?"—He was not ignorant where Sarah was; but that He asked the question that by Abraham's answer, "Behold, in the tent," He might teach women where they ought to be—namely, in the house, and not so much in the house as in the affairs of the house, making ready provision to entertain God as Sarah was.—Jermin.

The modest virgin, the prudent wife, or the careful matron, are much more serviceable in life than petticoated philosophers, blustering heroines, or virago queens. She who makes her husband and her children happy, who reclaims the one from vice and trains the other to virtue, is a much greater character than ladies described in romance, whose whole occupation is to murder mankind with shafts from their quiver or their eyes.—Goldsmith.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-14.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Buildeth — Maintains and improves her family and estate.

Her hands — By her idleness or sin.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-14.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 1. Every wise woman buildeth her own house.] Quaevis pia perita. Every holy and handy woman buildeth her house; not only by bearing and breeding up children, as Rachel and Leah builded the house of Israel, [Ruth 4:11] but by a prudent and provident preventing of losses and dangers, as Abigail; as also by a careful planning, and putting everything to the best: like as a carpenter that is to build a house, lays the plan and platform of it first in his brain, forecasts in his mind how everything shall be, and then so orders his stuff, that nothing be cut to waste. Lo, such is the guise of the good housewife. As the husband is as the head from whom all the sinews do flow, so she is as the hands into which they flow, and enable them to do their office.

But the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.] With both hands earnestly: she undoes the family whereof she is the calamity, be she never so witty, if with it she be not religious and thrifty, heedy and handy. (a) Be the husband never so frugal, if the wife be idle, or lavish, or proud, or given to gadding and gossipping, &c., he doth but draw water with a sieve, or seek to pull a loaded cart through a sandy way without the help of a horse; it little boots him to bestir himself, for he puts his gets "into a bag with holes." [Haggai 1:6] He "labours in the very fire," [Habakkuk 2:13] as Cowper, bishop of Lincoln, did, whose wife burnt all his notes that he had been eight years in gathering, lest he should kill himself with too much study (for she had much ado to get him to his meals), so that he was forced to fall to work again, and was eight years in gathering the same notes wherewith he composed his dictionary, that useful book. (b) How much happier in a wife was that learned Gul. Budaeus. Coniux mea, saith he, sic mihi morem gerit, ut non tractet negligentius libros meos quam liberos, &c. My wife seeing me bookish, is no less diligent about my books, than about my barns, whom she breeds up with singular care and tenderness. How well might he have done, having such a learned helper, as a countryman of his (c) did, of whom Thuanus reporteth, quod singulis annis singulos libros et liberos, reip. dederit: That he set forth every year a book and a child, a book and a child! But this by the way only.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-14.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 1. Every wise woman buildeth her house, literally, "Woman's wisdom buildeth her house," the reference being to the prudence and foresight of the wise housekeeper, who manages well; but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands, her mismanagement results in ruin.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-14.html. 1921-23.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Proverbs 14:1

If you ask what God and the word of God mean by wisdom and folly, the answer will embrace three particulars: on the side of wisdom, these—forethought, earnestness, perseverance; on the side of folly, in like manner, these—improvidence, irresolution, unsteadiness. Corresponding to these three qualities of the builder are the three conditions of building: (1) To build you must have a plan; (2) building requires toil; (3) The proof of the building is growth. What now, is the house?

I. There is the house of the mind. It is the bounden duty of each one to build on some plan, and to begin early. If a plan is the first condition of building, toil, honest toil, is the second; and perseverance, brave and steadfast, is the third, and the most decisive.

II. The house of the life. Every one of us has a life—the most weighty word, the most mysterious possession, the most responsible charge. It is a matter almost of life and death to make choice, amongst many possibilities, of the work which is to fill our lifetime. Wisdom will forecast, even in these things, the plan of her future.

III. We should have missed the very point of the text if we did not see, in the house spoken of, the house of the everlasting hope. Have you so much as settled the plan of this house of the, hope? What is your idea of the thing to be built? Let us not trifle with the house of the great hope. Let us lay deep the foundation, than which no man can really lay any other. Let us seize earnestly, let us hold tenaciously, any fragment of Divine truth which conscience attests and the soul can echo; let us piece each to each, with a new realisation until the whole stands out at last in its breadth and in its satisfaction; at the end of all, God Himself shall consciously enter, and fill the house of our soul's hope with the glorious illumination of His presence.

C. J. Vaughan, Counsels to Young Students, p. 31.


References: Proverbs 14:1-6.—R. Wardlaw, Lectures on Proverbs, vol. i., p. 368. Proverbs 14:6.--W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven, 1st series, p. 367. Proverbs 14:7.—Ibid., p. 373. Proverbs 14:7-12.—R. Wardlaw, Lectures on Proverbs, vol. i., p. 378.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/proverbs-14.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 14:1. Every wise woman See chap. Proverbs 12:4 and Exodus 1:21. Though to build the house is frequently used for increasing posterity, it seems in this place principally to refer to that oeconomy and good management by which a wise woman advantages her family. See Titus 2:5.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-14.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

PROVERBS CHAPTER 14

He speaks of the woman not to exclude the man, of whom this is no less true, but because the women, especially in those times, were very industrious in managing their husbands’ estates; of which see Pr 31.

Buildeth her house; maintaineth and improveth her family and estate, as this phrase is used, Exodus 1:21 2 Samuel 7:11 Psalms 127:1.

Plucketh it down with her hands; either by her idleness and not using her hands, or by her foolish and sinful courses.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. Every wise woman — Literally, as to form, the wisdoms of women; both plural, but with the verb in the singular, showing that the subject is to be taken as singular. Some render, woman’s wisdom buildeth. But the sense is well enough given in our common version.

The foolish — Literally, folly, but feminine in form; feminine folly plucketh. The sentiment is, that in building up a family, the woman, the wife and mother, has possibly more to do than the man. Great men have generally been more indebted to their mothers than to their fathers; and the greatness of certain families is traced chiefly to maternal wisdom and virtues. But of the foolish woman just the reverse may be said. She needs no help to pull down her house; her negligence, ill-management, extravagance, lack of capacity for family government, or other failings or vices, do the deed. She destroys her own family. For an example of the wise woman, see Proverbs 31:10, seq.; comp. also Proverbs 24:3-4, and Ruth 4:11, seq. “A fortune in a wife is better than a fortune with a wife.”


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-14.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This verse makes better sense if for "house" we read "household." Either translation is legitimate.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/proverbs-14.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 14:1. Every wise woman buildeth her house — By her care, industry: diligence, and prudent management, she improves, and raises her family and estate. So the phrase is used Exodus 1:21; 2 Samuel 7:11; Psalms 127:1. He speaks of the woman, not exclusively of the man, of whom this is no less true, but because the women, especially in those times, were very industrious in managing their husbands’ estates. But the foolish plucketh it down with her hands — By her negligence, idleness, ill management, or want of economy, she lays it low, and wastes all that had been gotten by the care of others.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

House. Giving her children a proper education, and taking care of her house, chap. xii. 4., and Titus ii. 5. (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

wise. Hebrew. chokmoth (see note on Proverbs 1:2), wisdoms, plural (with verb in singular) for emphasis. Figure of speech Hypallage (App-6) = the true wisdom of women, which is put for the wise woman. The word is pointed as an Adjective by mistake. See notes on Proverbs 1:20; Proverbs 9:1; Proverbs 14:1.

buildeth = has built. Preterite tense, implying the outcome of past wisdom.

the foolish = a foolish woman. Hebrew. "evil. Same word as in verses: Proverbs 14:3, Proverbs 14:8, Proverbs 14:9, Proverbs 3:17, Proverbs 3:18, Proverbs 3:24, Proverbs 3:29. Not the same word as in verses: Proverbs 14:7, Proverbs 14:8, Proverbs 14:16, Proverbs 7:24.

plucketh it down = will tear it down: future, because folly"s present course is continuous to the end.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands - literally, 'wise women (each one) buildeth,' etc. Or else, 'the wisdom of women ... the folly,' etc. "Buildeth" - i:e., adorns, establishes, and makes happy her household (Ruth 4:1, "Rachel and Leah did build the house of Israel"). Such a one is taught experimentally by the Word of God how to bear herself toward her husband, her children, and her servants. Hereby, and by the noble offspring which God gives her, according to His promise, she "buildeth her house." The foolish woman, by her negligence, bad administration, self-indulgence, and provocation of God's displeasure, "plucketh down" her house.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

XIV

(1) Every wise woman buildeth her house.—This should be rendered, “The wisdom (literally, wisdoms; see above on Proverbs 1:20; chokhmôth should probably be read here, as there, not chokhmôth) of women buildeth (for each) her house, but (their) folly plucketh it down,” &c.

Buildeth her house.—Each person and each good work throughout the household grows, as it were, under her fostering hand. (Comp. Ephesians 2:21.)


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
wise
24:3,4; 31:10-31; Ruth 4:11
the foolish
9:13-15; 19:13; 21:9,19; 1 Kings 16:31; 21:24,25; 2 Kings 11:1

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-14.html.

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