Proverbs 19:13
A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
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(13) A continual dropping.—As of the rain leaking through the flat roof of an eastern house on a wet day. (Comp. 27:15.)

Proverbs 19:13. A foolish son, &c. — Two things make a man exceeding unhappy, a dissolute son, and a contentious wife: for the former is a perpetual grief to his father, to see him likely to prove the utter destruction of his family; and the quarrels of a wife spoil a man’s happiness, like perpetual droppings, which wear away what they fall upon.

19:11. He attains the most true glory who endeavours most steadily to overcome evil with good. 12. Christ is a King, whose wrath against his enemies will be as the roaring of a lion, and his favour to his people as the refreshing dew. 13. It shows the vanity of the world, that we are liable to the greatest griefs where we promise ourselves the greatest comfort.Calamity - The Hebrew word is plural (as in Psalm 57:1; Psalm 91:3), and seems to express the multiplied and manifold sorrow caused by the foolish son.

Continual dropping - The irritating, unceasing, sound of the fall, drop after drop, of water through the chinks in the roof.

13. calamity—literally, "calamities," varied and many.

continual dropping—a perpetual annoyance, wearing out patience.

Are like rain continually dropping upon a house, which by degrees marreth the house and household stuff, and driveth the inhabitants out of it. He compareth her to a

continual dropping, because of that inseparable union and necessary cohabitation of husband and wife together, notwithstanding such contentions.

A foolish son is the calamity of his father,.... Or, "the calamities of his father" (q); he brings them to him. A very great affliction he is, and which has many distresses and sorrows in it; as loss of reputation and credit in his family, which is sunk by his behaviour, instead of being supported and increased; loss of substance, through extravagance and riotous living, and the ruin of his soul and body by his wicked practices; see Proverbs 10:1;

and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping; or like the dropping of rain, in a rainy day, into a house out of repair, and which is very uncomfortable to, the inhabitants of it; see Proverbs 27:15. Such are the contentions of a peevish, ill natured, and brawling wife, who is always scolding; and which is a continual vexation to a man, and renders him very uneasy in life: such a continual dropping was Xantippe to Socrates, who teased him night and day with her brawls and contentions (r). A great unhappiness each of these must be!

(q) "calamitates", Vatablus; "aerumnae", Piscator, Michaelis; "causa aerumnarum", Junius & Tremellius. (r) A. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 1. c. 17.

A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual {e} dropping.

(e) As rain that drops and rots the house.

13. continual] Lit. thrusting, where one drop follows so closely upon another as to thrust it forward. “In quo gutta guttam trudit,” Maur.; “Tecta jugiter perstillantia litigiosa mulier,” Vulg. Comp. Proverbs 27:15.

Verse 13. - With the first clause we may compare Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 15:20; Proverbs 17:21, 25. Calamity in the Hebrew is in the plural number (contritiones, Pagn.), as if to mark the many and continued sorrows which a bad son brings upon his father, how he causes evil after evil to harass and distress him. The contentions of a wife are a continual dropping (comp. Proverbs 27:15). The flat roofs of Eastern houses, formed of planks loosely joined and covered with a coating of clay or plaster, were always subject to leakage in heavy rains. The irritating altercations and bickering of a cross-grained wife are compared to the continuous drip of water through an imperfectly constructed roof. Tecta jugiter perstillantia, as the Vulgate has it. The Scotch say, "A leaky house and a scolding wife are two bad companions." The two clauses of the verse are coordinate, expressing two facts that render home life miserable and unendurable, viz. the misbehaviour of a son and the ill temper of a wife. The Septuagint, following a different reading, has, "Nor are offerings from a harlot's hire pure," which is an allusion to Deuteronomy 23:18. Proverbs 19:1313 A foolish son is destruction for his father,

     And a continual dropping are the contentions of a wife.

Regarding הוּת, vid., at Proverbs 17:4, cf. Proverbs 10:3. Line 2a is expanded, Proverbs 27:15, into a distich. The dropping is טרד, properly striking (cf. Arab. tirad, from tarad III, hostile assault) when it pours itself forth, stroke (drop) after stroke equals constantly, or with unbroken continuity. Lightning-flashes are called (Jer Berachoth, p. 114, Shitomir's ed.) טורדין, opp. מפסיקין, when they do not follow in intervals, but constantly flash; and b. Bechoroth 44a; דומעות, weeping eyes, דולפות, dropping eyes, and טורדות, eyes always flowing, are distinguished. An old interpreter (vid., R. Ascher in Pesachim II No. 21) explains דלף טרד by: "which drops, and drops, and always drops." An Arab proverb which I once heard from Wetzstein, says that there are three things which make our house intolerable: âlṭaḳḳ ( equals âldhalf), the trickling through of rain; âlnaḳḳ, the contention of the wife; and âlbaḳḳ, bugs.

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