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A foolish son brings destruction to his father,
and the contentions of a wife are like a constantly leaking roof. Bible

“leaking roof.” The Hebrew is deleph (#01812 דֶּ֫לֶף), and as the Holladay Hebrew Lexicon points out, the meaning in proverbs is “leaky roof” (cp. Waltke; Proverbs). The same word is used in Proverbs 27:15.

“constantly dripping.” The Hebrew is tarad (#02956 טָרַד), and the Holladay Hebrew Lexicon gives the meaning as “drip steadily” in Proverbs 19:13 and 27:15. Waltke renders the last stanza: “and a wife’s quarrellings are a leaky roof that drips constantly.” There are many things in life that are annoying, so the leaky roof is deliberately chosen for effect. Home is supposed to be a place of refuge and rest, and so when it is a place of constant annoyance it is especially hard to endure. Leaky roofs were a big problem in the biblical culture, because the roofs were generally flat, and made of beams, covered, sometimes sparsely, with boards or large sticks, which were in turn covered by clay that may or may not have been mixed with chaff, then flattened and baked by the sun. These clay roofs often grew weeds (called “grass” in biblical lingo), which did not do well in hot weather because first, no one would water it, and second, there was certainly not a lot of depth of soil. Thus, Psalm 129:6 (ESV) says: “Let them be like the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up.”


Commentary for: Proverbs 19:13