Proverbs 14:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 14:1, NIV: The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs 14:1, ESV: The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.

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

Proverbs 14:1, NASB: The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

Proverbs 14:1, NLT: A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.

Proverbs 14:1, CSB: Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

What does Proverbs 14:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Solomon observes a contrast between a wise woman and a foolish woman. The book of Proverbs uses the terms "wise" and "foolish," generally, to describe those who follow God or reject God, respectively (Proverbs 1:7; 3:5–8). Solomon's description here refers to women and their influence on the home, though this does not mean home-based interests are the only ones which can be addressed by women.

In this verse, Solomon is not referring to construction but to homemaking. The wise woman blesses her home, her family. Practical examples of this would include things like partnering with her husband in the godly upbringing of their children (Proverbs 22:6; 29:15; Psalm 127:3–5; Ephesians 6:1–4) and facilitating a physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy environment in the home through things as simple as family hygiene habits, speech patterns, and vigilantly attending to her own relationship with the Lord. A wise woman doesn't waste money or resources, but instead invests them into her ministry for the glory of God and the benefit of her family and others to whom she ministers. A wise woman is one like the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, always mindful of the needs of her household and eager to live out God's call on her life in every season.

The foolish woman, on the other hand, is unconcerned about the needs of her husband and children. She does not honor the Lord nor seek to live out His calling on her life. Rather than build up her family, her actions damage her family.