Proverbs 21:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 21:19, NIV: Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.

Proverbs 21:19, ESV: It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.

Proverbs 21:19, KJV: It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

Proverbs 21:19, NASB: It is better to live in a desert land Than with a contentious and irritating woman.

Proverbs 21:19, NLT: It's better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.

Proverbs 21:19, CSB: Better to live in a wilderness than with a nagging and hot-tempered wife.

What does Proverbs 21:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Once again (Proverbs 21:9) Solomon observes that luxury and comfort cannot make up for a negative, toxic relationship with one's spouse. The harsh conditions of a desert are preferable to the harsher conditions in such a home. The wording here is literally about a "wife," but the general idea applies to either sex (Proverbs 19:13; 27:15).

Although marriage is meant to unite a man and a woman, the union may be shaky when one spouse nags, argues, berates, or complains about the other. A happy marriage is one in which both partners honor the Lord and love each other (Ephesians 5:22–33). For the sake of a tranquil home each spouse must overlook the other's faults. Self-sacrificing love is the glue that binds husband and wife together in a joyful marriage. First Corinthians 13:4–5 describes such love as "patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful."