A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. 16 Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.
Definitions of Words.
Continual – to drive on, to follow close.
Dropping – drip.
Contentious – quarrel, brawling, discord, strife.
Ointment – a greasy liquid, perfumed, which speaks of richness, and fruitfulness.
Bewrayeth – means to call out, or publicly declare.
Proverbs 29:24 - “Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not.” This word “bewrayeth” is a different word than the one in Proverbs 27:16. This word means to stand boldly out opposite, to announce (always by word of mouth to one present), to expose, to denounce. So this word mean that the person hears cursing, but says nothing about it, is not bold to denounce it, or condemn it.
Matthew 26:73 is also a different word than Proverbs 27:16, as it is Greek, not Hebrew. The verse speaks of the maid declaring that Peter is a Galilean because his speech bewrayeth him. That is, his speech declares Peter to be a Galilean.
I believe the continual dropping is not speaking about rain, but about the effects of rain on a leaking roof. Rain is not like a contentious woman, but a leaking roof is. Rain is a blessing from God, which nourishes the earth and causes flowers to bloom and the field to produce. A virtuous woman is a great blessing from God, as Proverbs 18:22, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” But a contentious woman is trouble to the soul, as in Proverbs 21:19, “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”
A person is restrained to the indoors when it is raining and cannot do outside work. I love to be indoors on a rainy day. It is very refreshing, but it is especially annoying when the roof leaks, and I cannot fix it that day because of the rain. It is necessary to put a bucket under the leak, but the constant “plunk, plunk” of water dropping into the bucket soon looses all pleasantness because it speaks of something that needs to be fixed, something that is wrong. We could say almost the same thing about a leaking faucet. Many a person has been kept awake by the constant “plunk, plunk” of a leaking faucet, and has arisen from bed to do something about it.
A contentious woman is like a leak in the roof when it is raining. It is impossible to get away from her. And it is practically impossible to stop her. It is likewise impossible to hide her contentiousness from others. It is as possible to hide the smell of ointment on the right hand as it is to hide the contentiousness of a contentious woman. She will have her say, like the perfume of the ointment which fills the room, and will continue to permeate the room.
There is special notice given of the right hand. This is the hand that is used in greeting, or most generally used in battle. There are some left handed people, but that is not generally the case. Whenever the right hand is extended in greeting, there will always be a remembrance made of the wife. If you think of Boaz, Ruth immediately comes to mind. Almost all of Proverbs 31 speaks of the virtuous woman. It is remarkable that in the middle of praise to the virtuous woman, Proverbs 31:23 speaks of the husband, who is known in the gates. The husband is greatly respected, admired, and his opinion revered because of his virtuous wife. If, however, the wife is contentious, the reputation of the husband is hindered. The definition of ointment not only speaks of perfume, but also speaks of oil, which causes the hand to be slippery and the grasp is limited. Thus the husband is limited in his grasp because the wife is contentious and not a help meet. Even though the husband is a very talented man, his wife hinders him because she is well known to be contentious.