Oddly enough, in the “Christian” circles I have traveled, I have never heard “contentious” as a description of a man, even when that would have been a very accurate description (by biblical definition of the word). Contrary to Christian social conventions, the truth is that the biblical term translated “contentious” is used rather evenhandedly to describe men and women and seems “descriptive” rather than judgmental. (click here to see BLB lexicon definition for <04066>- “contentious” )
Here are some contentious WOMEN verses:
Pr 21:9 ¶ It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling <04066> woman in a wide house.
Pr 21:19 ¶ It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious <04066> and an angry woman.
Pr 27:15 ¶ A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious <04066> woman are alike.
Pr 25:24 ¶ It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling <04066> woman and in a wide house.
Here are some contentious MEN verses:
Pr 26:21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious <04066> man to kindle strife.
Pr 29:22 ¶ An angry man stirreth up strife <04066>, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
Pr 15:18 ¶ A wrathful man stirreth up strife <04066>: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
Pr 6:14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord <04066>.
Pr 16:28 A froward man soweth strife <04066>: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
Can we call these contentious people verses?
Ps 80:6 Thou makest us a strife <04066> unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.
Pr 26:20 ¶ Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife <04066> ceaseth.
Pr 17:14 ¶ The beginning of strife <04066> is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
Pr 22:10 ¶ Cast out the scorner, and contention <04066> shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
Jeremiah refers to himself this way:
Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention <04066> to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me. Jer 15:10
And isn’t the following a description of sowing what one reaps?
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions <04066> are like the bars of a castle. Pr 18:19
The verse is not about the “guilty, sinful, contentious one” assaulting a poor innocent victim. The brother is behaving contentiously because he is offended. Does that indicate that when one sows offensive behavior one will reap contention.? Going back to the previous example about Jeremiah: his prophetic utterances created contention, strife, and offense… yet they were not SIN. The situation was God’s divine appointment for Jeremiah. When I look at the verses in the first set above- the ones about contentious wives-I can’t help but wonder if they too are about God’s divine appointment for the marriage.
WHY is she contentious?
WHAT “provokes” contention?
The following verse sure seems to be saying that a proud heart of an individual will stir up strife/contention in those around him.
Pr 28:25 ¶ He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife : but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.
So, husband, if you think she is a “contentious wife” be sure to check your heart for pride!
Stay tuned for more on this theme…