The word “quarrelsome” is almost exclusive to the book of Proverbs, occurring six times there and only two other times in the rest of the Bible. Quarrelsome means “given to quarreling, contentious, belligerent”; some of its synonyms are argumentative, fractious, and petulant.
Five of the six occurrences relate to a quarrelsome wife—she is undesirable and to be avoided. Twice she is compared to a constant dripping, which could be a suitable euphemism for nagging.
The sixth reference is to a quarrelsome man—he is one who kindles strife.
The Bible’s seventh and eighth occurrences of quarrelsome occurs in 1 and 2 Timothy where it is listed as an unacceptable characteristic of a church leader.
Lest the ladies are feeling unfairly chastised, recall that Solomon—who wrote much of Proverbs—had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Surely there were a few quarrelsome ones among the group, giving him ample reason to be so sensitive about this topic.
Regardless, quarrelsome is most certainly a characteristic to be avoided, both as a personal trait and among those you associate with.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.