|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:23. A bargain made by fraud will prove a losing bargain in the end. 24. How can we form plans, and conduct business, independently of the Lord? 25. The evasions men often use with their own consciences show how false and deceitful man is. 26. Justice should crush the wicked, and separate them from the virtuous. 27. The rational soul and conscience are as a lamp within us, which should be used in examining our dispositions and motives with the revealed will of God. 28. Mercy and truth are the glories of God's throne. 29. Both young and old have their advantages; and let neither despise or envy the other.
Verse 28. - Mercy and truth preserve the king. (For "mercy and truth," see note on Proverbs 3:3.) The love and faithfulness which the king displays in dealing with his subjects elicits the like virtues in them, and these are the safeguard of his throne. His throne is upholden by mercy; or, love. So the king is well called the father of his people, and in modern times the epithet "gracious" is applied to the sovereign as being the fountain of mercy and condescension. Sallust, 'Jugurtha,' 10, "Non exercitus neque thesauri praesidia regni sunt, verum amici, quos neque armis cogere neque auro parare queas; officio et fide pariuntur." Septuagint, "Mercy (ἐλεημοσύνη) and truth are a guard to a king, and will surround his throne with righteousness." "The subject's love," says our English maxim, "is the king's lifeguard."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Mercy and truth preserve the king,.... Which are two good qualifications in a prince; not ruling his subjects with rigour and cruelty, but with tenderness and clemency; easing them as much as he can of burdens and pressures; showing compassion to the distressed, and pardoning delinquents when the case will admit of it; as also being faithful to his word, promises, and engagements; inviolably adhering to the laws and constitution of the nation, and steady in his administrations of justice; these preserve him in the affections of his people, and make him safe and secure on his throne; and because of these the Lord preserves him from his enemies. It maybe rendered, "grace and truth" (l); and applied to Christ, who is full of both, and which are said to preserve him, Psalm 40:11;
and his throne is upholden by mercy; this explains what is meant by the preservation of him, and what is the security of his throne and kingdom, which is clemency and goodness to his subjects.
(l) "gratis et veritas", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. (Compare Pr 3:3; 16:6, 12).
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