Proverbs 28:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
A tyrannical ruler practices extortion, but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign.

New Living Translation
A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people, but one who hates corruption will have a long life.

English Standard Version
A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

Berean Study Bible
A leader who lacks understanding is also a great oppressor, but he who hates dishonest profit will prolong his days.

New American Standard Bible
A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

King James Bible
The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.

Christian Standard Bible
A leader who lacks understanding is very oppressive, but one who hates dishonest profit prolongs his life.

Contemporary English Version
A heartless leader is a fool, but anyone who refuses to get rich by cheating others will live a long time.

Good News Translation
A ruler without good sense will be a cruel tyrant. One who hates dishonesty will rule a long time.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A leader who lacks understanding is very oppressive, but one who hates dishonest profit prolongs his life.

International Standard Version
A Commander-in-Chief who is a cruel oppressor lacks understanding, but whoever hates unjust gain will live longer.

NET Bible
The prince who is a great oppressor lacks wisdom, but the one who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

New Heart English Bible
A prince who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but one who hates ill-gotten gain will prolong his days.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Many are the griefs of the Ruler lacking a mind and whoever hates deceit prolongs his days.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A leader without understanding taxes [his people] heavily, but those who hate unjust gain will live longer.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The prince that lacketh understanding is also a great oppressor; But he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.

New American Standard 1977
A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The prince void of intelligence is also a great oppressor, but he that hates covetousness shall prolong his days.

King James 2000 Bible
The prince that lacks understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hates covetousness shall prolong his days.

American King James Version
The prince that wants understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hates covetousness shall prolong his days.

American Standard Version
The prince that lacketh understanding is also a great oppressor; But he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A prince void of prudence shall oppress many by calumny: but he that hateth covetousness, shall prolong his days.

Darby Bible Translation
The prince void of intelligence is also a great oppressor: he that hateth covetousness shall prolong [his] days.

English Revised Version
The prince that lacketh understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.

Webster's Bible Translation
The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.

World English Bible
A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment. One who hates ill-gotten gain will have long days.

Young's Literal Translation
A leader lacking understanding multiplieth oppressions, Whoso is hating dishonest gain prolongeth days.
(16) A prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor.--Thereby losing the love of his people, and at the same time impoverishing them; thus killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. He also by his misdeeds draws down upon himself God's anger in the shape of an early death. Comp. the woe pronounced upon Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 22:13, sqq.).

Verse 16. - The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor; literally, and rich in oppression. Ewald, Delitzsch, Nowack, and others take the verse, not as a statement, but as a warning addressed to the ruler, as we have so many addressed to a son, and as the author of the Book of Wisdom calls upon the judges of the earth to listen to his admonitions. They therefore render thus: "O prince, void of understanding, but rich in oppression!" The wording and accentuation of the passage confirm this view. Caher renders, "A prince that wants understanding increases his exactions." The want of intelligence makes a prince cruel and tyrannical and callous to suffering: not possessing the wisdom and prudence necessary for right government, he defrauds his subjects, treats them unjustly, and causes great misery. See the prophet's denunciation of Shallum and Jehoiakim for these very crimes (Jeremiah 22:13-19). Septuagint, "A king wanting revenues is a great oppresser (συκοφάντης)." He that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days (Proverbs 15:27). The prince addressed is thus warned that his oppressive acts will be visited upon him judicially; that only a ruler who deals with his subjects liberally and equitably can attain to old age, and that his conduct will shorten his life. An early death is reckoned as a token of God's indignation. The second hemistich Caher translates, "But he who hates lucre shall reign long." Septuagint, "He who hateth iniquity shall live a long time." (For "covetousness" (betsa), see on Proverbs 1:19.) The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor,.... Or, "much in oppressions" (o); he multiplies them, and abounds in them; he distresses his subjects in a variety of ways and methods he uses to extort money from them by which he shows his want of understanding: he is a wise prince that uses gentle methods, and gains the affections of his people, and who cheerfully supports his crown and government with honour and glory; but he is a foolish prince that uses them with rigour. It may be rendered, "and a prince that wanteth understanding, and is much", or "abounds, in oppressions"; in laying heavy burdens and taxes on his people, in an arbitrary manner; "shall shorten, and not prolong his days" (p), as it may be supplied from the next clause; either his subjects will rise up against him, and dethrone him, and destroy him; or God, in mercy to them, and in judgment to him, will remove him by death;

but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days; to hate covetousness is a good qualification of a civil magistrate, prince, or ruler, Exodus 18:21. This sin is the cause of a wicked prince oppressing his subjects; but where it is hated, which is seen by moderation in government, and easing of the people as much as possible; such a prince, as he has the hearts of his subjects, is well pleasing to God, by whom he reigns; and such an one, through the prayers of the people for him, and the goodness of God unto him, lives long, and reigns prosperously; and dies, as David, in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour.

(o) "multus oppressionibus", Montanus, Junius & Tremeilius, Piscator, Mercerus, Baynus, Michaelis, Schultens. (p) So Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus, and some Jewish writers in Vatablus. 16. The prince … understanding—that is, He does not perceive that oppression jeopards his success. Covetousness often produces oppression, hence the contrast.28:1 Sin makes men cowards. Whatever difficulties the righteous meet in the way of duty, they are not daunted. 2. National sins disturb the public repose. 3. If needy persons get opportunities of oppressing, their extortion will be more severe than that of the more wealthy. 4. Wicked people strengthen one another in wicked ways. 5. If a man seeks the Lord, it is a good sign that he understands much, and it is a good means of understanding more. 6. An honest, godly, poor man, is better than a wicked, ungodly, rich man; has more comfort in himself, and is a greater blessing to the world. 7. Companions of riotous men not only grieve their parents, but shame them. 8. That which is ill got, though it may increase much, will not last long. Thus the poor are repaid, and God is glorified. 9. The sinner at whose prayers God is angry, is one who obstinately refuses to obey God's commands. 10. The success of ungodly men is their own misery. 11. Rich men are so flattered, that they think themselves superior to others. 12. There is glory in the land when the righteous have liberty. 13. It is folly to indulge sin, and excuse it. He who covers his sins, shall not have any true peace. He who humbly confesses his sins, with true repentance and faith, shall find mercy from God. The Son of God is our great atonement. Under a deep sense of our guilt and danger, we may claim salvation from that mercy which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. 14. There is a fear which causes happiness. Faith and love will deliver from the fear of eternal misery; but we should always fear offending God, and fear sinning against him. 15. A wicked ruler, whatever we may call him, this scripture calls a roaring lion, and a ranging bear. 16. Oppressors want understanding; they do not consult their own honour, ease, and safety. 17. The murderer shall be haunted with terrors. None shall desire to save him from deserved punishment, nor pity him.
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