Proverbs 16:12
It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) It is an abomination to kings. . . .—This and the following verse are, like Proverbs 16:10, descriptive of the ideal king who, above all things, loves truth and justice. Psalms 72 works out the thought more fully. How feebly the character was fulfilled by Solomon or the best of his successors the history of Israel shews. It was too high a conception for man to carry out, and was fulfilled only in the person of David’s Son, who is “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16).

Proverbs 16:12. It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness — They should not only abstain from all wicked practices, but abhor them, both in their own persons, and in all their servants and subjects. It is too plain that he speaks not of the common practice, but of the duty of kings, as in Proverbs 16:10. A good king not only does justice, but it is an abomination to him to do otherwise: he hates the thought of doing wrong, and perverting justice: he not only abhors the wickedness done by others, but abhors to do any himself, though, having power, he might easily and safely do it. For the throne is established by righteousness — He that makes conscience of using his power aright, shall find that to be the best security of his government; both as it will oblige people, and keep them true to his interests, and as it will bring down upon him and his government the blessing of God, which will be a firm basis to his throne, and a strong guard about it.16:12. The ruler that uses his power aright, will find that to be his best security. 13. Put those in power who know how to speak to the purpose. 14,15. Those are fools, who, to obtain the favour of an earthly prince, throw themselves out of God's favour. 16. There is joy and satisfaction of spirit, only in getting wisdom. 17. A sincerely religious man keeps at a distance from every appearance of evil. Happy is the man that walks in Christ, and is led by the Spirit of Christ. 18. When men defy God's judgments, and think themselves far from them, it is a sign they are at the door. Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves. 19. Humility, though it exposes to contempt in the world, is much better than high-spiritedness, which makes God an enemy. He that understands God's word shall find good. 21. The man whose wisdom dwells in his heart, will be found more truly prudent than many who possess shining talents. 22. As waters to a thirsty land, so is a wise man to his friends and neighbours. 23. The wise man's self-knowledge, always suggests something proper to be spoken to others. 24. The word of God cures the diseases that weaken our souls. 25. This is caution to all, to take heed of deceiving themselves as to their souls. 26. We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish.See Proverbs 11:1 note. People are not to think that trade lies outside the divine law. God has commanded there also all that belongs to truth and right. 12. Rulers are rightly expected, by their position, to hate evil; for their power is sustained by righteousness. It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness; they should not only abstain from all wicked practices, but abhor them both in their own persons, and in all their servants and subjects. It is too plain that he speaks not of the common practice, but of the duty of kings, as on Proverbs 16:10. And such affirmative expressions are oft used in Scripture to express men’s duty only, as 1 Corinthians 6:19, your body is (i.e. should be) the temple, &c.; and 1 Corinthians 7:32, careth, &c. i.e. ought to care.

The throne is established by righteousness; and (which is implied) weakened, and sometimes overthrown by unrighteousness; and therefore this is necessary for their own security and happiness. It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness,.... The Targum is,

"the abomination of kings are they that work wickedness.''

It should be an abomination to kings to commit wickedness themselves, and those that do it should be abhorred by them, or they should show their resentment at it by removing them from their presence, or by punishing them: and though there have been such kings as David, Psalm 101:4; yet there are but few such; this is not true of kings in common; and therefore rather expresses what they should be than what they are; but is perfectly applicable to Christ, who loves righteousness and hates iniquity, Psalm 45:7;

for the throne is established by righteousness; this is the support, strength, and security of every kingdom, and of the thrones of kings; and it is with judgment and righteousness that the throne of Christ is established; yea, justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne, Isaiah 9:7.

It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established {g} by righteousness.

(g) They are appointed by God to rule according to equity and justice.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 12. - It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness. This and the following verse give the ideal view of the monarch - that which he ought to be rather than what be is (comp. Psalm 72.). Certainly neither Solomon nor many of his successors exhibited this high character. The Septuagint, followed by some modern commentators, translates, "He who doeth wickedness is an abomination to kings;" but as the "righteousness" in the second clause (the throne is established by righteousness) undoubtedly refers to the king, so it is more natural to take the "wickedness" in the first member as being his own, not his subjects'. When a ruler acts justly and wisely, punishes the unruly, rewards the virtuous, acts as God's vicegerent, and himself sets the example of the character which becomes so high a position, he wins the affection of his people, they willingly obey him. and are ready to die for him and his family (comp. Proverbs 25:5; Isaiah 16:5). Lawmakers should not be law breakers. Seneca, 'Thyest.,' 215 -

"Ubi non est pudor,
Nec cura juris, sanctitas, pietas, fides,
Instabile regnum est."
6 By love and truth is iniquity expiated,

   And through the fear of Jahve one escapes from evil -

literally, there comes (as the effect of it) the escaping of evil (סוּר, n. actionis, as Proverbs 13:19), or rather, since the evil here comes into view as to its consequences (Proverbs 14:27; Proverbs 15:24), this, that one escapes evil. By חסד ואמת are here meant, not the χάρις καὶ ἀλήθεια of God (Bertheau), but, like Proverbs 20:28, Isaiah 39:8, love and faithfulness in the relation of men to one another. The ב is both times that of the mediating cause. Or is it said neither by what means one may attain the expiation of his sins, nor how he may attain to the escaping from evil, but much rather wherein the true reverence for Jahve, and wherein the right expiation of sin, consist? Thus von Hofmann, Schriftbew. i. 595. But the ב of בחסד is not different from that of בּזאת, Isaiah 27:9. It is true that the article of justification is falsified if good works enter as causa meritoria into the act of justification, but we of the evangelical school teach that the fides qu justificat is indeed inoperative, but not the fides quae justificat, and we cannot expect of the O.T. that it should everywhere distinguish with Pauline precision what even James will not or cannot distinguish. As the law of sacrifice designates the victim united with the blood in the most definite manner, but sometimes also the whole transaction in the offering of sacrifice even to the priestly feast as serving לכפּר, Leviticus 10:17, so it also happens in the general region of ethics: the objective ground of reconciliation is the decree of God, to which the blood in the typical offering points, and man is a partaker of this reconciliation, when he accepts, in penitence and in faith, the offered mercy of God; but this acceptance would be a self-deception, if it meant that the blotting out of the guilt of sin could be obtained in the way of imputation without the immediate following thereupon of a blotting of it out in the way of sanctification; and therefore the Scriptures also ascribe to good works a share in the expiation of sin in a wider sense - namely, as the proofs of thankful (Luke 7:47) and compassionate love (vid., at Proverbs 10:2), as this proverb of love and truth, herein according with the words of the prophets, as Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8. He who is conscious of this, that he is a sinner, deeply guilty before God, who cannot stand before Him if He did not deal with him in mercy instead of justice, according to the purpose of His grace, cannot trust to this mercy if he is not zealous, in his relations to his fellow-men, to practise love and truth; and in view of the fifth petition of the Lord's Prayer, and of the parable of the unmerciful steward rightly understood, it may be said that the love which covers the sins, Proverbs 10:12, of a neighbour, has, in regard to our own sins, a covering or atoning influence, of "blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." That "love and truth" are meant of virtues practised from religious motives, 6b shows; for, according to this line, by the fear of Jahve one escapes evil. The fear of Jahve is subjection to the God of revelation, and a falling in with the revealed plan of salvation.

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