When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bears rule, the people mourn.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proverbs 29:2. When the righteous are in authority — The Hebrew word here used signifies to increase, either in number, or in dignity and power, but it appears from the opposite clause that the latter is intended in this place. The people rejoice — For the blessed effects of their good government; but when the wicked beareth rule — When an ungodly man governs; the people mourn — For the oppressions and mischiefs which they feel, and for the dreadful judgments of God, which they justly fear.Proverbs 6:15. Stress is laid on the suddenness in such a case of the long-delayed retribution.
in authority—(Compare Margin), increased in power.In authority; which interpretation is confirmed from the opposite clause. The Hebrew word signifies to increase either in number, or in dignity and power.
The people rejoice, for the blessed effects of their good government.
The people mourn, both for the oppressions and mischiefs which they feel, and for the dreadful judgments of God which they justly fear.
the people rejoice; the whole body of the people, because of the public good; a state is happy under such an administration; everyone feels and enjoys the advantage of it; see 1 Kings 4:20;
but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn; or "groan" (h), or "will groan", under their tyranny and oppression, and because of the sad state of things; the number of good men is lessened, being cut off, or obliged to flee; wicked men and wickedness are encouraged and promoted; heavy taxes are laid upon them, and exorbitant demands made and cruelty, injustice, and arbitrary power exercised; and no man's person and property safe; see Proverbs 10:11.
(g) "cum augentur", Junius & Tremellius; "cum multiplicati fuerit, vel multiplicantur", Vatablus, Baynus, Cocceius, Michaelis; "in multiplicari justos", Montanus. (h) "gemet", Pagninus, Montanus, V. L. "gemit", Michaelis; "ingemiscit", Schultens; so the Tugurine version, Mercerus; "suspirat", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius.When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. in authority] This rendering is supported by the parallelism, but it is relegated to the margin in R.V. The rendering, increased, R.V. text, A.V. marg., gives the more usual meaning of the Heb. word, See Proverbs 28:28, and Proverbs 29:16 below.
the wicked] Or, a wicked man, R.V. The word is singular, but may be taken with A.V. collectively, ἀρχόντων δὲ ἀσεβῶν, LXX.; cum impii sumserint principatum, Vulg.Verse 2. - When the righteous are in authority; rather, as in Proverbs 28:28, when the righteous are increased; Vulgate, in multiplicatione justorum. When sinners are put away, and the righteous are in the majority. Septuagint, "when the just are commended." When good men give the tone to society and conduct all affairs according to their own high standard, the peoople rejoice; there is general happiness; prosperity abounds, and voices ring cheerfully (Proverbs 11:10; Proverbs 28:12). When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn; they suffer violence and injustice, and have bitter cause for complaint and lamentation. This proverb is not applicable to the age of Solomon.
It is no wrong, Is a companion of the destroyer.
The second line is related to Proverbs 18:9. Instead of dominus perditionis there found, there is here אישׁ משׁחית, vir perdens (perditor); the word thus denotes a man who destroys, not from revenge, but from lust, and for the sake of the life of men, and that which is valuable for men; thus the spoiler, the incendiary, etc. Instead of אח there, here we have חבר in the same sense. He who robs his parents, i.e., takes to himself what belongs to them, and regards his doing so as no particular sin,
(Note: Accentuate ואמר אין פשׁע without Makkeph, as in Codd. 1294 and old editions.)
because he will at last come to inherit it all (cf. Proverbs 20:21 with Proverbs 19:26), to to be likened to a man who allows himself in all offences against the life and property of his neighbour; for what the deed of such a son wants in external violence, it makes up in its wickedness, because it is a rude violation of the tenderest and holiest demands of duty.
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