Proverbs 8:15
By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) Princes.—Literally, men of weight, or, importance.

8:12-21 Wisdom, here is Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; it is Christ in the word, and Christ in the heart; not only Christ revealed to us, but Christ revealed in us. All prudence and skill are from the Lord. Through the redemption of Christ's precious blood, the riches of his grace abound in all wisdom and prudence. Man found out many inventions for ruin; God found one for our recovery. He hates pride and arrogance, evil ways and froward conversation; these render men unwilling to hear his humbling, awakening, holy instructions. True religion gives men the best counsel in all difficult cases, and helps to make their way plain. His wisdom makes all truly happy who receive it in the love of Christ Jesus. Seek him early, seek him earnestly, seek him before any thing else. Christ never said, Seek in vain. Those who love Christ, are such as have seen his loveliness, and have had his love shed abroad in their hearts; therefore they are happy. They shall be happy in this world, or in that which is beyond compare better. Wealth gotten by vanity will soon be diminished, but that which is well got, will wear well; and that which is well spent upon works of piety and charity, will be lasting. If they have not riches and honour in this world, they shall have that which is infinitely better. They shall be happy in the grace of God. Christ, by his Spirit, guides believers into all truth, and so leads them in the way of righteousness; and they walk after the Spirit. Also, they shall be happy in the glory of God hereafter. In Wisdom's promises, believers have goods laid up, not for days and years, but for eternity; her fruit therefore is better than gold.Not only the common life of common men, but the exercise of the highest sovereignty, must have this Wisdom as its ground. Compare with this passage Proverbs 8:15-21 the teaching of 1 Kings 3:5-14. The word rendered "princes" Proverbs 8:15 is different from that in Proverbs 8:16; the first might, perhaps, be rendered "rulers." 15, 16. of which a wisely conducted government is an example. By me kings reign: either,

1. They get their kingdom by mine appointment and providence. Or rather,

2. They rule their kingdoms wisely, and justly, and happily, by my counsel and assistance; for this best suits with the next clause.

And princes decree justice: their injustice or wickedness is from themselves, but all the just and good thing: which they do they owe to my conduct. By me kings reign,.... Christ is the Prince of the kings of the earth, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; they are made kings by him, and are under him; he sets them up, and deposes them at pleasure; they have their kingdoms, crowns, and sceptres from him, and are accountable to him. The Syriac version renders it, "for me"; it is for the sake of Christ they reign; and they ought to seek his glory, and the good of his kingdom and interest. Moreover, as it is by him they are set up as kings and governors, and are preserved and continued in their governments by him; so it is by him that they rule well who do so, that they reign justly, wisely, happily, and successfully; all the wisdom which appears in their administrations is all from him; all those wise laws, which are enacted by them for the good of their subjects, is owing to the wisdom and prudence he gives them;

and princes decree justice; these may design such who are under kings, are assisting to them in government; who are of their privy council, and give advice in making laws, and putting them into execution. Here it particularly regards their making just and righteous laws for the good of the state, in which they are employed by kings; or their advising to them, and assisting in drawing them up: and now all the wisdom that is necessary hereunto, and which is conspicuous herein, is all from Christ; who has the spirit of princes in his hands, and orders and directs them as he pleases. The Targum is,

"I anoint princes with justice.''

By me {f} kings reign, and princes decree justice.

(f) By which he declares that honours, dignities or riches do not come from man's wisdom or industry, but by the providence of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. kings reign] If wisdom be needed for the conduct of common life, much more is it needed, and no less does it avail for the discharge of the highest official duties. Comp. 1 Kings 3:5-12.Verse 15. - By me kings reign. By possession of wisdom kings are enabled to discharge their functions duly and righteously. So Solomon prayed for wisdom to enable him to rule his subjects properly (1 Kings 3:9; Wisd. 9:4). Princes (rozenim, Proverbs 31:4); either those who are weighty, inflexible, or these who weigh causes; the latter explanation seems most suitable. Vulgate, legum conditores; Septuagint, οἱ δυνάσται, These are said to decree justice; literally, to engrave just decrees on tablets; γράφουσι δικαιοσύνην, Septuagint. Early expositors take these words as spoken by Christ, to whom they are very plainly applicable (comp. Isaiah 32:1). The בּ of בּצדק is that of the close connection of a quality with an action or matter, which forms with a substantive adverbia as well as virtual adjectiva, as here: cum rectitudine (conjuncta i. e. vera) sunt omnia dicta oris mei (Fl.); it is the ב of the distinctive attribute (Hitzig), certainly related to the ב essentiae (Proverbs 3:26, according to which Schultens and Bertheau explain), which is connected with the abstract conception (e.g., Psalm 33:4), but also admits the article designating the gender (vid., at Psalm 29:4). The opposite of צדק (here in the sense of veracitas, which it means in Arab.) is נפתּל ועקּשׁ, dolosum ac perversum. עקּשׁ (cf. Gesen. 84, 9) is that which is violently bent and twisted, i.e., estranged from the truth, which is, so to speak, parodied or caricatured. Related to it in meaning, but proceeding from a somewhat different idea, is נפתל. פּתל, used primarily of threads, cords, ropes, and the like, means to twist them, to twine them over and into one another, whence פּתיל, a line or string made of several intertwisted threads (cf. Arab. ftı̂lt, a wick of a candle or lamp); Niph., to be twisted, specifically luctari, of the twisting of the limbs, and figuratively to bend and twist oneself, like the crafty (versutus) liars and deceivers, of words and thoughts which do not directly go forth, but by the crafty twistings of truth and rectitude, opp. ישׁר, נכון (Fl.). There is nothing of deception of error in the utterances of wisdom; much rather they are all נכצים, straight out from her (cf. Isaiah 57:2), going directly out, and without circumlocution directed to the right end for the intelligent, the knowing (cf. Nehemiah 10:29); and ישׁרים, straight or even, giving no occasion to stumble, removing the danger of erring for those who have obtained knowledge, i.e., of good and evil, and thus the ability of distinguishing between them (Gesen. 134, 1) - briefly, for those who know how to estimate them.
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