My son, fear you the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
I. THE ADVICE. The commendation "My son" stands first. This is such a counsel as a father would give a son. And that it is no evil one we may be sure. There is in this counsel a single act — "fear" — and a double object — "God and the king." The main drift of the advice is, a resentive against meddling with certain persons. It consists of two counter points. Do this and eschew that. Follow one, fly the other.
II. THE PENALTY. It is punishment enough for a man not to follow good counsel when it is given him. Yet God hath so ordered, as there goeth ever some further evil with the contempt of good counsel. The penalty is no less than destruction and ruin; a sudden destruction, an unknown ruin. Solomon sits here as a counsellor and as a judge — a counsellor to advise, a judge to pronounce. Hear his counsel, then; if not, hear your sentence. Choose which verse you will be in. In one of them we must be. In the verse of counsel, "Fear God and the king," or in the verse of penalty, "For their destruction," etc.
(Bp. Lancelot Andrewes.)
Parallel VersesKJV: My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: