Proverbs 29:4

Proverbs 29:4

The king by judgment establisheth the land
By executing, judgment and justice among his subjects, he establishes the laws of the land, and the government of it; he secures its peace and prosperity, and preserves his people in the possession at their properties and privileges; and makes them rich and powerful, and the state stable and flourishing, so that it continues firm to posterity; such a king was Solomon, ( 2 Chronicles 9:8 ) ; but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it;
that, is, a king that does so; Gersom observes that he is not called a king, because such a man is not worthy of the name, who takes gifts and is bribed by them to pervert judgment and justice; whereby the laws of the nation are violated, and the persons and properties of his subjects become the prey of wicked men; and so the state is subverted and falls to ruin: it is in the original text, "a man of oblations" F11; the word is generally used of the sacred oblations or offerings under the law; hence some understand it of a sacrilegious prince who of his own arbitrary power converts sacred things to civil uses. The Targum, Septuagint, Syriac and Arabic versions render it, a wicked and ungodly man; and the Vulgate Latin version, a covetous man; as such a prince must be in whatsoever light he is seen, whether as a perverter of justice through bribes, or as a sacrilegious man; though it may be rendered, "a man of exactions" F12, for it is used of the oblation of a prince which he receives from his people, ( Ezekiel 45:9 Ezekiel 45:13 ) ; as Aben Ezra observes; and so it may be interpreted of a king that lays heavy taxes upon his people, and thereby brings them to distress and poverty, and the state to ruin.


FOOTNOTES:

F11 (twmwrx vya) "vir oblationam", Montanus, Baynus, Grotius, Gejerus, Schultens.
F12 "Vir exactionum", Mercerus; "qui levat exactiones", Munster; "qui tributa imponit", so some in Vatablus; "qui tribbuta extorquet", Tigurine version.
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