Lest they drink, and forget the law
The law of God by Moses, which the kings of Israel were obliged to write a copy of, and read over daily, to imprint it on their minds, that they might never forget it, but always govern according to it, ( Deuteronomy 17:18 Deuteronomy 17:19 ) ; or the law of their ancestors, or what was made by themselves, which through intemperance may be forgotten; for this sin stupefies the mind and hurts the memory, and makes men forgetful; and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted;
a king on the throne, or a judge on the bench, drunk, must be very unfit for his office; since he must be incapable of attending to the cause before him, of taking in the true state of the case; and, as he forgets the law, which is his rule of judgment, so he will mistake the point in debate, and put one thing for another; and "change" F7 and alter, as the word signifies, the judgment of the afflicted and injured person, and give the cause against him which should be for him; and therefore it is of great consequence that kings and judges should he sober. A certain woman, being undeservedly condemned by Philip king of Macedon, when drunk, said,
``I would appeal to Philip, but it shall be when he is sober;''which aroused him; and, more diligently examining the cause, he gave, a more righteous sentence F8.
F7 (hnvy) "mutet", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis; "demutet", Schultens.
F8 Valer. Maxim l. 6. c. 2. extern. 1.