Proverbs 28:12

When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.
– Proverbs 28:12

The saying is close to Proverbs 28:28 and Proverbs 29:2. Wisdom acknowledges the blessing of righteous rule and the rejoicing and glory are emblems of human flourishing (Proverbs 11:10). The contrast is with wicked rule and the result that men hide themselves. The contrast is with open rejoicing and glory. The seek refuge from the oppression and injustice of the rule.

Proverbs 16:15

In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favor is as a cloud of the latter rain.
– Proverbs 16:15

This proverb gives the opposite perspective from the previous one. The king has great power to do much damage in his wrath, but that power can also be used for much good (Proverbs 19:12). The king is crucial to the prospering and flourishing of his nation. A wise, righteous king will lead to a productive and rejoicing people (Proverbs 11:10; 28:12, 28; 29:2, 4).

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Proverbs 16:13

Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.
– Proverbs 16:13

The word for righteous means justice and righteous lips is put for honest speech. A wise king delights, or takes pleasure in truthfulness rather than flattery and bribes (Proverbs 15:27; 28:16; 29:4). The word for right means straight. Kings and those in authority with any wisdom value honesty in their counselors (Proverbs 14:35; 22:11). By the previous proverb, such kings know that righteousness in their rule establishes their throne and wickedness overthrows it.

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Proverbs 16:12

It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.
– Proverbs 16:12

The level of authority and responsibility a person has magnifies the severity of their sins (Luke 12:47-48). On the one hand, even good works can become abominable when mixed with the embrace of folly (Proverbs 28:9). Kings are in a special place of responsibility and accountability before God. They must be careful not to follow the counsel of the ungodly (Proverbs 20:18; 25:5). The word for righteousness means justice and is explained as “faithfully judgeth the poor” in a similar proverb (Proverbs 29:14). Bearing authority with wisdom means upholding justice (Deuteronomy 1:17; 16:19; Proverbs 24:23; 28:21).

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Proverbs 16:11

A just weight and balance are the LORD’s: all the weights of the bag are his work.
– Proverbs 16:11

This proverb speaks of honesty and equity in trade and business. In broader terms, it is about justice and rulers have a responsibility for maintaining standards of justice. 2 Samuel 14:26 refers to the “king’s weight,” which referred to weights and measures standardized by the king’s authority. This proverb refers the standard further upward as “all weights of the bag” are “the Lord’s.” This is the standard of the law as well (Leviticus 19:36). Cheating and trimming in trade is further condemned as abominable to the Lord (Proverbs 11:1; 20:10, 23).

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Proverbs 16:10

A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
– Proverbs 16:10

Verses 10-15 touch on kings and bearing authority. The word for divine sentence can mean divination, such as is forbidden in Leviticus 19:26. It can also mean the speaking of an oracle in a good sense, and so here refers to the authority of the king’s words. The second phrase is a warning to kings to speak in righteousness in light of the authority of their words. The king is not to speak contrary to wisdom and justice (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).

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