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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 14:28

 

 

In a multitude of people is a king's glory, But in the dearth of people is a prince's ruin.

Adam Clarke Commentary

In the multitude of people - It is the interest of every state to promote marriage by every means that is just and prudent; and to discourage, disgrace, and debase celibacy; to render bachelors incapable, after a given age, of all public employments: and to banish nunneries and monasteries from all parts of their dominions; - they have ever, from their invention, contributed more to vice than virtue; and are positively point blank against the law of God.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

A protest against the false ideal of national greatness to which Eastern kings, for the most part, have bowed down. Not conquest, or pomp, or gorgeous array, but a happy and numerous people form the true glory of a king. The word translated “prince” is of doubtful meaning; but the translation is supported by the Septuagint, Vulg, and most commentators.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-14.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"In the multitude of the people is the king's glory; But in the want of people is the destruction of the prince."

"A large population is a king's glory, but without subjects a prince is ruined."[31] The proverb is also true if interpreted to mean that, "The want of people (the hunger or destitution of people) is the destruction of the prince." It is true both ways!


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

In the multitude of people is the king's honour,.... For it is a sign of a good and wise government, of clemency and righteousness being exercised, of liberty and property being enjoyed, of peace, plenty, and prosperity; which encourage subjects to serve their king cheerfully, and to continue under his reign and government peaceably; and which invites others from different parts to come and settle there also; by which the strength and glory of a king are much increased. This is true of the King of kings, of Jesus Christ, who is King of saints; his honour and glory, as Mediator, lies in a large number of voluntary subjects, made "willing" to serve him "in the day of his power" upon them, as numerous as the drops of the morning "dew", Psalm 110:3; such as he had in the first times of the Gospel, both among the Jews and among the Gentiles; and as he will have more especially in the latter day, when those prophecies shall be fulfilled in Isaiah 60:4; and so this is interpreted of the King Messiah, in an ancient writingF2Zohar in Exod. fol. 67. 3, 4. of the Jews;

but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince; or, "the consternation"F3מחתת "formidat princeps", Tigurine version; "consternatio", Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens. of him; if his people are destroyed in wars his ambition or cruelty has led him to; or they are driven out from his kingdom by persecution or oppression; hence follows a decay of trade, and consequently of riches; lack of cultivation of land, and so want of provision: in course of time there is such a decrease, that, as there are but few to carry on trade and till the land, so to fight for their prince, and defend his country; wherefore, when attacked by a foreign power, he is thrown into the utmost consternation, and is brought to destruction. This will be the case of the prince of darkness, the man of sin, antichrist; who, though however populous he may be, or has been, ruling over tongues, people, and nations, yet before long he will be deserted by them; one nation after another will fall off from him; they and their kings will hate him, make him bare and desolate, and burn him with fire, Revelation 17:15. Some render it, "the consternation of leanness"F4"Consternatio macici", Gussetius, p. 785. "consternatio tabifica", Schultens; "contritio maciei", Gejerus; "terror tenuitatis", Mercerus, Gersom. ; such consternation as causes leanness in a king.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

In the multitude of l people [is] the king's honour: but in the lack of people [is] the destruction of the prince.

(l) That is, the strength of a king stands in many people.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-14.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The teaching of a true political economy.


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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

28 In the multitude of the people lies the king's honour;

And when the population diminishes, it is the downfall of his glory.

The honour or the ornament ( vid ., regarding הדר , tumere , ampliari , the root-word of הדר and הדרה at Isaiah 63:1) of a king consists in this, that he rules over a great people, and that they increase and prosper; on the other hand, it is the ruin of princely greatness when the people decline in number and in wealth. Regarding מחתּה , vid ., at Proverbs 10:14. בּאפס signifies prepositionally “without” (properly, by non-existence), e.g. , Proverbs 26:20, or adverbially “groundless” (properly, for nothing), Isaiah 52:4; here it is to be understood after its contrast בּרב־ : in the non-existence, but which is here equivalent to in the ruin (cf. אפס , the form of which in conjunction is אפס , Genesis 47:15), lies the misfortune, decay, ruin of the princedom. The lxx ἐν δὲ ἐκλείψει λαοῦ συντριβὴ δυνάστου . Certainly רזון (from רזן , Arab. razuna , to be powerful) is to be interpreted personally, whether it be after the form בּגוד with a fixed, or after the form יקושׁ with a changeable Kametz ; but it may also be an abstract like שׁלום (= Arab. selâm ), and this we prefer, because in the personal signification רזן , Proverbs 8:15; Proverbs 31:4, is used. We have not here to think of רזון (from רזה ), consumption (the Venet . against Kimchi, πενίας ); the choice of the word also is not determined by an intended amphibology (Hitzig), for this would be meaningless.


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Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-14.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Here are two maxims in politics, which carry their own evidence with them: - 1. That it is much for the honour of a king to have a populous kingdom; it is a sign that he rules well, since strangers are hereby invited to come and settle under his protection and his own subjects live comfortably; it is a sign that he and his kingdom are under the blessing of God, the effect of which is being fruitful and multiplying. It is his strength, and makes him considerable and formidable; happy is the king, the father of his country, who has his quiver full of arrows; he shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with his enemy in the gate, Psalm 127:4, Psalm 127:5. It is therefore the wisdom of princes, by a mild and gentle government, by encouraging trade and husbandry, and by making all easy under them, to promote the increase of their people. And let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, and to his honour, do what they can in their places that many may be added to his church. 2. That when the people are lessened the prince is weakened: In the want of people is the leanness of the prince (so some read it); trade lies dead, the ground lies untilled, the army wants to be recruited, the navy to be manned, and all because there are not hands sufficient. See how much the honour and safety of kings depend upon their people, which is a reason why they should rule by love, and not with rigour. Princes are corrected by those judgments which abate the number of the people, as we find, 2 Samuel 24:13.


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Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, do what they can, that many may be added to his church.


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Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 14:28 In the multitude of people [is] the king’s honour: but in the want of people [is] the destruction of the prince.

Ver. 28. In the multitude of the people is the king’s honour.] For that is a sign of peace, plenty, prosperity, and just government, as in Solomon’s days, when "Israel and Judah were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating, and drinking, and making merry." [1 Kings 4:20] And as in Augustus’s days, when Christ, the Prince of Peace, was born into the world, cuncta atque continua totius generis humani aut pax fuit, aut pactio. (a) Ferdinand III, King of Spain, reigned full thirty-five years, in all which time, nec fames nec pestis fuit in regno suo, saith Lopez, there was neither famine nor pestilence throughout that kingdom. (b) What incredible waste of men hath war lately made in Germany, that stage of war; in Ireland; and here in this kingdom, besides what formerly! In the civil dissensions between the houses of York and Lancaster, were slain eighty princes of the blood royal, and twice as many natives of England as were lost in the two conquests of France. The dissensions between England and Scotland consumed more Christian blood, wrought more spoil and destruction to both kingdoms, and continued longer, than ever quarrel we read of did between any two people of the world. (c) "Be wise now therefore, O ye kings," &c. Tu vero, Herodes sanguinolente, time, as Beza covertly warned Charles IX, author of the French massacre. (d) Many parts of Turkey lie unpeopled, most of the poor being enforced with victuals and other necessaries to follow their great armies in their long expeditions; of whom scarce one of ten ever return home again, there by the way perishing if not by the enemy’s sword, yet by want of victuals, intemperateness of the air, or immoderate painstaking. (e) Hence the proverb, Wherever the Great Turk sets his foot, there grass grows not any more.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-14.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 28. In the multitude of people is the king's honor, it serves for his glory, for the establishment of his name, if he reigns wisely and successfully over a large nation; but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince, where the people of a country are few and scattered on account of some weakness in the sovereign's rule, such a condition brings about the downfall of the ruler, his reign will soon come to an end.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-14.html. 1921-23.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 14:28. In the multitude, &c.— The more subjects a prince hath, the more glorious he is; but so much the more so, as he loves with more tenderness, as he preserves with more care, and as he governs with more mildness, the people under him. The Scripture and the ancients give kings the name of shepherds, to put them in mind of the application they ought to give to the augmenting of their people, and of the compassionate kindness wherewith they ought to treat them. Calmet.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-14.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Is the king’s honour, because it is an evidence of his wise and good government. Under honour he here comprehends also strength and safety, (as appears from the opposite clause,) which depend much upon a prince’s reputation. And honour may be here put for strength, as strength is put for honour or glory, Psalms 8:2 29:1 96:7.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

28. Multitude of people, etc. — More vividly, with Stuart, “The glory of a king is in a multitude of people; but the lack of people is the destruction of a prince.” Compare 2 Samuel 24:14-17.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-14.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

It is a credit to a ruler when he rules over many people and they prosper and increase, but it is a discredit to him when his people decline in number and wealth. This is so because part of a governmental leader"s responsibility is to generate prosperity.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/proverbs-14.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 14:28. In the multitude of people is the king’s honour — “The honour and splendour of a king depend upon the multitude, wealth, and strength of his subjects, whom, therefore, he ought to protect and cherish: for if they be wasted by unnecessary wars, or forced into other countries by oppression and unjust exactions, it proves the ruin of his kingdom.” — Bishop Patrick.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

King. Who formerly was styled "a shepherd," to remind him of the care with which he ought to seek the welfare of his subjects. (Calmet)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-14.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.

In the multitude of people (is) the king's honour: but in the want of people (is) the destruction, of the prince - (2 Samuel 24:14-17.) "The king" who would have a 'numerous' and contented "people" as his "honour," must govern with equity and clemency, not with tyranny and cruelty. He must also fear the Lord, lest he bring down God's judgments on himself and his people.

`Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, Where wealth accumulated and men decay.'


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(28) In the multitude of people is the king’s honour.—Not in ambitious wars. In these words speaks the “man of rest” (1 Chronicles 22:9). (Comp. the description of Solomon’s kingdom in the days of his prosperity; 1 Kings 4:20.)


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
Exodus 1:12,22; 1 Kings 4:20,21; 20:27; 2 Kings 10:32,33; 13:7

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-14.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

CRITICAL NOTES.—

Pro . Miller translates "In a great people."

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

A KING'S TRUE GLORY

I. Human rulers are dependent upon their people for honour.

1. The safety of the king's crown depends largely upon the number of his subjects. This was certainly the case in the days of Solomon, and is so now to a large extent. Small kingdoms are very likely even in these days to be engulfed by more powerful states—by those who can bring into the field an overpowering number of warriors. Numbers hold the diadems on the heads of the rulers of the great nations of Europe. That Palestine was to some extent an exception to this rule was due to the especial providence of Jehovah—that it was ever overpowered by numbers was because its inhabitants forsook their covenant God. But the general rule holds good.

2. The prosperity of their land depends upon its being well populated. Other things being equal, a populous kingdom will do more business with other nations—will plant colonies and mix more with the inhabitants of other lands; and all these things extend a nation's influence and so make its ruler's position a more honourable one.

II. It is therefore a matter of self-interest that a ruler should govern his people righteously. This is a lesson which the potentates of the earth have been slow to learn although the page of history abounds with so many examples of the peril of disregarding it. It would be the destruction of the head if it were to say to the other members of the body, by which it is sustained in life and health, "I have no need of thee." The existence of the one depends upon that of the other. And it is not less so with the body politic. The safety and honour of the king is bound up in the well-being of his subjects. Where the one is dependent upon the many, self-interest, as well as duty, point to his so ruling that his people may enjoy peace and prosperity and so multiply.

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

There is a natural tendency in the population of a country to increase. When, therefore, population diminishes, there must be some cause counter-working nature. The subjects of a country may be wasted in destructive and depopulating wars; they may be driven by oppression to quit their native land, and to seek a refuge in more distant regions; they may be starved and reduced by measures that are injurious and ruinous to trade—measures that keep up the price of bread and depress the wages of labour.… The existence of a thriving vigorous population is a mark of freedom, of wise and impartial legislation; of paternal care—and it is the palladium of all that is desirable in the results of human rule.—Wardlaw.

A sentiment arrayed against feeble princes who nevertheless array themselves with disproportionate splendour; and this, as also Pro , is designed to call attention to the principle, that it is not external and seeming advantages, but simply and solely the inward competence and moral excellence, whether of the head or of the members of a commonwealth, that are the conditions of its temporal welfare.—Lange's Commentary.

How great, then, is the honour of our heavenly King in the countless multitudes of His people! How overwhelmingly glorious will it appear when the completed number shall stand before His throne (Rev ); each the medium of reflecting His glory (2Th 1:10); each with a crown to cast at His feet (Rev 4:10-11), and a song of everlasting joy to time to His praise (Rev 5:9).—Bridges.

All grades depend upon their inferiors. The poor have us in their power. To be kind to them is a dictate of common selfishness. Carried into a spiritual light, the truth becomes much wider. Half of heaven will be what we did for the poor. Solomon was familiar with this as a king; but he marks the sentence as one for all humanity. If a man wishes to be comfortable on earth, let him make his inferiors great. And, if he wishes to be rich in heaven, let him cultivate with assiduous zest the graces of the perishing.—Miller.

The occurrence of this political precept in the midst of the maxims of personal morality is striking. Still more so is its protest against the false ideal of national greatness to which Eastern kings, for the most part, have bowed down.—Plumptre.

The people are the king's best treasury; in their scarcity he cannot be rich. Worthy was the speech of that Goth, a king of Italy, who, speaking of his subjects, saith, "Our harvest is the rest of all."—Jermin.

NOTE.—The population of England and Wales in 1700 was about 5,475,000. At the beginning of the present century it was between eight and nine millions; it now exceeds twenty millions.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:28". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-14.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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