Proverbs 28:2

ESV When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue.
NIV When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.
NASB Due to a wrongdoing of a land its leaders are many, But by a person of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.
CSB When a land is in rebellion, it has many rulers, but with a discerning and knowledgeable person, it endures.
NLT When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.
KJV For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.

What does Proverbs 28:2 mean?

Cultural sin and volatile leadership are intertwined. One often leads to the other. A nation which rebels against God by participating in sin (Romans 1:18–20; Proverbs 14:34) may find itself cycling through many kings, rulers, or governors. Likewise, a nation with wildly inconsistent leadership is prone to chaos and rebellion. People searching for an answer to chaos often turn to electing an increasing number of petty rulers who become tyrants. The contrast to this is wise, stable, godly leadership—this leads a nation towards stability and security.

The Old Testament records the tumult of Israel's history after the reigns of David and Solomon. In a relatively short period of time, numerous kings and families of kings ruled over the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. This turnover was especially pronounced in the northern kingdom, which was overrun by the Assyrians a century earlier than the southern kingdom.

Knowing that good leaders in government contribute to peace, Paul urged Timothy to lead believers to pray for earthly leaders of all kinds, "that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way" (1 Timothy 2:1–2).
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