Proverbs 29:14

ESV If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever.
NIV If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will be established forever.
NASB If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.
CSB A king who judges the poor with fairness -- his throne will be established forever.
NLT If a king judges the poor fairly, his throne will last forever.
KJV The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.

What does Proverbs 29:14 mean?

Short statements of common sense, or general-case truths, are called "proverbs." Few are absolutes or divine guarantees. Much as a doctor might say, "eat healthy and you will live longer," these lessons make a point that's easy to understand in its general meaning. This statement is the same; a righteous ruler may be conquered or assassinated, but for the most part those known for fairness and justice will be defended by their people. Tyrants and corrupt officials are much more likely to face opposition.

This verse repeats the common command to be impartial in judgment (Proverbs 18:5; 24:23) and care for those who are disadvantaged (Proverbs 14:31; 19:17; 28:27). It also uses a Hebrew word which means something more than a lack of money. The term translated "poor" here means something weak, lowly, or powerless (Proverbs 29:7). A good king—or a good judge—will not favor the rich and powerful over the weak or poor.

The book of Exodus establishes rules for judges. "You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit" (Exodus 23:6). It forbids a judge from accepting a bribe, because a bribe "subverts the cause of those who are in the right" (Exodus 23:8). Psalm 82:3–4 commands: "Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." Proverbs 31:9 also commands proper treatment of the poor: "Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy."
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