Proverbs 29:4

ESV By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.
NIV By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.
NASB The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a person who takes bribes ruins it.
CSB By justice a king brings stability to a land, but a person who demands "contributions" demolishes it.
NLT A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it.
KJV The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.

What does Proverbs 29:4 mean?

Scripture indicates that corruption and justice are entirely incompatible (Proverbs 15:27; 17:23; 29:7). A king—or any government—who rightly applies justice contributes to his kingdom's stability and peace. However, greedy leaders who accept bribes and other forms of corruption make the nation unstable. A nation ruled by selfish, greedy people is prone to collapse. The Hebrew phrasing here implies something like taxes, or extorted fees, further underlining the idea of immoral government leaders.

Solomon was a just king under whose reign the kingdom prospered and was peaceful. His son Rehoboam convened a council of old men and asked for their advice. They told him to be a servant to the people and speak good words to them. But he rejected their advice and summoned young men for advice. They told him to add to the burden Solomon had imposed on them. They told him to tell the people, "My little finger is thicker than my father's thighs. And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions" (1 Kings 12:10–11).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: