Proverbs 8:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 8:15, NIV: "By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;"

Proverbs 8:15, ESV: "By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;"

Proverbs 8:15, KJV: "By me kings reign, and princes decree justice."

Proverbs 8:15, NASB: "'By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice."

Proverbs 8:15, NLT: "Because of me, kings reign, and rulers make just decrees."

Proverbs 8:15, CSB: "It is by me that kings reign and rulers enact just law;"

What does Proverbs 8:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this passage, wisdom speaks, poetically personified as a woman who calls out to any who will listen (Proverbs 8:1–4). Godly wisdom, lived out and explained in the life of Jesus, establishes kings on their thrones and enables rulers to introduce laws that are just. History has made it clear that godliness is not always found in rulers; but godly wisdom is what makes them just.

Solomon recognized that the Lord is the source of wisdom, and he also recognized that he needed wisdom from the Lord to rule well as Israel's king. He told the Lord, "And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father…Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people" (1 Kings 3:7, 9). That request made Solomon a profoundly capable leader (1 Kings 3:11–14).

The apostle Paul points out in Romans 13:1 that "there is no authority except from God." An arrogant ruler may not admit that his position of power is by God's appointment. However, no earthly authority exists except by divine appointment, or, at the very least, divine tolerance. Obviously, many kings in Israel's history did not honor God by ruling according to His will, and they were unwilling to submit to His wisdom. Similarly, many rulers today fail to seek God and His wisdom in the administration of their terms of office.