What does Proverbs 14:28 mean?
ESV: In a multitude of people is the glory of a king, but without people a prince is ruined.
NIV: A large population is a king's glory, but without subjects a prince is ruined.
NASB: In a multitude of people is a king’s glory, But in the scarcity of people is a prince’s ruin.
CSB: A large population is a king's splendor, but a shortage of people is a ruler's devastation.
NLT: A growing population is a king’s glory; a prince without subjects has nothing.
KJV: In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
Verse Commentary:
A royal title means nothing without people to rule. People are a leader's greatest resource. Those followers occupy positions of service, enrich the kingdom, and provide an army to protect it. A prince without people may have an impressive label, but he has no resources if he has no people, and he experiences ruin. This is a wise reminder to those in positions of leadership. Truly worthy employers don't drive away good workers. Good leaders don't frustrate and chase away followers. Political leaders who abuse or fail to protect their people eventually have nothing to lead.

First Kings 4:20 reports that King Solomon reigned over a countless number of people. They were "as many as the sand by the sea." They enjoyed prosperity and were happy (1 Kings 4:20–21). Solomon's advice here applies to heads of state, company presidents, CEOs and all other leaders alike. Their employees are their greatest asset. Without employees, a company may have a spacious facility, high tech equipment, and well-stocked shelves, but if it loses its employees, its productivity and effectiveness will plummet, and it will go bankrupt.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 14:15–35 continues Solomon's wise sayings, once again mostly contrasting the wicked and the upright. He points out that those who do evil, by rejecting God's wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) are foolish and have no security. Those who do God's will (Proverbs 3:5) are wise and have unfailing security.
Chapter Summary:
This continues a series of literal "proverbs:" short statements of general-case wisdom. The first ten verses of this chapter contrast positive and negative traits related to work ethic, self-control, and seeking wisdom. Then come several verses contrasting the fate of the righteous with that of the wicked. The rest of this passage provides statements on a broad range of subjects.
Chapter Context:
Proverbs 14 continues King Solomon's wise sayings. In this chapter he discusses a variety of topics such as wisdom and folly, honesty and dishonesty, righteousness and evil, national security and national disgrace, personal security and destruction, the fear of the Lord, generosity, and wise servanthood. This series of astute comments will continue for several more chapters.
Book Summary:
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
Accessed 4/13/2024 8:43:27 AM
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