Proverbs on "Kings" and "Rulers"
A list of around fifty verses from the book of Proverbs that mention (or are part of a passage that mentions) human leaders like "kings", "ruler", "princes", and "nobles". Consider what these reveal about God's wisdom and design for human leadership...
Proverbs 8:15–16... By me [i.e., wisdom] kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;  by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.
Proverbs 14:28... In a multitude of people is the glory of a king, but without people a prince is ruined.
Proverbs 14:35... A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.
Proverbs 15:22... Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers* they succeed.
Proverbs 16:10... An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.
Proverbs 16:12... It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness.
Proverbs 16:13... Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right.
Proverbs 16:14... A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it.
Proverbs 16:15... In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.
Proverbs 17:7... Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.
Proverbs 17:26... To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good, nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
Proverbs 19:10... It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury, much less for a slave to rule over princes.
Proverbs 19:12... A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.
Proverbs 20:2... The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
Proverbs 20:8... A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes.
Proverbs 20:18... Plans are established by counsel*; by wise guidance wage war.
Proverbs 20:26... A wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them.
Proverbs 20:28... Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
Proverbs 21:1... The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
Proverbs 22:11... He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
Proverbs 23:1–3... When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you,  and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.  Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.
Proverbs 24:21–22... My son, fear the LORD and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise,  for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?
Proverbs 24:23–25... Partiality in judging* is not good.  Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,” will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,  but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.
Proverbs 25:2... It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.
Proverbs 25:3... As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Proverbs 25:4–5... Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel;  take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.
Proverbs 25:6–7... Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great,  for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
Proverbs 25:15... With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.
Proverbs 28:2... When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue.
Proverbs 28:15–16... Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people.  A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
Proverbs 29:4... By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.
Proverbs 29:12... If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked.
Proverbs 29:14... If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever.
Proverbs 29:26... Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.
Proverbs 31:1–9... The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:  What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows?  Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.  It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink,  lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.  Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress;  let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.  Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
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