Lecture 12: Proverbs 16:10-15 (part b) | Free Online Biblical Library

Lecture 12: Proverbs 16:10-15 (part b)

Course: Proverbs

Lecture: The King – 16:10-15 Part 3

III. I AM’s Mediatorial King

A. The Translation

  1. The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth does not betray justice.
  2. Honest scales and balances belong to I AM; all the weights in the bag are of his making.
  3. Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness.
  4. Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value persons who speak what is right.
  5. A king's wrath is a messenger of death, but the wise will appease (kpr) it
  6. When a king's face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.

(Note: a quatrain is a poem or verse that has four lines.)

We have noted already that 15:30 – 16:15 is a unity and it has three distinct stanzas to it. The prologue is 15:30-33 and the 2nd section deals with heeding and acceptance of the teachings. It is all about the Lord’s sovereignty in conjunction with his morality. Now the 3rd section 16:10-15 is about the king. First we have a link between the King and I AMs sovereign and moral rule. The king is the one who implements the moral rule; he is the mediatorial king between God’s rule and what happens on earth. The separation is clear by the change of catchwords from I AM which occurs in every verse except the second from the end and then the King appears in every verse except the second from the beginning. Whether this is intentional or not, we are not certain about it. But in verse 10, The King and I AM are united in a quatrain on justice. That is in 16:10, we have ‘his mouth does not betray justice.’ The one who is behind justice is the Lord, for he makes honest scales and balances and all the weights in his bag are of his making. So everything that is just is of the Lord and the king doesn’t betray what he has established. So the link is between the weights and balances of I AM with the king administering the justice according to accurate weights and balances.

B. The King’s Authority 16:10-11

We saw that in 16:5 that the Lord detests the proud of heart and in verse 12 and 13, the king detest wrongdoing and take pleasure in honest lips. So he has moral sensibilities, comparable to that of the Lords of what he loves and hates. Both the King and the Lord has the power to dispense life and death. We saw that in 1-9 they (the wicked) will not go unpunished. In verse 14, the King’s wrath is death. And the light of his face is life. So he has the power of life and death as God has. When he says King, it is what a king should be because wicked kings don’t measure up to this. He doesn’t say good kings but when he refers to son, wife and king, he is referring to a real one and obviously this is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

To put this together with the first section, God establishes his sovereign and moral rule through the King and this conforms to what I see in Lord’s Prayer: ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done,’ and he is the one that brings the kingdom already and will bring it in his fullness in the Eschaton. So we have the King’s authority from I AM in verses 10-11. He speaks as an oracle, a divine being with the authority of God. He does so because his mouth doesn’t betray justice as it is God who has established the standards for justice. The king’s moral sensibility is shown in verse 12-13. This is what he detests and what he favors. Then the king’s power over life and death is in 14-15. So we have six verses and three quatrains of two verses each. These quatrains establish a sense from moral sensibility to life and death. So the king’s authority is from I AM in 16:10-11; that is the lips of a king speak as an oracle or qesem and his mouth does not betray justice or mishpat. The word ‘honest’ is the word ‘justice.’ The word mishpat connects verses 10 and 11 with honest and justice being the same word mishpat. And mishpat belongs to the Lord in terms of weight and measures. Also we have quesem (oracle) and peles (scales) in verses 10 and 11. These are also connected in the sense that they are segholate nouns whose end is of the form of CVCVC with the final vowel being typically unstressed. Look at the following:

The quatrain here deals with the king’s authority because he has justice and the Lord stands behind him.

10

The lips of a king speak as an oracle [קֶ֤סֶם], and his mouth [פִּֽיו] does not betray justice [֝מִשְׁפָּ֗ט].

The quatrain signifies in v. 10: “oracle”: the king is inspired and so infallible to uphold justice. God stands behinds king’s verdicts

 

Oracle - qesem

Justice - mishpat

11

Honest [מִשְׁפָּ֗ט] scales [פֶּ֤לֶס] and balances belong to I AM; all the weights in the bag [כִֽיס] are of his making.

 

The quatrain signifies in 11:  I AM ultimate source of king’s justice Scales fixed by God and king administers them and God stands behind king’s rule government.

 

Honest – mishpat

Scales - peles

C. The King’s Moral Sensibilities 16:12-13

First of all, the quatrain links king in verses 10-15 to the Lord in verses 1-9 by the catchwords detest and pleasure as we have in verse 12, ‘Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness’ and in verse 13, ‘Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a person who speaks what is right’. Remember in verses 5 and 7, it says, ‘I AM detests all the proud of heart……….’ And ‘When I AM takes pleasure in anyone’s way……..’ So the King’s moral sensibilities in 12 & 13 match those of God in verses 5 and 7. In regards to the quatrain, we see that Kings are in the plural in both verses; everywhere else it is singular. We also have parallels contrasting their moral sensibilities of what he detests and what he delights in. You can also see the parallels in the Kings who detests wrong doings and take pleasure in honest lips. We have action and speech which is normal pairing in the Book of Proverbs. Look at the following:

12

Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness (צְדָקָ֗ה).

13

Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value persons who speaks what is right (צֶ֑דֶק).

 

The quatrain is linked to Verses 10-11 by the catchword ‘king’ and assonance of last words in verses 11 and 12. The quatrain signifies that the king is informed by God’s moral sensibility and his just rule of the verdicts and actions from verses 10 & 11 depend upon his intuitive and moral sensibility in verses 12 & 13. So we have:

 

Catchword - Kings in the plural are unique – melachim / malek - singular

 

Catchword – righteousness - tseddiq

 

There is a antithetical theme that contrasts moral sensibilities and

 

There is a synthetic theme that contrasts wrong doing and right speaking

 

Note that Solomon’s throne is modeled after Egyptian based on a ma’at sign.

D. The King’s Power 16:14-15

‘A king’s wrath is a messenger (plural) of death, but the wise will appease it. When a King’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring. We have appease here from the Hebrew word, kaphar which means the same for atone in verse 14 and this appeasement is made through wisdom in verse 6 in 16:1-9. So the King’s wrath has to be appeased, which is done by love and faithfulness. So in verses 6 and 14, appease and atoned are the same in Hebrew and thus links the two verses below.

16:6

Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.

16:14

A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, but the wise will appease it.

Verses 14 & 15 are linked also to verses 12 & 13 by the words ‘king’ and ‘takes pleasure in or favor’.

E: Conclusion

The conclusion is that I Am is sovereign. He is over human plans and thoughts and that we are to trust him and not self. We are to trust him in everything with words and deeds. Her is moral and works out everything to its proper moral end. And one finds atonement for past sins through kindness and fidelity. And we avoid future evil through the Fear of God. God mediates his sovereign, moral rule through his chosen king whose rules and verdicts are just as they shares God’s moral sensibility. The King has the power of life and death and he is realized in the person of Jesus Christ. The king finds its reality in Christ but we are his disciples and have to be like Jesus. We are to look at him and be transformed into his glory. Note also that the Proverbs were originally designed for nobility and also for the rulers; thus has a royal background, but saying that; it is addressed to all Israel’s youth. So we could assume that we too are the instruments of life and death.