Pray for Righteous Leaders!

Good people rejoice under good leadership.

April 29, 2022

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice:  But when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn."

Proverbs 29:2

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice.”
Here is a fundamental principle of leadership given, and it seems to be confirmed on any level of authority.  From the local official to the president or king, a good (righteous) leader causes those under them to rejoice, and the wicked leader prompts just the opposite response.


“The Righteous”

These leaders are the “righteous ones” [1] (Bullinger).  They are characterized by being “just, lawful, righteous…(in government),… right (in one’s cause),… righteous (in conduct and character),… righteous (as justified and vindicated by God)” [2] (BDB).

“The righteous are characterized by justice and fairness.  Righteous leaders cause a nation to rejoice” [3] (FSB).

“Are in Authority”

The old Hebrew word translated here gives the idea of –

“increase, not necessarily in numbers, but in greatness” [4] (Bullinger).

in authority— … increased in power” [5] (JFB).

Why is there rejoicing from the citizens when righteous people are in power?

When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting” (Proverbs 11:10).

When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden” (Proverbs 28:12). (See Psalm 72:1-7).

When the nation’s top leader is “righteous” in God’s sight, there is a sense of peace and safety in the ones they lead.

“Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.  And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isaiah 32:1-2).

Righteous rulers are always a blessing to the people they serve.

“It is to the benefit of the community or nation when the righteous are in authority.  This shows that when the righteous govern, it should be for the benefit of the entire community, not only their own interests” [6] (EWC).

“When righteous leaders are in control (thrive, lit., “become great”…) of a government, the people are glad because they are more secure and prosperous” [7] (BKC).

“Under righteous leadership there is a public celebration of “glory” or “beauty” (4:9; 15:31; 17:6; 20:29)” [8] (CSB).


“But when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
It is not the same when the wicked lead.  Oh, there will be “rejoicing” by evil people in the land, but for those who are the good and honest citizens, there is grief cast over the nation when the wicked come to power.


“The Wicked”

This leader is “a lawless one” [9] (Bullinger).  They are not followers of God or His law, and they repudiate their nation’s laws.  They typically believe themselves above the law – “The law does not apply to me. I’m the leader!”

The Hebrew word used here means, “wicked, criminal,… guilty one, one guilty of crime,… wicked (hostile to God),… wicked, guilty of sin (against God or man)” [10] (BDB).

Now that kind of person doesn’t sound like they will be a good leader.


“The People Mourn”

When this “wicked” leader is in authority –

The people “sigh, groan (in pain or grief), gasp” [11] (BDB).

“People groan when oppressed (Exodus 2:23) or devastated (Lamentations 1:4, 8, 11, 21)” [12] (CSB).

“But when … wicked leaders are ruling, the people groan (cf. 28:12) under cruel oppression (cf. 28:15; 29:16)” [13] (BKC).

Why do the righteous mourn under the wicked ruler?

When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall” (Proverbs 29:16).

Under the authority of evil rulers, sin inevitably increases in the place they rule.

There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:  Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place” (Ecclesiastes 10:5-6).

The example of wicked King Herod is appalling.  He cast an evil sadness over the land when he tried to have the baby Jesus killed.

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men” (Matthew 2:16).

It’s inescapable –

“The community or the nation suffers when the wicked rule.  Lawlessness increases, and freedoms diminish.  The rule of the wicked is bad for both the righteous and the wicked in the community or nation” [14] (EWC).


Quote:  “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).




[1] TCB – E.W. Bullinger.  The Companion Bible, the electronic version in eSword.
[2] BDB – Brown, Driver, Briggs.  Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, the electronic version in eSword.
[3] FSB, John D. Barry, Douglas Mangum, Derek R. Brown, et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Pr 29:2.
[4] TCB, ibid.
[5] JFB, Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 1 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 401.
[6] EWC – David Guzik.  Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword.
[7] BKC, John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 967.
[8] CSB, David K. Stabnow, “Proverbs,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 997.  This note was quoted from Proverbs 28:12 notes.
[9] TCB, ibid.
[10] BDB, ibid.
[11] BDB, ibid.
[12] CSB, ibid.
[13] BKC, ibid.
[14] EWC, ibid.