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The Glory of a King
Proverbs 14:28 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
28 In a multitude of people is the glory of a king,
but without people a prince is ruined.
In a multitude of people is the glory of a king: Clearly, a multitude of people means that the king is ruling over many people who are subject to him and are dependent on him for their wellbeing. The glory (הֲדָרָה hadarah) of a king refers to the honor, majesty, grandeur, prestige, and splendor that the king enjoys.
but without people a prince is ruined: Prince (רָזוֹן razon) does often refer to the sone of a king that will one day be the king. Here it is being used interchangeably with king from line one. The people here are the same as line one, the subjects under the rulership of a king. Ruined (מְחִתָּה mechittah) refers to the king who lacks power and authority. Throughout most of Solomon’s reign, he was a God-fearing king who obeyed and served Jehovah faithfully. This added to his successful rulership. A king’s success is marked by his subjects’ health and happiness. If many people desire to continue under his rulership, that confirms that he is a good ruler.
As was stated above, a king who retains a highly populated kingdom has much honor and respect. It is a sign that he is a good ruler, as foreigners will travel to his kingdom to become subjects for protection and comfortable life. The kingdoms in the line of David would also indicate being blessed by God. Another sign of this is being fruitful and multiplying, as infant death in Bible times was very high. This also gives much power and widespread respect and admiration from other kingdoms. Kingdoms understood the subjects of such a king would fight vehemently on his behalf.
On the other hand, a prince/king who lacks subjects because they are leaving the kingdom for a better life is weakened. Without subjects, there is no trade, the farmers are not growing crops and livestock, and money is nowhere to be found. The few remaining in such a kingdom will not take up arms on behalf of the king and if any should, the level of loyalty and devotion is nil. The well-being of the people is dependent upon the king, but the honor and safety of the king are also dependent upon the people as well. Therefore, a loving ruler has far more success than a harsh ruler. – 2 Samuel 24:13.