By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
How do men claim to be kings? how do they hold their sovereign authority? by whose grant? Of the four words of the motto, the two latter (reges and regnant
) be two as great matters as any be in the world. One, the persons themselves, as they be kings. The other, the act of their reigning, or bearing rule over nations. These two latter words depend on the two former — per me. By and through Him kings were first settled in their reigns. By and through Him ever since upholden in their reigns. By and through Him vouchsafed many miraculous preservations in their reigns.
I. KINGS AND KINGDOMS HAVE THEIR "PER." They are no casualties. There is a cause of a king's reigning. That cause is a person. "By Me"— that is, not man or angel, but God only; God manifest. By Him —
1. Because He was man.
2. Because He is wisdom.
3. Because on Him the Father hath conferred all the kingdoms of the earth.
III. KINGS REIGN. Consider this reigning three ways.
1. As it hath a beginning.
2. As it hath continuance.
3. As it hath rectitude or obliquity incident to every act.These three are duly set on every king's head through all the story of the Bible. Such a king is said to have been so many years old when he began to reign. He reigned in Jerusalem, or Samaria, so many years. And he reigned well or ill.
(Bp. Lancelot Andrewes.)
Parallel VersesKJV: By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.