Our translation gives this verse a different reading in the text and in the margin; and accordingly it expresses either, 1. The equity of a good God. The Master, or Lord (so Rab signifies), or, as we read it, The great God that formed all things at first, and still governs them in infinite wisdom, renders to every man according to his work. He rewards the fool, who sinned through ignorance, who knew not his Lord’s will, with few stripes; and he rewards the transgressor, who sinned presumptuously and with a high hand, who knew his Lord’s will and would not do it, with many stripes. Some understand it of the goodness of God’s common providence even to fools and transgressors, on whom he causes his sun to shine and his rain to fall. Or, 2. The iniquity of a bad prince (so the margin reads it): A great man grieves all, and he hires the fool; he hires also the transgressors. When a wicked man gets power in his hand, by himself, and by the fools and knaves whom he employs under him, whom he hires and chooses to make use of, he grieves all who are under him and is vexatious to them. We should therefore pray for kings and all in authority, that, under them, our lives may be quiet and peaceable.
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