By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
Another verse that is mutilated by Dahood is Proverbs 8:16 where he has “By me princes rule, and nobles-all legitimate rulers.”1
This rendering fits perfectly with the worldly view that we are to be ruled by whomever is declared to be a ruler, whether it be by right or by force, and whether he follows God’s Law or if he disregards it entirely. Legitimate is a relative term. Rulers who reign according to God do so with justice, or righteousness as is made clear from this passage and many others. His reasoning is that the word sdq is alleged to denote legitimacy in Phoenician and Ugaritic. This assumed meaning is derived through the Arabic meaning of the root sdq, which means to be true. However, we know from the Baal cycle and other Ugaritic myths, that the Ugaritic idea of legitimate rulership is quite different from that of the Bible. The following are other examples of sedeq being used as a substantive.
Proverbs 31:9 “Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
Deuteronomy 16:18 “Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.”
Deuteronomy 16:20 “That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
Deuteronomy 33:19 “They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.”
Job 29:14 “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.”
In none of these examples, or in any others from the Old Testament, can it be claimed that Dahood’s translation would fit, except in the several passages relating to weights and measures. In these passages sedeq is translated as just or even weight, in which examples it is synonymous with the idea of a legitimate weight, but in no passage where it is used in conjunction with a man or ruler is “legitimate” a sound translation.
Deuteronomy 25:15 “But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
Job 31:6 “Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.”
We know from reading the rest of the Bible, as well as by looking at all of the occurrences of the word in question, that God’s view of how we should view rulers is very different from that of a Bible scoffing Jesuit. Of course, modern version creators do not just have a different view of earthly rulers; they have a different view of who is the ultimate ruler.
1 Dahood, Proverbs, p. 15.
John Hinton, Ph.D.
Bible Restoration Ministry
A ministry seeking the translating and reprinting of KJV equivalent
Bibles in all the languages of the world.