A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.
Great rulers crush criminals. A powerful king that will not tolerate civil opposition is a beautiful thing (Pr 30:31). Solomon and his father David were both wise and successful kings. Here Solomon gives inspired and learned political advice to kings and others in authority. Wise rulers will fight and destroy wicked persons under their authority.
The origin and purpose of civil government are not mysteries. The LORD God ordained rulers over nations and other political principalities to punish evildoers (Rom 13:1-4; I Pet 2:13-14). Resisting or resenting this authority is to resist and resent God Himself. Civil government has the right to capital punishment in enforcing its laws, and God sends these rulers as His ministers to execute revenge upon criminals that break the law.
Bringing the wheel over the wicked is to crush them. Grain was crushed in King Solomon’s day by turning or rolling a heavy wheel over it (Is 28:27-28; Judges 16:21). This separated the wheat from the husk. Wise government will take heavy measures to crush wicked men who have set themselves against the state, law, and other citizens.
The wisdom here teaches that civil government should be strict and severe. There can be no tolerance or compromise with criminals. Compromise and delay cause an increase in crime by hardening the hearts of criminals. You can see this in current issues of hung juries, appeals, delay tactics, further appeals, and stays of execution (Eccl 8:11).
There are several references to kings in this chapter of Proverbs. Solomon was providing wisdom for his son Rehoboam, the next king of Israel, and for rulers in general. He described the positive virtue of great fear (Pr 20:2), their holy execution of judgment (Pr 20:8), and their balance of mercy and truth in protecting the innocent (Pr 20:28).
Wise rulers seek quiet and peaceable lives for their productive citizens. These people can only have such lives, if the wicked are scattered and crushed. Leaders must take the justice part of their office seriously and do all they can to destroy criminals and crime. They must be free of sentimentality to aid, abet, respect, or pardon criminals.
There is not room for one wicked person, one criminal, in a just and good nation. Death row in the U.S. should be emptied of 3700 monsters by way of public stoning on pay-per-view television, with the proceeds going to the victims’ families. One cent spent on their upkeep in the penal system is a waste and encourages crime. Stones are cheap. David, a king after God’s own heart, had zero tolerance for criminals (II Sam 4:1-12; Ps 101:4-8).
Those who resist civil government or speak evil or lightly of those in authority should be dealt with most severely. God Himself opened up the earth to swallow men and their families alive for speaking against Moses (Num 16:1-34). The New Testament says they should be destroyed like rabid dogs, for they obviously do not understand the basic necessity or duties of authority (II Pet 2:10-12; Jude 1:8-10). There is no such thing as freedom of speech against authority in God’s wisdom (Ex 22:28; Ec 10:20; Job 34:18).
Let every man in a position of authority use strict and severe measures against the wicked in his realm of control. This applies to employers, fathers, husbands, and pastors, as well as kings and presidents, governors and sheriffs. Righteousness, peace, and quiet in any society depend on strong leaders ridding it of fools and their rebellion (Pr 19:25; 21:11).
Jesus Christ is the greatest of Kings, with the most wisdom. He is King of kings! When the Jews rejected God and their O.T. scriptures and crucified Him, He promised to return and miserably destroy those wicked men (Matt 21:41), tear down their temple, send His armies to burn up their city (Matt 22:7), and grind them to powder (Matt 21:44).
He promised to not leave one stone on another when He destroyed Jerusalem (Luke 19:44). He promised more distress and trouble on them than any nation had suffered before or since (Matt 24:21). He fulfilled all this and more in 70 AD by Roman armies under Titus Vespasian Augustus. But at the same time, to those who feared His name and loved Him, Jesus the Sun of Righteousness came with healing in His wings (Mal 4:2).
The Lord Jesus Christ is soon coming again with His mighty angels in flaming fire to wreck vengeance on all those that have rejected God and disobeyed the apostolic gospel (II Thess 1:7-9). But He will be admired that day by all those who believe the gospel and love His appearing, and He will bring eternal blessing and reward for them (II Thess 1:10; Titus 2:13). Reader, repent of your crimes against heaven and beg for His mercy!