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 ordained rulers over nations and other 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 those who are wicked and do evil.
Bringing the wheel over the wicked is to crush them. Grain was crushed in 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 authority and law.
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. We can see this in our day of hung juries, appeals, delay tactics, further appeals, and stays of execution (Eccl 8:11).
We have 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 describes 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, or pardon criminals.
There is not room for one wicked person, one criminal, in a just and good nation. Death row should be emptied today of its 3700 monsters ... by way of public stoning on pay-per-view television, with the proceeds going to the victims' families. One more cent spent on their upkeep in our penal system is a waste. 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 or resent civil government and those who 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 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).
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 depend on strong leaders ridding our society of the rebellion of fools.
Jesus Christ is the greatest of Kings, with the most wisdom. He is King of kings! When the Jews rejected and crucified Him, He promised to return and miserably destroy those wicked men (Matt 21:41), 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 upon them than any nation had suffered before or since (Matt 24:21). And He fulfilled all this and more in 70 AD by the Roman armies under Titus Vespasian Augustus.
But at the same time, to those who feared His name and loved Him, the Sun of Righteousness came with healing in His wings (Mal 4:2). And He is soon coming again with eternal blessing and reward for those who love His appearing (Titus 2:13).