Proverbs 14:28

In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.

In the multitude of people is the king's honour,.... For it is a sign of a good and wise government, of clemency and righteousness being exercised, of liberty and property being enjoyed, of peace, plenty, and prosperity; which encourage subjects to serve their king cheerfully, and to continue under his reign and government peaceably; and which invites others from different parts to come and settle there also; by which the strength and glory of a king are much increased. This is true of the King of kings, of Jesus Christ, who is King of saints; his honour and glory, as Mediator, lies in a large number of voluntary subjects, made "willing" to serve him "in the day of his power" upon them, as numerous as the drops of the morning "dew",

Ps 110:3; such as he had in the first times of the Gospel, both among the Jews and among the Gentiles; and as he will have more especially in the latter day, when those prophecies shall be fulfilled in

Isaiah 60:4; and so this is interpreted of the King Messiah, in an ancient writing {b} of the Jews;

but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince; or, "the consternation" {c} of him; if his people are destroyed in wars his ambition or cruelty has led him to; or they are driven out from his kingdom by persecution or oppression; hence follows a decay of trade, and consequently of riches; lack of cultivation of land, and so want of provision: in course of time there is such a decrease, that, as there are but few to carry on trade and till the land, so to fight for their prince, and defend his country; wherefore, when attacked by a foreign power, he is thrown into the utmost consternation, and is brought to destruction. This will be the case of the prince of darkness, the man of sin, antichrist; who, though however populous he may be, or has been, ruling over tongues, people, and nations, yet before long he will be deserted by them; one nation after another will fall off from him; they and their kings will hate him, make him bare and desolate, and burn him with fire, Revelation 17:15. Some render it, "the consternation of leanness" {d}; such consternation as causes leanness in a king.

{b} Zohar in Exod. fol. 67. 3, 4.
{c} ttxm "formidat princeps", Tigurine version; "consternatio", Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens.
{d} "Consternatio macici", Gussetius, p. 785. "consternatio tabifica", Schultens; "contritio maciei", Gejerus; "terror tenuitatis", Mercerus, Gersom.