Proverbs 23:10-11 – A warning to politicians and government bureaucracies

boundary markerProverbs 23:10-11 – “Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: 11 For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.”

A reading of old land deeds brings to mind how easy it would be to violate Solomon’s admonition to his son, “Remove not the old landmark” (Proverbs 23:10).  In ancient times, land borders were often marked by something as simple as stones piled in the corners of a farmer’s field.  One can imagine how tempting it would be for a dishonest man to slyly move a pile of stones that marked the corner of a field and add to his own acreage.

Century old deeds often refer to boundary markers that are easily removed or altered.  For instance, a deed might reference a bend in a creek as a landmark; however, a large storm or the passing of years can change the course of a creek and to the unknowing—a property boundary.  I have read deeds that use a large oak tree for a boundary corner; however, the removal of that tree leaves opportunity for an adversary to lay claim to another’s property and challenge the integrity of a man’s boundary-markerrightful inheritance.

Proverbs 23:10-11 is about more than land boundaries; it is an admonition to a prince to exercise integrity in his use of power.  Like politicians and bureaucracies in our own nation, Solomon was aware a king might be tempted to rule by fiat and violate the rights and inheritance of the “fatherless”.

Solomon’s warning to his son is one politicians and bureaucrats in Federal, State and local governments would be wise to heed.

Proverbs 23:10-11“Remove [depart; turn away; retreat; turn back; backslide] not the old [ancient; perpetual; everlasting] landmark [border; boundary]; and enter not into the fields [land; soil; grounds] of the fatherless [orphan]: 11 For their [fatherless; i.e. orphans] redeemer [kinsman; revenger] is mighty [strong; bold; courageous]; he shall plead [defend; make a legal defense] their [fatherless; i.e. orphans] cause with thee.”

rancher1In plain language: Don’t take the property, rights and inheritance of another and believe you have done so with impunity.  God is the “Redeemer” and Defender of those who are powerless; He will plead the cause and avenge those deceived and robbed of what is rightfully their property and inheritance.