(Proverbs 28:16 KJV) The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.
Two issues come out to me in considering the different translations of this verse: Vocabulary and word order. I like the vocabulary of the NASB and the word order of the KJV. Each offers a bit of confusion.
I don’t know if word order is important in the Hebrew. I know it is not in Greek. In English it is part of our understanding. Here I think the KJV has the advantage. The KJV points out that the “leader” (prince NASB) (5057) who lacks “understanding” (8394) becomes an “oppressor” (4642). It is a given.
Leaders can be in any field. Politics is obvious but we also have them in the world of education. We have leaders in business and in the church. It is important to pick leaders that have an understanding of God’s principles. In organizations where you can’t pick your leaders, then pick your organization.
They can oppress in many ways. We tend to think of economic and political oppression but I think that a teacher who is not in contact with truth and understanding can set up oppression based in ignorance.
So? Be careful whom you follow. Elections are coming. Be careful how you vote. It is time to start thinking about it on all levels, city officials, judges, congress as well as president.