12 If a ruler listens to lies,
all his officials become wicked.
13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.
If wickedness is a contagion, lies are its first symptom. Small deceptions grow into treachery, flattery leads to betrayal. There is much more at stake than meets the eye, a small infection can quickly become a serious problem. The wise leader has the prudence to see how such things spread, and takes action before they get out of hand.
“The poor and the oppressor have this in common: the Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.” In the eyes of the world it is better to be the oppressor than the poor, there being a great social division between the two. But surely the Lord, the giver of sight, sees things differently. In the end only one opinion will matter, and that is the Lord’s. May both poor and oppressor acknowledge this, that the poor may have hope and the oppressor repent of his ways.