Princes’ Just Rule
Jehovah God foresaw man’s inability to establish a righteous government, and so at the very time of man’s fall he gave an intimation of his purpose to provide a righteous rule by promising a seed that would crush the serpent’s head. (Gen. 3:15) That seed, Christ Jesus, is the king referred to at Isaiah 32:1, and Bible prophecy shows that he has been ruling since 1914.—Rev. 11:15-18.
Who are the princes? In times past it was thought that Isaiah 32:1 referred to the time when earthly sons of Christ Jesus would rule as princes in the new world, as does Psalm 45:16. But this could not be so, for not only is nothing said in Isaiah 32:1 about the princes’ being the sons of the king but the context shows that their rule is not under new world conditions, for “each of them will be like a hiding-place from the wind, and a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a wearisome land”. (Isa. 32:2, AT) Such conditions will not obtain in the new world.
The Hebrew word here translated “princes” is sarím, which is rendered in many other ways also, such as captain, ruler, chief, etc., and is used to designate the first, chief or foremost in any company or group. We find the term used throughout Israel’s history, before as well as after they had kings, and not only in a political sense. There were military, judicial and religious sarím or princes.
In view of the breadth of meaning of this term we can see how the King, Christ Jesus, could have princes on earth now, not in the worldly governments, but in his theocratic organization. And while the King began reigning in 1914, it was not until 1919, when his people were released and restored, that we began to have these princes in our midst. (Isa. 32:3, 4) However, in view of the world’s political and glamorous associations with the term “prince” it is not being used among the Lord’s people. In the Scriptures the emphasis is on the heavy responsibility and hard work rather than on the title.
Particularly since 1938 have these princes been placed in positions of responsibility, for in that year the democratic rule was replaced by the theocratic appointment of servants through God’s chosen instrument, the Society, so “that all of us may work together in peace, righteousness, harmony and complete unity”. All obstructors were removed.—Isa. 1:24-26; 32:5-8.
As a result of this change and the pouring out of God’s holy spirit, no more does the scepter of wickedness rest on the lot of the righteous. (Ps. 125:3) Instead, there is now within God’s organization peace, quietness, righteousness and confidence, and we have seen a ninefold increase since 1938, from 47,000 to 435,000 ministers.
Let the “princes” now serve with justice, impartiality, in faithfulness and with heavenly wisdom. And let all ministers sow the truth beside all waters and plow and cultivate God’s field to make it fruitful to his praise. Then, when Armageddon will have laid low the hosts of Satan, there will be a theocratic new world society standing all ready to be used by the King for his 1,000-year reign.—Isa. 32:15-20.
For details see The Watchtower, December 1, 1951.