If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.
– Proverbs 29:12
Verses 12-14 form a small group of sayings related to kingship and rule. This saying relies on the Deuteronomic kingship ideal, where the ideal king is exemplar in keeping God’s law and presiding over a nation of the faithful (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). The king’s character will shape the character of his kingdom, for good or bad. This saying warns against the bad. If the king will listen to lies, more lies will be told him. The last phrase presents a thorough corruption to all his servants.