31 Notable Bible Verses About Kings (with Explanations)

Kings evoke images of power, wealth, and absolute authority. But the Bible’s portrayal of kings is far more multifaceted than mere gilded pronouncements and sweeping decrees. From righteous rulers like David to tyrants like Ahab, these figures illuminate the complexities of leadership, the dangers of unchecked power, and ultimately, the ultimate authority that reigns above them all.

As we turn the pages of scripture, we encounter kings chosen by God, kings who defy divine will, and even kings who foreshadow a future ruler unlike any other. We witness their triumphs and failures, their acts of justice and injustice, and the profound impact they have on the lives of their subjects.

In this study, we are going to step into the court of kings and discover the enduring truths they hold.

Also Read: Funny Bible Verses Taken out of Context (with Explanations)

Bible Verses About Kings

1 Samuel 8:7

And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.

In this verse, the Israelites demand a human king, expressing their rejection of God’s direct rule over them. This passage reflects the tension between human authority and divine sovereignty.

The desire for a human king signifies a lack of trust in God’s guidance and provision. It underscores the human inclination to seek tangible, visible leadership rather than relying on faith in the unseen.

Proverbs 8:15-16

By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.

This verse highlights the wisdom of God as the source of authority for earthly rulers. Kings and leaders are entrusted with their positions by divine providence and are called to govern justly and wisely.

It emphasizes the divine mandate for rulers to uphold righteousness and justice in their governance, recognizing their responsibility to serve their people and honor God in their leadership.

Daniel 2:21

He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

Daniel’s declaration acknowledges God’s sovereignty over the rise and fall of kings and kingdoms. It reveals that ultimate authority rests with God, who orchestrates the course of history according to His divine plan.

This verse provides assurance that God remains in control, even amidst political upheavals and transitions of power, demonstrating His power to exalt and humble earthly rulers according to His purposes.

Proverbs 21:1

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.

This proverb underscores the notion that God holds sway over the decisions and actions of kings. Despite the apparent autonomy of earthly rulers, their hearts and intentions ultimately remain subject to God’s divine influence and guidance.

It emphasizes the sovereignty of God in directing the affairs of nations and shaping the course of history according to His divine will.

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah prophesies about a future ruler whose authority transcends earthly kingship. This verse foretells the birth of Jesus, the divine King whose reign brings divine wisdom, might, eternal fatherhood, and peace.

It emphasizes the unparalleled nature of Christ’s kingship and the transformative impact of His rule on the world.

Psalm 72:1-2

Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice.

This psalm offers a prayer for the righteous rule of a king, highlighting the importance of divine justice and righteousness in governance. It reflects the aspiration for leaders who align their decisions with God’s principles, ensuring fairness and equity in their judgments.

The passage underscores the role of earthly kings in reflecting God’s character through just and righteous governance.

Revelation 17:14

They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.

In the context of the apocalyptic vision in Revelation, this verse portrays the ultimate triumph of Christ, the King of kings, over all opposition. It emphasizes the sovereignty of Jesus as the supreme ruler, victorious over the forces of evil.

The inclusion of His faithful followers underscores the collaborative and redemptive nature of Christ’s kingship.

Jeremiah 23:5-6

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.”

Jeremiah prophesies about the coming of a righteous King from the line of David, emphasizing His wise and just rule. This passage connects the concept of kingship with salvation and safety, highlighting the redemptive impact of this future King.

The title “The Lord Our Righteous Savior” signifies the unique and salvific nature of His kingship.

1 Timothy 6:15

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Paul’s declaration in Timothy underscores the singular authority of God as the ultimate Ruler, King of kings, and Lord of lords.

This verse emphasizes the divine supremacy and the acknowledgment that all earthly rulers derive their authority from the one true King. It reinforces the idea that God is the ultimate source of all sovereignty and power in the universe.

Revelation 19:16

On his robe and on his thigh, he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.

In the culmination of the apocalyptic vision in Revelation, Jesus is portrayed with the title “King of kings and Lord of lords” inscribed on Him. This visual imagery reinforces the absolute authority of Christ over all other kings and rulers.

The repetition of the title serves as a powerful proclamation of His unrivaled dominion and reign.

1 Peter 2:17

Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Peter’s exhortation highlights the balance between honoring earthly authorities, including kings or emperors, and maintaining reverence for God. It emphasizes the importance of respect, love within the Christian community, and the ultimate fear and honor due to God.

This verse provides guidance on navigating the relationship between civic duties and devotion to God in the context of kingship.

2 Chronicles 1:10-12

Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?

King Solomon’s plea for wisdom reflects the humility and recognition of the immense responsibility that comes with leadership. This verse serves as a reminder that even the most powerful rulers acknowledge their dependence on God for guidance.

Solomon’s desire for wisdom over wealth or power sets a profound example for leaders, emphasizing the importance of seeking divine insight in governance.

Matthew 2:1-2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

This passage introduces the Magi seeking the newborn King, emphasizing the universal recognition of Jesus’ royal significance.

The Gentile Magi’s journey to worship the King of the Jews underlines the inclusive and global nature of Christ’s kingship. It foreshadows the role of Jesus as a King for all people, transcending cultural and geographical boundaries.

Psalm 47:7-8

For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.

This psalm exalts God as the sovereign King over all the earth, emphasizing His universal authority. The call to sing praises acknowledges the divine kingship and invites all nations to recognize and honor God’s rule.

The imagery of God seated on His holy throne symbolizes His majesty and unshakeable reign, inspiring reverence and adoration.

Ezekiel 34:23-24

I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.

In this prophetic passage, God promises a future shepherd, often interpreted as a reference to the Messiah, who will lead and care for His people. The association with David highlights the messianic lineage and reinforces the concept of a righteous and compassionate ruler.

This verse conveys God’s commitment to providing loving guidance and leadership to His people.

Revelation 1:5b-6

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

In this doxology, the believers are recognized as part of a kingdom established by the sacrificial love of Christ. The imagery of being a kingdom and priests underscores the shared reign and privileged relationship believers have with God.

This verse highlights the transformative power of Christ’s redemptive work, shaping a community dedicated to serving and glorifying God.

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

This verse, spoken during the anointing of David as king, emphasizes the divine perspective on leadership. It challenges the human tendency to judge based on external qualities and underscores the importance of inner character.

God’s focus on the heart serves as a timeless lesson for leaders, encouraging a commitment to integrity, humility, and alignment with God’s values.

1 Corinthians 15:24-25

Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

This passage from Corinthians envisions the culmination of Christ’s reign, depicting a victorious conclusion where all opposing forces are subdued. The imagery of Christ handing over the kingdom to God underscores the ultimate triumph of God’s plan.

This verse serves as a hopeful reminder of the finality of Christ’s victory and the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom.

Deuteronomy 17:14-15

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, ‘Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,’ be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses.”

In this passage, Moses provides guidance to the Israelites about selecting a king. The emphasis on choosing a king according to God’s will underscores the importance of seeking divine guidance in matters of leadership.

This passage sets a foundation for the biblical understanding that earthly kingship should align with God’s sovereign plan.

Psalm 89:27-29

“I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.”

This psalm reflects on the Davidic covenant, expressing God’s enduring commitment to David’s lineage. The promise of an eternal throne emphasizes the perpetual nature of God’s plan for kingship within the Davidic line.

The mention of being the “most exalted of the kings of the earth” highlights the unique status of the promised King in God’s redemptive plan.

Revelation 2:26-27

“To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery.'”

In a letter to the church in Thyatira, Jesus promises authority to those who remain faithful. The imagery of ruling with an iron scepter underscores the theme of divine authority and judgment.

This verse envisions believers participating in the rule of Christ over the nations, reflecting the shared reign of the redeemed in God’s kingdom.

Isaiah 32:1

“See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice.”

Isaiah prophesies about a righteous king and just rulers, emphasizing the crucial attributes of leadership. This verse envisions a future where righteousness and justice characterize the governance of the king and those appointed to rule.

It reflects the biblical expectation that earthly leaders should align their rule with God’s standards of righteousness and justice.

Revelation 3:21

“To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.”

In the letter to the church in Laodicea, Jesus extends a promise of shared authority to the victorious believers. The imagery of sitting on Christ’s throne echoes the theme of believers participating in the divine reign.

This verse emphasizes the intimate connection between the triumph of believers and their joint rule with Christ in the heavenly realm.

1 Samuel 15:22

“But Samuel replied: ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.'”

Samuel’s response to Saul highlights the importance of obedience in leadership. This verse underscores the spiritual principle that genuine allegiance to God’s commands holds greater significance than ritualistic acts of worship.

It serves as a reminder that effective leadership, especially in the context of kingship, involves a steadfast commitment to following God’s will.

Revelation 11:15

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.'”

This proclamation in Revelation signifies the ultimate fulfillment of God’s plan for kingship. The transition of worldly kingdoms to the eternal reign of the Lord and His Messiah marks the culmination of divine sovereignty.

This verse echoes themes of victory, transformation, and the enduring nature of God’s kingship over all creation.

Jeremiah 22:3

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.'”

Jeremiah’s message to the kings of Judah emphasizes the imperative of just and righteous governance. This verse underscores the ethical dimensions of kingship, urging leaders to prioritize justice, protect the vulnerable, and refrain from oppression.

It reflects the biblical expectation that earthly rulers align their actions with God’s moral standards.

1 Samuel 12:13

“Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the Lord has set a king over you.”

Samuel, in addressing the Israelites after the establishment of the monarchy, highlights God’s role in appointing their chosen king. This verse underscores the divine orchestration behind the selection of a king, emphasizing God’s sovereignty in the establishment of earthly rulers.

It serves as a reminder that human leadership, even when chosen by the people, remains subject to God’s overarching plan.

Revelation 17:2

“With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”

In the context of Revelation’s symbolic language, this verse portrays the seductive influence of worldly systems on earthly rulers. The imagery of adultery and intoxication highlights the spiritual corruption associated with misguided alliances and pursuits of power.

It serves as a cautionary depiction of the potential pitfalls and moral compromises faced by those in positions of authority.

Proverbs 16:12

“Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness.”

This proverb encapsulates the biblical principle that righteousness forms the foundation of a stable and enduring throne. The verse suggests that kings who abhor wrongdoing contribute to the establishment and longevity of their reign.

It reinforces the idea that ethical leadership is not only virtuous but also essential for the stability and prosperity of a kingdom.

Revelation 19:11

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice, he judges and wages war.”

This visionary passage in Revelation depicts the triumphant return of Christ as a conquering King. The title “Faithful and True” highlights the reliability and integrity of Christ’s leadership.

The combination of justice, judgment, and war underscores the dual nature of Christ’s rule, bringing divine justice and righteousness to the forefront of His victorious reign.

2 Samuel 23:3-4

“The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.'”

David’s reflection on righteous rule emphasizes the illuminating impact of just leadership. The imagery of light and brightness signifies the positive influence of a ruler who governs with righteousness and Godly reverence.

This verse serves as a poetic expression of the transformative power of leaders who align their governance with the principles of God’s justice and fear of Him.

Also Read: Funny Bible Verses Taken out of Context (with Explanations)

What Does the Bible Say About Kings?

The Bible addresses the concept of kingship extensively, particularly in the Old Testament. Here are some key themes and teachings about kings as depicted in the Bible:

God as the Ultimate King: Throughout the Bible, God is presented as the ultimate sovereign ruler over all creation. He is described as the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16), signifying His supremacy over all earthly authorities.

Establishment of Earthly Kings: While God is the ultimate authority, the Bible also acknowledges the institution of earthly kingship. In the Old Testament, Israel transitioned from a tribal confederation to a monarchy, with Saul being the first anointed king, followed by David and his descendants.

Divine Appointment of Kings: The Bible teaches that God has a hand in the appointment and removal of kings. Prophets like Samuel were instrumental in anointing and advising kings in accordance with God’s will. For instance, God chose David, a shepherd boy, to become the king of Israel (1 Samuel 16).

A Short Prayer for Righteous Leadership

Heavenly Father,

In the quiet reverence of our hearts, we come before You, seeking Your divine guidance for righteous leadership. We acknowledge You as the ultimate King, the source of all wisdom and justice. Bless our leaders with discernment, compassion, and a commitment to Your righteous ways.

Grant them the humility to seek Your counsel, the strength to uphold justice, and the compassion to serve with love. May their decisions reflect Your eternal principles, promoting fairness, equity, and the well-being of all. Guard their hearts against the temptations of power and guide them to lead with integrity.

We pray for a world where leaders emulate Your example, fostering unity, understanding, and peace. May Your Spirit guide and inspire them daily, transforming their leadership into a beacon of light for the nations.

In the name of our righteous King, Jesus Christ, we offer this prayer, trusting in Your sovereign will.