10. When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king's house unto the house of the Lord, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the Lord's house.
10. Et audierunt principes Jehudah sermones hos, et ascenderunt e domo regis in domum Jehovae (hoc est, a palatio regis in Templum,) et sederunt in foribus portae Templi Jehovae novae.
We have said that the princes were roused by a popular clamor; nor is there a doubt but; that the king had sent them to quell the commotion. It must be especially noticed, that they were engaged in other matters, as it was seldom the case that courtiers spent their time in hearing the prophets. It is indeed true, that the occupations of those are sacred, who have the care of the commonwealth, who dispense justice, and who have to provide for the public safety; but it behoves them so to divide their time, that they may be able to consecrate some portion of it to God. But courtiers think themselves exempted by a sort of privilege, when yet the truth is more necessary for them than even for the common people; for not only the duty of the head of a family lies on each of them, but the Lord has also set them over a whole people. If, then, private men have need of being daily taught, that they may faithfully rule and guide themselves and their families, what ought to be done by those rulers who are as it were the fathers of the commonwealth? But as I have already said, such men usually exempt themselves from the yoke of the faithful.
Hence then it was, that none of the princes were present, when Jeremiah had been commanded to proclaim his message, not only on the day when few came to the Temple, but when they came from all the cities of Judah to sacrifice at Jerusalem. It was, indeed, a very shameful sign of gross contempt, that no one of the king's counsellors appeared in the Temple, when there were present, from remote places, those whom religion and the desire to sacrifice had brought there. But he says that they came to know the cause of the commotion; for it is said, that they
1 The present Hebrew text is, "the new gate of Jehovah." "House," before Jehovah, is found in many MSS., and is given by all the Versions, except the Sept., where Jehovah as well as house, is left out. The true reading no doubt is, "the house of Jehovah." It was called "the new gate," says Gataker, because it had been renewed by Jotham. See 2 Kings 15:35. It is rendered "the eastern gate" by the Targ. It was in the porch of this gate, according to some, that the great consistory sat. -- Ed.
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