14. That saith, I will build me a wide house, and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion!
14. Qui dicit, AEdificabo mihi domum amplam (mensuram, ad verbum, subaudiunt quidam Interpretes, magnarum; sed illud frigidum est, simpliciter enim domus mensurarum tantundem valet ac domus spatiosa,) et coenacula dilatationum (ad verbum, vel, respirationum, aut perflationum, nam hwr significat tam respirare quam dilatare; unde deducitur hwr quod significat spiritum et ventum,) et perforat sibi fenestras, et tecta (vel, cooperta) est domus cedro et uncta minio.
Some render the last words, "and painted with red;" but vermilion is a kind of red. They, indeed, mention three kinds of red, -- deep red, brownish, and the third mixed with various colors; but vermilion is a brighter color. As to the main point there is no difficulty; the Prophet reproves the ambition and pride of King Jehoiakim, that he was not content with the moderation of his fathers, but indulged in extravagant display, and built for himself a palace as it were in the clouds, as though he did not wish to have a dwelling on the earth. Splendor in houses cannot in itself be condemned; but, as it can hardly be, nay, as it seldom happens, but that such insatiable ambition proceeds from pride, hence the Prophets vehemently denounced sumptuous houses; and they pronounced a curse on such displays, because they had a regard to the motive and the end. Such was the design of the Prophet in this passage.
He therefore thus introduces King Jehoiakim,
He then adds,
It is then added,
"Live do I, never shall this iniquity be blotted out,"
for when he had exhorted them to put on sackcloth and ashes, they said, "Let us eat and drink, tomorrow we shall die." Similar, then, was the perverseness of King Jehoiakim; for he ought to have seen the coming calamity which was set as it were before his eyes; but he, like one infatuated, increased the royal splendor, so that the wealth of David and of Solomon appeared as nothing compared with what he had expended. It now follows, --
1 The word is
2 The Vulg., the Syr., and Targ., read, "And he opens for himself windows." The verb is
And he makes large his windows. -- Ed.
3 Calvin is quite right in applying the latter part to the house generally, and not to the chambers, as it is done by the Sept. and the Arab.; and guided by them, Houbigant proposed emendations of the Text. The arrangement of the verse is according to the common practice of the Prophets, --
14. Who says, "I will build me a spacious house, And airy upper apartments:" And he makes large his windows; And covered it is with cedar, And painted with vermilion.
There are two things mentioned, -- house and apartments. Of the latter he speaks first, as it is usually the case, that he made large windows in them; and then he speaks of the house in general, that it was covered (not ceiled) with cedar, as the Temple was, (1 Kings 6:15,) and painted with vermilion. Here we see an instance how emendations have been proposed through ignorance as to the Hebrew style. The Syriac version makes the sense more distinct, though it be not literal, and is as follows, --
Who says, "I will build me large houses, And spacious chambers:" For these he opens windows; Those he covers with cedars, And adorns with paintings.
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