|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:9-15 That power which is an instrument of unrighteousness, will justly be brought down and broken. What is got and kept wrongfully, will not be kept long. Some are at ease, but there will come a day of visitation, and in that day, all they are proud of, and put confidence in, shall fail them. God will inquire into the sins of which they have been guilty in their houses, the robbery they have stored up, and the luxury in which they lived. The pomp and pleasantness of men's houses, do not fortify against God's judgments, but make sufferings the more grievous and vexatious. Yet a remnant, according to the election of grace, will be secured by our great and good Shepherd, as from the jaws of destruction, in the worst times.
Verse 15. - The winter house. The luxurious habits of kings and princes had led them to have different houses for the various seasons of the year, facing north or south as the case might be (comp. Judges 3:20; Jeremiah 36:22). Septuagint, τὸν οϊκον τὸν περίπτερον, "the turreted house," which Jerome explains, Domum pinnatam, eo quod ostiola habeat per fenestras, et quasi pinnas, ad magnitudinem frigoris depellendam. Houses of ivory; panelled or inlaid with ivory, such as Ahab had (1 Kings 22:39). Solomon's throne was thus decorated (1 Kings 10:18; comp. Psalm 45:8). (For the Assyrian practice of veneering in ivory, see Rawlinson, 'Ancient Monarchies,' 1:463; comp. also Homer, 'Od.,' 4:73; Virgil, 'AEneid,' 6:895.) The great houses; better, many houses; Septuagint, ἕτεροι οϊκοι πολλοί, "many other houses." Not only palaces, but many private houses, shall be destroyed (comp. Isaiah 5:9, where the same words are used).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will smite the winter house with the summer house,.... Both the one and, the other shall fall to the ground, being beat down by the enemy, or shook and made to fall by the earthquake predicted, Amos 1:1; as Kimchi thinks: kings and great personages had houses in the city in the winter season, in which they lived for warmth; and others in the country in the summertime, to which they retired for the benefit of the air; or they had, in one and the same house, a summer and a winter parlour; see Judges 3:20; it signifies that the destruction should reach city and country, and deprive them of what was for their comfort and pleasure:
and the houses of ivory shall perish; or "of the tooth" (l); the elephant's tooth, of which ivory is made. Ahab made a house of ivory; and perhaps more were made by others afterwards, following his example, 1 Kings 22:39; not that these houses were made wholly of ivory, only "covered" with it, as the Targum here paraphrases it; or they were cieled or wainscotted with it, or were inlaid and covered with it, and were reckoned very curious work; but should be demolished, and perish in the general ruin:
and the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord; the houses of princes, nobles, and other persons of figure and distinction; houses great in building, or many in number, as Kimchi observes, and as the word (m) will bear to be rendered; these, which the builders and owners of them thought would have continued many ages, and have perpetuated their names to posterity, should now be thrown down, and be no more; of which they might assure themselves, since the Lord had said it.
(l) "domus dentis", Montanus, Mercerus, Vatablus. (m) "aedes multi", V. L. "domus multae", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Cocceius, Burkius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. winter … summer house—(Jud 3:20; Jer 36:22). Winter houses of the great were in sheltered positions facing the south to get all possible sunshine, summer houses in forests and on hills, facing the east and north.
houses of ivory—having their walls, doors, and ceilings inlaid with ivory. So Ahab's house (1Ki 22:39; Ps 45:8).
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