|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:10-19 Here is a sentence of death upon two kings, the wicked sons of a very pious father. Josiah was prevented from seeing the evil to come in this world, and removed to see the good to come in the other world; therefore, weep not for him, but for his son Shallum, who is likely to live and die a wretched captive. Dying saints may be justly envied, while living sinners are justly pitied. Here also is the doom of Jehoiakim. No doubt it is lawful for princes and great men to build, beautify, and furnish houses; but those who enlarge their houses, and make them sumptuous, need carefully to watch against the workings of vain-glory. He built his houses by unrighteousness, with money gotten unjustly. And he defrauded his workmen of their wages. God notices the wrong done by the greatest to poor servants and labourers, and will repay those in justice, who will not, in justice, pay those whom they employ. The greatest of men must look upon the meanest as their neighbours, and be just to them accordingly. Jehoiakim was unjust, and made no conscience of shedding innocent blood. Covetousness, which is the root of all evil, was at the bottom of all. The children who despise their parents' old fashions, commonly come short of their real excellences. Jehoiakim knew that his father found the way of duty to be the way of comfort, yet he would not tread in his steps. He shall die unlamented, hateful for oppression and cruelty.
Verse 13. - Shallum, or Jehoahaz, in his short reign of three months, had no opportunity of distinguishing himself for good or for evil It was otherwise with Jehoiakim, whose eleven years were marked by the worst characteristics of idolatry and despotism. He "had, besides, a passion for building splendid and costly houses; and as he esteemed his own position secure under the protection of a superior power, he did not scruple severely to oppress his helpless subjects, and wring from them as much money as possible" (Ewald, 'History of Israel,' 4:252; see 2 Kings 23:33-35). The building mania, to which Oriental sovereigns have always been prone, had seized upon Jehoiakim. The architecture of the original palace no longer, perhaps, suited the higher degree of civilization; the space was as confined as that of a Saxon mansion would have appeared to a Norman. That buildeth his house by unrighteousness; i.e., as the second half-verse explains, by not paying the workmen (comp. Habakkuk 2:12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Woe unto him that buildeth his house by righteousness, and his chambers by wrong,.... This respects Jehoiakim, the then reigning king; who, not content with the palace the kings of Judah before him had lived in, built another; or however enlarged that, and made great alterations in it; but this he did either with money ill gotten, or perverted to a wrong use, which ought to have been otherwise laid out; or by not paying for the materials of whom they were bought, or the workmen for their workmanship; and perhaps this may be the reason why so much notice is taken of the king's house or palace in the former part of the chapter, and why it is threatened with desolation, Jeremiah 22:1;
that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; or, "that serveth himself of his neighbour freely"; or, "makes him serve freely" (g); "and giveth him not his work" (h); makes him, work for nothing; gives him no wages for it, but keeps back the hire of the labourers; which is a crying sin in any person, and much more in a king; see James 5:4.
(g) "qui socium suum servire facit gratis", Schmidt; "amici sui servitutem exigenti gratis", Junius & Tremellius. (h) "et opus ejus non dabit ei", Montanus; "mercedem operis", Pagninus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Not only did Jehoiakim tax the people (2Ki 23:35) for Pharaoh's tribute, but also took their forced labor, without pay, for building a splendid palace; in violation of Le 19:13; De 24:14, 15. Compare Mic 3:10; Hab 2:9; Jas 5:4. God will repay in justice those who will not in justice pay those whom they employ.
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