|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:20-32 Those who despise the word of God, will soon show, as this king did, that they hate it; and, like him, they would wish it destroyed. See what enmity there is against God in the carnal mind, and wonder at his patience. The princes showed some concern, till they saw how light the king made of it. Beware of making light of God's word!
Verse 22. - In the winter house; i.e. that part of the royal palace (beth, house, may also be rendered apartment) which was arranged for a winter habitation (comp. Amos 3:15). According to Dr. Thomson ('The Land and the Book,' p. 309), the more airy part of a house is called "summerhouse," and the more sheltered room "winter house." The ninth month, in which the events now being related took place, corresponded approximately to our December. It was, therefore, the cold and rainy season; December is a stormy month in Palestine. A fire on the hearth; rather, in the chafing dish (or, brazier). It was a vessel with live coals placed in the centre of the room, still used in the East in cold weather.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now the king sat in the winter house, in the ninth month,.... The month Cisleu, which answers to part of November, and part of December; and so was the midst of winter, and a proper time for the king to be in his winter house; though, as this was a fast day, it would have been more proper for him to have been at the worship of God in the temple, Jeremiah 36:9. This winter house probably was a winter parlour, as distinguished from a summer parlour, Judges 3:20; and both might be under the same roof, or parts of the same house; only the one might be more airy and cool, and the other more close and warm. Kings had their summer and winter houses; see Amos 3:15; this circumstance is mentioned for the sake of what follows, the burning of the roll; and accounts for there being a fire at hand to do it:
and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him; there was a stove, or some such vessel or instrument, in which a large fire of wood was made, at which the king sat to keep himself warm while the roll was reading, and about which the princes stood.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. winter house—(Am 3:15).
ninth month—namely, of the religious year, that is, November or December.
fire on … hearth—rather, the stove was burning before him. In the East neither chimneys nor ovens are used, but, in cold weather, a brazen vessel containing burning charcoal; when the wood has burned to embers, a cover is placed over the pot to make it retain the heat.
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