That said, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cuts him out windows; and it is paneled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Large chambers.—As before, “upper storeys or chambers.”
Cutteth him out windows.—The verb is the same as that used in Jeremiah 4:30 for dilating the eyes by the use of antimony, and implies accordingly the construction of windows of unusual width. These, after the Eastern fashion, were fitted with lattice-work, or shielded by curtains.
Vermilion.—Probably the red pigment (sulphuret of mercury?) still conspicuous in the buildings of Egypt. The word meets us again in Ezekiel 23:14. The king was probably impelled by a vainglorious desire to imitate the magnificence of the Egyptian king (Pharaoh-nechoh) who had placed him on the throne.
It is cieled - Or, roofing it.
large—rather, as Margin, "airy" from Hebrew root, "to breathe freely." Upper rooms in the East are the principal apartments.
cutteth him out windows—The Hebrew, if a noun, is rather, "my windows"; then the translation ought to be, "and let my windows (Jehoiakim speaking) be cut out for it," that is, in the house; or, "and let (the workman) cut out my windows for it." But the word is rather an adjective; "he cutteth it (the house) out for himself, so as to be full of windows." The following words accord with this construction, "and (he makes it) ceiled with cedar," &c. [Maurer]. Retaining English Version, there must be understood something remarkable about the windows, since they are deemed worthy of notice. Gesenius thinks the word dual, "double windows," the blinds being two-leaved.
vermilion—Hebrew, shashar, called so from a people of India beyond the Ganges, by whom it is exported [Pliny, 6.19]. The old vermilion was composed of sulphur and quicksilver; not of red lead, as our vermilion.2 Chronicles 34:24-28. And this prince had seen Shallum or Jehoahaz his brother carried into captivity, and he still walked in the same wicked courses his brother had done; yet in contempt of the word of the Lord by Huldah in his father’s time, he promiseth himself all prosperity and splendour, and accordingly was building himself stately houses, and adorning them; for this the woe is here denounced.
and large chambers; or, "widened ones"; very spacious and roomy; or "aired", or "airy (k) ones"; through which the wind blows, or into which much air comes; so that they were good summer chambers, for which they might be built:
and cutteth him out windows; to let in light and air, as well as for ornament. Some render it, "and teareth my windows" (l); as if he had taken some of the windows of the temple, and placed them in his palace, and so was guilty of sacrilege; but this is not very likely:
and it is ceiled with cedar; wainscotted with it; or the roof of it was covered with cedar, as Jarchi; or its beams and rafters were made of cedar, as Kimchi; it might be lined throughout with cedar:
and painted with vermilion. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "sinopis"; so called from Sinope, a city in Pontus, where it is found; of which Pliny says (m) there are three sorts, one red, another reddish, and a third between them both: this is the same with "minium" or vermilion. Strabo (n) says, in Cappadocia the best Sinopic minium or vermilion is produced, and which vies with that of Spain; and he says it is called sinopic, because the merchants used to bring it to that place (Sinope) before the commerce of the Ephesians reached the men of this country, Cappadocia; other versions (o), besides the Vulgate Latin, so render it here. Schindler (p) renders the Hebrew word by this; and also by "cinnabar", which is a red mineral stone, and chiefly found in quicksilver mines; and may be thought to be quicksilver petrified, and fixed by means of sulphur, and a subterraneous heat; for artificial cinnabar is made of a mixture of mercury and sulphur sublimed, and reduced into a kind of fine red glebe; and this is called by the painters vermilion; and is made more beautiful by grinding it with gum water, and a little saffron; which two drugs prevent its growing black: and there are two kinds of vermilion; the one natural, which is found in some silver mines, in form of a ruddy sand, of a bright beautiful red colour; the other is made of artificial cinnabar, ground up with white wine, and afterwards with the whites of eggs. There are two sorts of it that we have; the one of a deep red; the other pale; but are the same; the difference of colour only proceeding from the cinnabar's being more or less ground; when fine ground, the vermilion is pale, and is preferred to the coarser and redder. It is of considerable use among painters in oil and miniature (q); and here it may be rendered, "anointed with minium" or "vermilion" (r); but it is questionable whether this vermilion was known so early. Kimchi here says, it is the same which the Arabians call "zingapher", or cinnabar. The Hebrew word is "shashar", which Junius and Tremellius translate "indico" (s); and observe from Pliny (t), that there is a people in India called Sasuri, from whence it is brought; but this is of a different colour from minium or vermilion; the one is blue, the other red; but, be it which it will, the painting was for ornament; and either colours look beautiful.
(i) "domum mensurarum", Vatablus, Montanus, Calvin, Schmidt. (k) "perflabilia", Piscator; "vento exposita", Vatablus, Montanus. (l) "et lacerat sibi fenestras meas", Junius & Tremellius. (m) Nat. Hist. l. 35. c. 6. (n) Geograph. l. 12. p. 373. (o) Pagninus, Tigurine version, Castalio. (p) Lexic. Pentaglott. col. 1179. So Castel Lex. Polyglott. col. 3664. (q) Chambers's Cyclopaedia, in the words "Cinnabar" and "Vermilion". (r) "ungendo in minio", Montanus; "uncta est minio", Vatablus, Calvin; "ungit minio", Cocceius. (s) So Buxtorf, Gussetius, Stockius. (t) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 9.That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. There is considerable variance between MT. and LXX in this v., but the general sense is clear.
windows] The Hebrew word is unusual in its form. Michaelis by a different division of words, renders … his windows, cieling it, etc., i.e. covering (it) in, panelling (it), as “cieling” meant when A.V. was made. “Painted” will then become painting.
vermilion] formerly obtained from the kermes insect; hence its name (vermiculus).Verse 14. - A wide house; literally, a house of extensions. Large chambers. The Hebrew specifies "upper chambers " - the principal rooms in ancient houses. Cutteth him out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar; rather... his windows, roofing it with cedar. (This involves no change of letters, but a very slight rearrangement, and the alteration of one point; grammar gains greatly by the change.) "Cutteth out" is, literally, rend-eth; it is the word used in Jeremiah 4:30 of the apparent enlargement of the eyes by putting powdered antimony upon the eyelids. Windows are, as it were, the eyes of a building (Graf compares Ecclesiastes 12:3). Beams of cedar wood were used for the roof of the palace, as being the most costly and durable (comp. Isaiah 9:10). And painted - rather, and painting it - with vermilion; a taste derived from the Egyptians rather than the Babylonians, who seem to have had a difficulty in procuring red. Jeremiah 22:1. "Thus said Jahveh: Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, Jeremiah 22:2. And say: Hear the word of Jahveh, thou king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people, that go in by these gates. Jeremiah 22:3. Thus hath Jahveh said: Do ye right and justice, and save the despoiled out of the hand of the oppressor; to stranger, orphan, and widow do no wrong, no violence; and innocent blood shed not in this place. Jeremiah 22:4. For if ye will do this word indeed, then by the gates of this place there shall come in kings that sit upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. Jeremiah 22:5. But if ye hearken not to these words, by myself have I sworn, saith Jahve, that this house shall become a desolation. Jeremiah 22:6. For thus hath Jahveh said concerning the house of the king of Judah: A Gilead art thou to me, a head of Lebanon; surely I will make thee a wilderness, cities uninhabited; Jeremiah 22:7. And will consecrate against thee destroyers, each with his tools, who shall hew down the choice of thy cedars and cast them into the fire. Jeremiah 22:8. And there shall pass may peoples by this city, and one shall say to the other: Wherefore hath Jahveh done thus unto this great city? Jeremiah 22:9. And they will say: Because they have forsaken the covenant of Jahveh their God, and worshipped other gods and served them."
Go down into the house of the king. The prophet could go down only from the temple; cf. Jeremiah 36:12 and Jeremiah 26:10. Not only the king is to hear the word of the Lord, but his servants too, and the people, who go in by these gates, the gates of the royal castle. The exhortation: to do right and justice, etc., is only an expansion of the brief counsel at Jeremiah 21:12, and that brought home to the heart of the whole people in Jeremiah 7:6, cf. Ezekiel 22:6. The form עשׁוק for עושׁק, Jeremiah 21:12, occurs only here, but is formed analogously to גּדול, and cannot be objected to. אל־תּנוּ is strengthened by "do no violence." On "kings riding," etc., cf. Jeremiah 17:25. - With Jeremiah 22:5 cf. Jeremiah 17:27, where, however, the threatening is otherwise worded. בּי , cf. Genesis 22:16. כּי introduces the contents of the oath. "This house" is the royal palace. לחרבּה as in Jeremiah 7:34, cf. Jeremiah 27:17. The threatening is illustrated in Jeremiah 22:6 by further description of the destruction of the palace. The royal castle is addressed, and, in respect of its lofty situation and magnificence, is called a Gilead and a head of Lebanon. It lay on the north-eastern eminence of Mount Zion (see on 1 Kings 7:12, note 1), and contained the so-called forest-house of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2-5) and various other buildings built of cedar, or, at least, faced with cedar planks (cf. Jeremiah 22:14, Jeremiah 22:23); so that the entire building might be compared to a forest of cedars on the summit of Lebanon. In the comparison to Gilead, Gilead can hardly be adduced in respect of its great fertility as a pasturing land (Numbers 32:1; Micah 7:14), but in virtue of the thickly wooded covering of the hill-country of Gilead on both sides of the Jabbok. This is still in great measure clothed with oak thickets and, according to Buckingham, the most beautiful forest tracts that can be imagined; cf. C. v. Raumer, Pal. S. 82.
(Note: In 1834 Eli Smith travelled through it, and thus writes: "Jebel 'Ajlun presents the most charming rural scenery that I have seen in Syria. A continued forest of noble trees, chiefly the evergreen oak, covers a large part of it, while the ground beneath is clothed with luxuriant grass and decked with a rich variety of wild flowers. As we went from el-Husn to 'Ajlun our path lay along the summit of the mountain; and we often overlooked a large part of Palestine on one side and the whole of Haurn." - Rob. Phys. Geog. p. 54.)
אם לא is a particle of asseveration. This glorious forest of cedar buildings is to become a מדבּר, a treeless steppe, cities uninhabited. "Cities" refers to the thing compared, not to the emblem; and the plural, as being the form for indefinite generality, presents no difficulty. And the attachment thereto of a singular predicate has many analogies in its support, cf. Ew. 317, a. The Keri נושׁבוּ is an uncalled for emendation of the Chet. נושׁבה, cf. Jeremiah 6:5. - "I consecrate," in respect that the destroyers are warriors whom God sends as the executors of His will, see on Jeremiah 6:4. With "a man and his weapons," cf. Ezekiel 9:2. In keeping with the figure of a forest, the destruction is represented as the hewing down of the choicest cedars; cf. Isaiah 10:34. - Thus is to be accomplished in Jerusalem what Moses threatened, Deuteronomy 29:23; the destroyed city will become a monument of God's wrath against the transgressors of His covenant. Jeremiah 22:8 is modelled upon Deuteronomy 29:23., cf. 1 Kings 9:8., and made to bear upon Jerusalem, since, along with the palace, the city too is destroyed by the enemy.
From Jeremiah 22:10 onwards the exhortation to the evil shepherds becomes a prophecy concerning the kings of that time, who by their godless courses hurried on the threatened destruction. The prophecy begins with King Jehoahaz, who, after a reign of three months, had bee discrowned by Pharaoh Necho and carried captive to Egypt; 2 Kings 23:30-35; 2 Chronicles 36:1-4.
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