Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say…
The avaricious "accumulate on themselves thick clay." Hardly, indeed, an avaricious man can be found who is not a burden to himself, and to whom his wealth is not a source of trouble. Everyone who has accumulated much, when he comes to old age, is afraid to use what he has got, being ever solicitous lest he should lose anything; and then, as he thinks nothing is sufficient, the more he possesses the more grasping he becomes, and frugality is the name given to that sordid and, so to speak, that servile restraint within which the rich confine themselves. In short, when any one forms a judgment of all the avaricious of this world, and is himself free from all avarice, having a free and unbiassed mind, he will easily apprehend what the prophet says here, — that all the wealth of this world is nothing else but a heap of clay, as when any one puts himself of his own accord under a great heap which he had collected together. The general truth to be drawn from the expression is, that all the avaricious, the more they heap together, the more they lade themselves, and. as it were, bury themselves under a great load. Riches acquired by frauds and plunders are nothing else than a heavy and cumbrous lump of earth; for God returns on the heads of those who thus seek to enrich themselves whatever they have plundered from others. Had they been contented with some moderate portion, they might have lived cheerfully and happily, as we see to be the case with all the godly, who, though they possess but little, are yet cheerful; for they live in hope, and know that their supplies are in God's hands, and expect everything from His blessing.
( John Calvin.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!