Their inward thought [is, that] their houses [shall continue]
This is the thought of their hearts, what they secretly imagine, and conclude within themselves; either that their families, which may be meant by their houses, see ( 2 Samuel 3:1 ) ; shall continue in succeeding ages, to the end of the world, to inherit their possessions, and perpetuate their name; though often so it is, that great families become extinct, and the seed of the wicked is cut off: or that their magnificent buildings, which they have erected to dwell in, and for their honour and glory, shall abide for ever; though in a little time, so it is by one means or another, like the buildings of the temple, not one stone is left upon another. Or the words may be rendered, "in the midst of them" (their heirs to whom they leave their wealth) "their houses shall remain for ever", so Aben Ezra; that is, so they fancy they will; but this is not always true, for fine houses and large estates belonging to them often pass into other hands and families. The word (Mbrq) , rendered "their inward part", by a transposition of two letters in it may be read (Mrbq) , "their graves", as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech observe; and to this sense the Targum, Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions render the words: and then the meaning is, that of all the houses they have built or been possessed of, they have only one left, and that is the grave; in which they shall dwell until the resurrection, and therefore is called "a long home", ( Ecclesiastes 12:5 ) ; see ( Job 17:13 ) ( 30:23 ) ;
[and] their dwelling places to all generations;
which signify the same as before;
they call their lands after their own names;
as Egypt was called Mizraim, Ethiopia was called Cush, and Palestine Canaan, from men who were the first possessors of them, ( Genesis 10:6 ) . Or "they proclaim their names throughout the land" F24; they seek to get a name, and spread and continue it in all part of the world; being unconcerned about their names being written in heaven, or about having a house not made with hands eternal there.
F24 So Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis.