Shalt thou reign because thou closest [thyself] in cedar?
&c.] Dost thou think that thou shalt reign long, and thy throne be established firm and secure, because of thy cedar wainscot? as if that was a protection to thee, and were like the fortifications of a city or tower; when it may easily be broke to pieces, or burnt with fire; and must be a poor defence against a powerful enemy. The Targum is,
``dost thou think to be as the first king?''as David; to be as great a prince, to keep as grand a court, and live in as splendid a manner, as he? The Septuagint version, instead of "ares", a cedar, reads "Ahaz", and takes it for the proper name of a king of Judah; and the Arabic version reads "Ahab"; and so the Alexandrian copy of the Septuagint; and both confound it with the next clause; the former rendering the words thus, "shalt thou reign, that thou provokest in", or "after the manner of Ahaz thy father?" and the latter thus,
``thou shalt not reign, because thou imitatest the original of Ahab thy father;''but both wrong; though Grotius seems to approve of this reading: did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice?
that is, Josiah his father, who ate and drank in moderation, and lived cheerfully and comfortably; and kept a good table like a prince, without such a magnificent palace as he, his son, had built; and without oppressing his subjects, and detaining the hire of the labourer: living in a grand manner, becoming a king, may be done consistent with doing justice and judgment; let but that be done, and a prince will not be blamed for living like himself, and for supporting the dignity of his character and office, as Josiah did: [and] then [it was] well with him;
or, "therefore [it was] well with him" F21 he was blessed of God, and was prosperous and successful; he was happy himself as a prince, and his people under him, both enjoying peace and prosperity; there are never better times than when justice is done; by it the throne is established.
F21 (wl bwj za) "ideo bene fuit ei"; so Noldius renders the particle, Concord. Par. Ebr. p. 7.