Jeremiah 22:15

15 “Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him.

Read Jeremiah 22:15 Using Other Translations

Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him?
Do you think you are a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.
But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him.

What does Jeremiah 22:15 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Jeremiah 22:15

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.
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