“It will be very bad for King Jehoiakim. He is doing wrong so that he can build his palace. He is cheating people so that he can build rooms upstairs. He is not paying his own people. He is making them work for nothing.
“·How terrible it will be for one [Woe to the one; C King Jehoiakim (605–597 bc), placed on the throne by the Egyptian pharaoh to replace his brother Jehoahaz; 2 Kin. 23:34] who builds his ·palace [L house] by ·doing evil [L unrighteousness], ·who cheats people so he can build its upper rooms [his upper rooms without justice]. He makes his ·own people [L neighbors] work for nothing and does not pay them.
“How terrible it will be for him who builds his palace by doing evil. He cheats people so he can build its upper rooms. He is making his own people work for nothing. He is not paying them for their work.
“Doom to him who builds palaces but bullies people, who makes a fine house but destroys lives, Who cheats his workers and won’t pay them for their work, Who says, ‘I’ll build me an elaborate mansion with spacious rooms and fancy windows. I’ll bring in rare and expensive woods and the latest in interior decor.’ So, that makes you a king— living in a fancy palace? Your father got along just fine, didn’t he? He did what was right and treated people fairly, And things went well with him. He stuck up for the down-and-out, And things went well for Judah. Isn’t this what it means to know me?” God’s Decree! “But you’re blind and brainless. All you think about is yourself, Taking advantage of the weak, bulldozing your way, bullying victims.”
“‘Sure to be judged is the king who builds his palace using injustice and treats people unfairly while adding its upper rooms. He makes his countrymen work for him for nothing. He does not pay them for their labor.
The Lord says, “How terrible it will be for King Jehoiakim! He builds his palace by mistreating his people. He builds its upstairs rooms with money gained by sinning. He makes his own people work for nothing. He does not pay them for what they do.
And the Lord says, “What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim, who builds his palace with forced labor. He builds injustice into its walls, for he makes his neighbors work for nothing. He does not pay them for their labor.
Woe unto him that buildeth his bais but not by tzedek (righteousness), and his aliyyot (upper chambers) but not by mishpat; that useth his neighbor’s service without wages, and giveth him no pay for his work;
Woe to the one who builds his palace on the proceeds of unrighteousness, who adds upper rooms on the gains of injustice, Who forces his own people to labor for nothing, who refuses to pay them for all their hard work.
Woe to him that buildeth his house in unrightfulness, and his solars not in doom; he shall oppress his friend in vain, and he shall not yield his hire to him. (Woe to him who buildeth his house in unrighteousness, and his rooms with injustice; he shall make his neighbours work for nothing, and he shall not pay them their wages.)