“Do you think that you become a king because you have much more cedar [in your palace than Solomon]? Did not your father [Josiah], as he ate and drank, Do just and righteous acts [being upright and in right standing with God]? Then all was well with him.
Do you think that being a king [merely] means [self-indulgent] vying [with Solomon] and striving to excel in cedar [palaces]? Did not your father [Josiah], as he ate and drank, do justice and righteousness [being upright and in right standing with God]? Then it was well with him.
“Jehoiakim, having a lot of cedar in your house does not make you a great king. Your father Josiah was satisfied to have food and drink. He did what was right and fair, so everything went well for him.
“Does having a lot of cedar [C in your house] make you a great king? ·Your father was satisfied to [L Did not your father…?; C Josiah, a godly king] have food and drink. He did what was right and fair, so everything went well for him.
“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.”
Does it make you any more of a king that you outstrip everyone else in building with cedar? Just think about your father. He was content that he had food and drink. He did what was just and right. So things went well with him.
Do you become king because you have more cedar than another? Your father, so different from you, had plenty to eat, plenty to drink. Didn’t he live his life as a righteous and fair man? And look how well he did.
Whether thou shalt reign, for thou comparisonest thee to a cedar? whether thy father ate not, and drank, and did doom and rightfulness then, when it was well to him? (Shalt thou reign, because thy cedar is finer in comparison to others? did not thy father eat, and drink, and did justly and with righteousness, and was it not well with him?)
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