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Lecture One Hundred and Twenty-ninth

When the Prophet asks, whether the time had come for the Jews to dwell in splendid and well furnished houses, and whether the time had not come to build the Temple, he intimates, that they were trifling in a very gross manner with God; for there was exactly the same reason for building the Temple as for building the city. How came they to be restored to their country, but that God performed what he had testified by the mouth of Jeremiah? Hence their return depended on the redemption promised to them: it was therefore easy for them to conclude, that the time for building the Temple had already come; for the one could not, and ought not to have been separated from the other, as it has been stated. He therefore upbraids them with ingratitude, for they sought to enjoy the kindness of God, and at the same time disregarded the memorial of it.

And very emphatical are the words, when he says, Is it time for you to dwell in houses? 133133     There is a double pronoun, [העת לכם אתם], "Is it time for you, even you,” or, “you yourselves?” The Welsh often use two pronouns in this way, for the sake of emphasis. The rendering is very flat, as in our version, and adopted by Henderson, “Is it time for you, O ye?” etc. Houbigant, who always amends, proposes [אתה], to come, “Is the time come for you?” etc. This is suitable, but without authority. Dathius suggests the place, but it is no more than a conjecture. There is no doubt an emphasis is intended by the repetition.—Ed. For there is implied a comparison between God, whose Temple they set no value on, and themselves, who sought not only commodious, but sumptuous dwellings. Hence the Prophet inquires, whether it was consistent that mortal men, who differ not from worms, should possess magnificent houses, and that God should be without his Temple. And to the same purpose is what he adds, when he says, that their houses were boarded; for ספונים, saphunim, means in Hebrew what we express by Cambrisees 134134     It is rendered “wainscoted” by Henderson; “κοιλοσταθμοις—ceiled,” by the Sept.; “ωροφωμενοις—roofed,” by Aquila. It was the custom in the east, says Parkhurst, to cover or line the roof with boards or wainscot.—Ed. Since then they were not satisfied with what was commodious, without splendor and luxury being added, it was extremely shameful for them to rob God at the same time of his Temple, where he was to be worshipped. It now follows—

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