Jeremiah 22:15 Index
"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?"
Research Material

" . . . thou closest thyself in cedar . . . "

  • Literally, "because thou competest in cedar."
  • The same Hebrew word translated "closest" here is translated "contend" in (Jeremiah 12:5). In other words, Jeremiah rebukes Jehoiakim for endeavoring to outdo the magnificence proudly displayed by others. (4BC 436-437)
  • This scripture pictures the work of those who manufacture and who sell intoxicating liquor. Their business means robbery. For the money they receive, no equivalent is returned. Every dollar they add to their gains has brought a curse to the spender. (MH 337)
  • In every phase of the liquor [and drug] selling business, there is dishonesty and violence. The houses of liquor [and drug] dealers are built with the wages of unrighteousness, and upheld by violence and oppression. (The Review and Herald article The Curse of the Liquor Traffic , May 1, 1894)
  • At the very time messages of impending doom were urged upon princes and people, their ruler, Jehoiakim, who should have been a wise spiritual leader, foremost in confession of sin and in reformation and good works, was spending his time in selfish pleasure. “I will build me a wide house and large chambers,” he proposed; and this house, “ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion” (Jeremiah 22:14), was built with money and labor secured through fraud and oppression.
    • The wrath of the prophet was aroused, and he was inspired to pronounce judgment upon the faithless ruler. “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong,” he declared; “that useth his neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work (Jeremiah 22:13).... 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 (Jeremiah 22:15)? He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know Me? saith the Lord (Jeremiah 22:16). But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it (Jeremiah 22:17). (PK 429-430)

" . . . did not thy father . . . "

  • A reference to Jehoiakim's father, Josiah, who enjoyed a normal, well-balanced life of judgment and "justice [literally, righteousness]." His was an inner greatness that far surpassed the outer glory of Jehoiakim's palace. (4BC 437)