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Secondly, princes are compared to the masters of the family, and to those to whom it belongs to heal and repair the ruins and breaches in that great building, Isai. iii. 7; Job xxxiv. 17; Isai. lviii. 12. and Ixi. 4: as in other places to foundations, Ps. lxxxii. 5. Bagidsús, quusi Báois Tð dzē; to coverings, Ezek. xxviii. 16; to bars which keep a house from being broke open, Hos. xi. 6; to the coignes or corners in an edi. fice which bind the compages of a structure together, Isai. xix. 13.
Thirdly, misgovernment is compared to carelessness in a housekeeper or steward, who is unconcerned in preventing those ruins which a few breaches unrepaired will speedily occasion; which, to shew the greatness of it, is called, in the dual number, double slothfulness, or the slothfulness of both hands; so the Septuagint, °Ey oxygirıs, by slothfulnesses the building decayeth, is vitiated, weakened, disjointed, sinketh, Sept. tatarOhrita, is brought low; a very proper expression in reference to the roof of the house, and so the word is rendered, Ps. cvi. 43; Job xxiv. 24.-" And through idleness of the hands:” ágrysa xaçãy, Sept. through the humility, abjection, demission, hanging down of the hands, that do not put themselves forth, nor líft themselves up to labour, as Heb. xii. 12 ; Exod. xvii. 12. Similar expressions occur in
Ps. lxxvi. 5. and lxxiv. 11; Prov. vi. 10; xix. 24; xxvi. 15; and x. 4.-" The house droppeth through,” which first causes the walls and timber to rot, and then occasions the habitation to be irksome and uncomfortable to its possessor, Prov. xix. 13. and xxvii. 15.
19. | A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry : but money answereth
These words, if taken absolutely, are designed to shew the dominion of money in human affairs above all other conveniences; other blessings, even the best of them, bread and wine (by which terms the Scripture expresses most outward enjoyments), have a definite and limited use, proper to themselves, and distinct from others. They tend to promote mirth and laughter, but money is the measure of all things; it will feed, clothe, purchase, and extend, as a civil instrument, to all secular provisions. But the whole of the verse seems rather to relate to what went before: slothful men intend not the support of their houses, families, and estates, but they spend all their time in feasting and luxury; and this extravagant course is maintained, not by any store laid up by their provident labours, but by the constant expenditure of their treasure, so that ultimately their houses, families, and estates, are brought to utter ruin. Some interpreters thus connect this and the preceding verses: Through idleness of the hands of those princes who eat in the morning, the house droppeth through; who make feasts for laughter, and who procure wine to excite mirth; and whose money readily answers all these greedy lusts and desires, and brings in supplies and fuel for them. According to this sense, the wise man here demonstrates the cause of the woe pronounced, ver. 16. against a land whose princes were luxurious, and by whose slothfulness in public services the house of the state was ready to decay and drop through ; for by their riot and excess, which cannot be maintained without large revenues, such princes are constrained to crush and oppress the poor, , and to grind them with heavy exactions, Jer. xxii. 13–19. which produces the same effect upon the minds of the people as a continual dropping on a ruinous house, either causing them to fall and despond, and thus to become abject and low, Ezek. xvii, 13, 14; 2 Kings xv. 20; or exciting them to more determined practices, to shake off the yoke which they are unwilling and unable to bear any longer, 1 Kings xii. 14, 15, 16.
They make a feast:" thus, facere panem, vitulum, agnum, are expressions used for dress, ing such provisions for a feast or entertainment, Dan. v. 1; Gen. xviii. 5–8; 2 Sam. xii. 4.-“And wine maketh merry;" latificat vitam, as elsewhere, lætificat cor, gives him a merry heart, Ps. civ. 15.-—“ But money answereth all things.” 'ExaxbotTAI TĄ Tartu, Sept. pecunie obediunt omnia, Vulg. Money can command all things which are capable of being measured by it; as the philosopher denominates it, the instrument and element of commerce. 'Evxensten els iparta, Symmachus, is profitable for all things; or, eraudit omnia, it hears the desires of men in respect to outward enjoyments; money can ordinarily answer these desires: a similar ex, pression we find in Hos. ii. 21, 22.
20. q Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bed. chamber : for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
The preacher being apprehensive, lest such sins of misgovernment in evil princes should excite disloyal thoughts and affections in their subjects, notwithstanding a fear of danger might restrain them from seditious speeches or rebellious practices, concludes the whole argument with a strict prohibition of all hard thoughts and undutiful rising of heart against rulers, both for conscience sake, and from a dread of wrath, as the apostle directs, Rom. xiii. 5.--Even “ in thy thought,” or “ in thy conscience,” curse not the king. Entertain not any light, vain, contemptuous, or dishonourable thoughts of him; do not wish any evil to his person, crown, or government, even in thy most secret retirements, Exod. xxii. 28; 2 Pet. ii. 10; Ps. Ixii. 4; 1 Sam. x. 27; 2 Sam. xix. 21; 1 Kings i. 8; Isai. viii. 21. The second clause, “ neither curse the rich," is a reinforcing of the same precept, meaning by the rich, the governor, Isai. liii.9.-" In the chambers of thy bed,” or in thy greatest privacy.-“ For a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.” As if he had said, Thy thoughts and inward curses are heard in heaven by him who will certainly punish them, with whatever secrecy they may be kept from men; as he rebuked the madness of Balaam by his ass, 2 Pet, ii. 16; and punished the pride of Pharaoh and of Herod by frogs, lice, and worms, Exod. viii. 6, 17; Acts xii. 23. We read how a flight of cranes discovered the murder of the poet Ibycus; and how Bessus, who had slain his father, over,