Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.
Now the king sat in the winter house, in the ninth month,.... The month Cisleu, which answers to part of November, and part of December; and so was the midst of winter, and a proper time for the king to be in his winter house; though, as this was a fast day, it would have been more proper for him to have been at the worship of God in the temple, Jeremiah 36:9. This winter house probably was a winter parlour, as distinguished from a summer parlour, Judges 3:20; and both might be under the same roof, or parts of the same house; only the one might be more airy and cool, and the other more close and warm. Kings had their summer and winter houses; see Amos 3:15; this circumstance is mentioned for the sake of what follows, the burning of the roll; and accounts for there being a fire at hand to do it:
and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him; there was a stove, or some such vessel or instrument, in which a large fire of wood was made, at which the king sat to keep himself warm while the roll was reading, and about which the princes stood.