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Jer 7:1-34. THE SEVENTH THROUGH NINTH CHAPTERS. DELIVERED IN THE BEGINNING OF JEHOIAKIM'S REIGN, ON THE OCCASION OF SOME PUBLIC FESTIVAL.
The prophet stood at the gate of the temple in order that the multitudes from the country might hear him. His life was threatened, it appears from Jer 26:1-9, for this prophecy, denouncing the fate of Shiloh as about to befall the temple at Jerusalem. The prophecy given in detail here is summarily referred to there. After Josiah's death the nation relapsed into idolatry through Jehoiakim's bad influence; the worship of Jehovah was, however, combined with it (Jer 7:4, 10).
2. the gate--that is, the gate of the court of Israel within that of the women. Those whom Jeremiah addresses came through the gate leading into the court of the women, and the gate leading into the outer court, or court of the Gentiles ("these gates").
3. cause you to dwell--permit you still to dwell (Jer 18:11; 26:13).
4. The Jews falsely thought that because their temple had been chosen
by Jehovah as His peculiar dwelling, it could never be destroyed. Men
think that ceremonial observances will supersede the need of holiness
The triple repetition of "the temple of Jehovah" expresses the intense
confidence of the Jews (see
5. For--"But" [MAURER].
7. The apodosis to the "if . . . if"
(Jer 7:5, 6).
8. that cannot profit--MAURER translates, "so that you profit nothing" (see Jer 7:4; Jer 5:31).
9, 10. "Will ye steal . . . and then come and stand before Me?"
10. And come--And yet come
11. den of robbers--Do you regard My temple as being what robbers
make their den, namely, an asylum wherein ye may obtain impunity for
12. my place . . . in Shiloh--God caused His tabernacle to be set up
in Shiloh in Joshua's days
In Eli's time God gave the ark, which had been at Shiloh, into the
hands of the Philistines
1Sa 4:10, 11;
Shiloh was situated between Beth-el and Shechem in Ephraim.
14. I gave--and I therefore can revoke the gift for it is still Mine
now that ye fail in the only object for which it was given, the
promotion of My glory.
15. your brethren--children of Abraham, as much as you.
17. Jehovah leaves it to Jeremiah himself to decide, is there not good reason that prayers should not be heard in behalf of such rebels?
18. children . . . fathers . . . women--Not merely isolated
individuals practised idolatry; young and old, men and women, and whole
families, contributed their joint efforts to promote it. Oh, that there
were the same zeal for the worship of God as there is for error
(Jer 44:17, 19; 19:13)!
21. Put . . . burnt offerings unto . . . sacrifices . . . eat flesh--Add the former (which the law required to be wholly burnt) to the latter (which were burnt only in part), and "eat flesh" even off the holocausts or burnt offerings. As far as I am concerned, saith Jehovah, you may do with one and the other alike. I will have neither (Isa 1:11; Ho 8:13; Am 5:21, 22).
22. Not contradicting the divine obligation of the legal sacrifices. But, "I did not require sacrifices, unless combined with moral obedience" (Ps 50:8; 51:16, 17). The superior claim of the moral above the positive precepts of the law was marked by the ten commandments having been delivered first, and by the two tables of stone being deposited alone in the ark (De 5:6). The negative in Hebrew often supplies the want of the comparative: not excluding the thing denied, but only implying the prior claim of the thing set in opposition to it (Ho 6:6). "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice" (1Sa 15:22). Love to God is the supreme end, external observances only means towards that end. "The mere sacrifice was not so much what I commanded, as the sincere submission to My will gives to the sacrifice all its virtue" [MAGEE, Atonement, Note 57].
23. (Ex 15:26; 19:5).
26. hardened . . . neck--
27. Therefore--rather, "Though thou speak . . . yet they will not hearken" [MAURER], (Eze 2:7), a trial to the prophet's faith; though he knew his warnings would be unheeded, still he was to give them in obedience to God.
28. unto them--that is, in reference to them.
29. Jeremiah addresses Jerusalem under the figure of a woman, who,
in grief for her lost children, deprives her head of its chief ornament
and goes up to the hills to weep
(Jud 11:37, 38;
31. high places of Tophet--the altars
[HORSLEY] of Tophet;
erected to Moloch, on the heights along the south of the valley facing
32. valley of slaughter--so named because of the great slaughter of
the Jews about to take place at Jerusalem: a just retribution of their
sin in slaying their children to Moloch in Tophet.
34. Referring to the joyous songs and music with which the bride and bridegroom were escorted in the procession to the home of the latter from that of the former; a custom still prevalent in the East (Jer 16:9; Isa 24:7, 8; Re 18:23).