The Seventh through Ninth Chapters. Delivered
in the Beginning of Jehoiakim's Reign, on the Occasion of Some Public
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
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 (Isa 48:2; Mic 3:11). The triple repetition of "the temple
of Jehovah" expresses the intense confidence of the Jews (see Jer
22:29; Isa 6:3).
these—the temple buildings which the
prophet points to with his finger (Jer 7:2).
5. For—"But" [Maurer].
judgment—justice (Jer 22:3).
6. this place—this city and land (Jer 7:7).
to your hurt—so Jer 7:19; "to the confusion or their own faces"
(Jer 13:10; Pr 8:36).
7. The apodosis to the "if … if" (Jer 7:5, 6).
to dwell—to continue to dwell.
for ever and ever—joined with "to
dwell," not with the words "gave to your fathers" (compare Jer 3:18; De
8. that cannot profit—Maurer translates, "so that you profit nothing" (see
7:4; Jer 5:31).
9, 10. "Will ye steal … and then
come and stand before Me?"
whom ye know not—Ye have no grounds of
"knowing" that they are gods; but I have manifested My Godhead
by My law, by benefits conferred, and by miracles. This aggravates
their crime [Calvin] (Jud 5:8).
10. And come—And yet come (Eze 23:39).
We are delivered—namely, from all
impending calamities. In spite of the prophet's threats, we have
nothing to fear; we have offered our sacrifices, and therefore Jehovah
will "deliver" us.
to do all these abominations—namely,
those enumerated (Jer 7:9).
These words are not to be connected with "we are delivered," but thus:
"Is it with this design that ye come and stand before Me in this
house," in order that having offered your worthless sacrifices ye may
be taken into My favor and so do all these abominations (Jer 7:9) with impunity? [Maurer].
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 your abominations (Jer 7:10)?
seen it—namely, that ye treat My house
as if it were a den of thieves. Jehovah implies more than is expressed,
"I have seen and will punish it" (Isa 56:7; Mt 21:13).
12. my place … in Shiloh—God
caused His tabernacle to be set up in Shiloh in Joshua's days (Jos
18:1; Jud 18:31). In Eli's
time God gave the ark, which had been at Shiloh, into the hands of the
Philistines (Jer 26:6; 1Sa 4:10, 11; Ps 78:56-61). Shiloh was situated between
Beth-el and Shechem in Ephraim.
at the first—implying that
Shiloh exceeded the Jewish temple in antiquity. But God's favor
is not tied down to localities (Ac 7:44).
my people Israel—Israel was
God's people, yet He spared it not when rebellious: neither will
He spare Judah, now that it rebels, though heretofore it has been His
13. rising … early—implying
unwearied earnestness in soliciting them (Jer
7:25; Jer 11:17; 2Ch 36:15).
14. I gave—and I therefore can revoke
the gift for it is still Mine (Le 25:23), now that ye fail in the only object
for which it was given, the promotion of My glory.
Shiloh—as I ceased to dwell there,
transferring My temple to Jerusalem; so I will cease to dwell at
15. your brethren—children of Abraham,
as much as you.
whole seed of Ephraim—They were
superior to you in numbers and power: they were ten tribes: ye
but two. "Ephraim," as the leading tribe, stands for the whole
ten tribes (2Ki 17:23; Ps 78:67, 68).
16. When people are given up to judicial
hardness of heart, intercessory prayer for them is unavailing (Jer 11:14; 14:11; 15:1; Ex 32:10; 1Jo 5:16).
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)!
cakes … queen of heaven—Cakes
were made of honey, fine flour, &c., in a round flat shape to
resemble the disc of the moon, to which they were offered.
Others read as Margin, "the frame of heaven," that is, the
planets generally; so the Septuagint here; but elsewhere the
Septuagint translates, "queen of heaven." The Phœnicians
called the moon Ashtoreth or Astarte: the wife of Baal or
Moloch, the king of heaven. The male and female pair of deities
symbolized the generative powers of nature; hence arose the
introduction of prostitution in the worship. The Babylonians worshipped
Ashtoreth as Mylitta, that is, generative. Our Monday, or
Moon-day, indicates the former prevalence of moon worship (see
on Isa 65:11).
that they may provoke me—implying
design: in worshipping strange gods they seemed as if
purposely to provoke Jehovah.
19. Is it I that they provoke to anger?
Is it not themselves? (De 32:16, 21; Job
35:6, 8; Pr 8:36).
20. beast … trees …
ground—Why doth God vent His fury on these? On account of
man, for whom these were created, that the sad spectacle may strike
terror into him (Ro 8:20-22).
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).
24. hearkened not—They did not give even
a partial hearing to Me (Ps 81:11, 12).
imagination—rather, as Margin,
backward, &c.—(Jer 2:27;
32:33; Ho 4:16).
25. rising … early—(Jer 7:13).
26. hardened … neck—(De
31:27; Isa 48:4; Ac 7:51).
worse than their fathers—(Jer 16:12). In Jer 7:22 He had said, "your fathers"; here
He says, "their fathers"; the change to the third person marks
growing alienation from them. He no longer addresses themselves,
as it would be a waste of words in the case of such hardened
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
a nation—The word usually applied to
the Gentile nations is here applied to the Jews, as being east
off and classed by God among the Gentiles.
nor receiveth correction—(Jer 5:3).
truth … perished—(Jer 9:3).
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; Isa 15:2).
hair—flowing locks, like those of a
high places—The scene of her
idolatries is to be the scene of her mourning (Jer 3:21).
generation of his wrath—the generation
with which He is wroth. So Isa 10:6;
"the people of My wrath."
30. set their abominations in the
house—(Jer 32:34; 2Ki 21:4, 7; 23:4; Eze
31. high places of Tophet—the
altars [Horsley] of Tophet;
erected to Moloch, on the heights along the south of the valley facing
burn … sons—(Ps 106:38).
commanded … not—put for, "I
forbade expressly" (De 17:3; 12:31). See on Jer
2:23; Isa 30:33.
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
no place—no room, namely, to bury in,
so many shall be those slain by the Chaldeans (Jer 19:11; Eze
33. fray—scare or frighten
28:26). Typical of the last
great battle between the Lord's host and the apostasy (Re 19:17, 18,
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