Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
DELIVERED IN THE
REIGN, ON THE
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
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
these--the temple buildings which the prophet points to with his finger
5. For--"But" [MAURER].
6. this place--this city and land
to your hurt--so
"to the confusion or their own faces"
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
8. that cannot profit--MAURER
translates, "so that you profit nothing"
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
10. And come--And yet come
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
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
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
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"
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.
at the first--implying that Shiloh exceeded the Jewish temple in
antiquity. But God's favor is not tied down to localities
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 people.
13. rising . . . early--implying unwearied earnestness in soliciting
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.
Shiloh--as I ceased to dwell there, transferring My temple to
Jerusalem; so I will cease to dwell at Jerusalem.
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
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;
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
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
(De 32:16, 21;
Job 35:6, 8;
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
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
Am 5:21, 22).
22. Not contradicting the divine obligation of the legal sacrifices.
But, "I did not require sacrifices, unless combined with moral
(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
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
"I will have mercy, and not sacrifice"
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].
(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, "the stubbornness."
(Jer 2:27; 32:33;
25. rising . . . early--
26. hardened . . . neck--
worse than their fathers--
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 rebels.
27. Therefore--rather, "Though thou speak . . . yet they will
not hearken" [MAURER],
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.
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
nor receiveth correction--
truth . . . perished--
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;
hair--flowing locks, like those of a Nazarite.
high places--The scene of her idolatries is to be the scene of her
generation of his wrath--the generation with which He is wroth. So
"the people of My wrath."
30. set their abominations in the house--
2Ki 21:4, 7; 23:4;
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--
commanded . . . not--put for, "I forbade expressly"
(De 17:3; 12:31).
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.
no place--no room, namely, to bury in, so many shall be those slain
by the Chaldeans
33. fray--scare or frighten
Typical of the last great battle between the Lord's host and the
(Re 19:17, 18, 21).
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
Isa 24:7, 8;