Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 7

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Jeremiah 7)

Verse 2

[2] Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.

The gate — The east gate, which was the publick place of going out and coming in, and where the people were then wont to assemble.

Proclaim — Proclaiming signifies both the authority by which he spake, and the divulging of what he spake plainly and boldly; possibly, it might be at some publick time, when all the males were to meet.

Verse 4

[4] Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.

Saying — Because this was God's house, they flattered themselves that he would not suffer the Chaldeans to destroy it, therefore the prophet cautions them not to deceive themselves, trusting to the temple and its buildings, as the two courts and house, and holy of holies implied in the word these, which he doth as it were point to with his finger. The emphasis, in this threefold repetition, seems to relate to the confident, and reiterated boasts of the temple, that were in their mouths.

These — The prophet standing in the gate at which the people entered, as it were, points at the several buildings pertaining to the temple.

Verse 6

[6] If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:

Oppress not — Here they are cautioned against three sins, that this people were generally addicted to, oppression, blood, and idolatry; and instances in the worst of oppressions, of such as God hath more especially taken into his immediate protection.

Verse 9

[9] Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;

Will ye steal — Can you think that this can be grateful to me, or advantageous to yourselves, to frequent my house, and yet retain these odious sins.

Whom — Such as they had set up new, and never had any experience of, and therefore could have no reason to serve them.

Verse 10

[10] And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?

Delivered — After they had appeared before God with their sacrifices, they thought they were privileged to return to all those wickednesses.

Verse 11

[11] Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.

A den — Do you look upon this house as a sanctuary for robbers and murderers.

Verse 12

[12] But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

Shiloh — A place in the tribe of Ephraim.

Where — Where I did at first give you the pledges of my presence.

What I did — He utterly forsook it.

Verse 15

[15] And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.

Even — The ten tribes.

Verse 16

[16] Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.

Pray not — Certainly the prophet did pray that God would save a remnant, though not that he would revoke his decree; or save the body of them.

Verse 18

[18] The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.

The children — Here God shews how busily they are employed from the youngest to the oldest for their idolatry.

The queen — As the sun was looked upon as king, so the moon as the queen of heaven.

Verse 20

[20] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.

Shall not be quenched — He follows the threatening with shewing his resolution is not to be revoked.

Verse 21

[21] Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.

Put — Ironical words, take those that are peculiar, and to be all burnt to me, and do what you will with them, I will have none of them.

To your sacrifices — That part of your sacrifices, which you are allowed to eat, they are but as profane food.

Verse 22

[22] For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:

For — God doth not condemn these offerings, save only comparatively in respect of obedience, not so much these, as obeying his commands.

Verse 25

[25] Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:

Since the day — The church of God hath never wanted teachers raised up and sent by God.

Verse 28

[28] But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.

Cut off — There is no believing them in any thing they say.

Verse 29

[29] Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.

Cut off thine hair — This was an usual token of sorrow among the Jews.

On high places — Upon the high places where thou wentest a whoring from me.

The generation — A generation destined to the wrath of God.

Verse 30

[30] For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.

In the house — It was not enough to have their idols abroad in the hills and groves, but they must bring them into God's house.

Verse 31

[31] And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

Tophet — It comes from Toph, a drum, because they beat drums to drown the children's screeches, when they burnt them in sacrifice upon the altars, called here high places, to Moloch. Tophet was situate in a pleasant valley near Jerusalem, a place in the possession of the children of one Hinnom, Joshua 15:8.

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