Jeremiah 7

False Religion Worthless

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 “Stand at the gate of the LORD’s house and there proclaim this message: “ ‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD.
3 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place.
4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!”
5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,
6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm,
7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever.
8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.
9 “ ‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury,[a] burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known,
10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things?
11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.
12 “ ‘Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel.
13 While you were doing all these things, declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer.
14 Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors.
15 I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.’
16 “So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you.
17 Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18 The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to arouse my anger.
19 But am I the one they are provoking? declares the LORD. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?
20 “ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.
21 “ ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves!
22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices,
23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.
24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.
25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets.
26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’
27 “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer.
28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the LORD its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.
29 “ ‘Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the LORD has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.
30 “ ‘The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the LORD. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it.
31 They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.
32 So beware, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room.
33 Then the carcasses of this people will become food for the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away.
34 I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, for the land will become desolate.

Jeremiah 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

Confidence in the temple is vain. (1-16) The provocation by persisting in idolatry. (17-20) God justifies his dealings with them. (21-28) And threatens vengeance. (29-34)

Verses 1-16 No observances, professions, or supposed revelations, will profit, if men do not amend their ways and their doings. None can claim an interest in free salvation, who allow themselves in the practice of known sin, or live in the neglect of known duty. They thought that the temple they profaned would be their protection. But all who continue in sin because grace has abounded, or that grace may abound, make Christ the minister of sin; and the cross of Christ, rightly understood, forms the most effectual remedy to such poisonous sentiments. The Son of God gave himself for our transgressions, to show the excellence of the Divine law, and the evil of sin. Never let us think we may do wickedness without suffering for it.

Verses 17-20 The Jews took pride in showing zeal for their idols. Let us learn to be earnest in the service of our God, even from this bad example. Let us think it an honour to be employed in any work for God. Let us be as diligent ourselves, and as careful to teach our children the truths of God, as many are to teach the mysteries of iniquity. The direct tendency of this sin is malice against God, but it will hurt themselves. And they shall find there is no escaping. God's wrath is fire unquenchable.

Verses 21-28 God shows that obedience was required of them. That which God commanded was, Hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord thy God. The promise is very encouraging. Let God's will be your rule, and his favour shall be your happiness. God was displeased with disobedience. We understand the gospel as little as the Jews understood the law, if we think that even the sacrifice of Christ lessens our obligation to obey.

Verses 29-34 In token both of sorrow and of slavery, Jerusalem must be degraded, and separated from God, as she had been separated to him. The heart is the place in which God has chosen to put his name; but if sin has the innermost and uppermost place there, we pollute the temple of the Lord. The destruction of Jerusalem appears here very terrible. The slain shall be many; they having made it the place of their sin. Evil pursues sinners, even after death. Those who will not, by the grace of God, be cured of vain mirth, shall, by the justice of God, be deprived of all mirth. How many ruin their health and property without complaining, when engaged in Satan's service! May we learn to relish holy joys, and to sit loose to all others though lawful.

Cross References 95

  • 1. Jeremiah 17:19
  • 2. Jeremiah 18:11; Jeremiah 26:13; Jeremiah 35:15
  • 3. ver 7
  • 4. S Job 15:31
  • 5. ver 8; Jeremiah 28:15; Micah 3:11
  • 6. ver 3; Jeremiah 18:11; Jeremiah 26:13; Jeremiah 35:15
  • 7. S Exodus 22:22; S Leviticus 25:17; S Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 22:3
  • 8. S Jeremiah 5:28; Ezekiel 22:7
  • 9. S 2 Kings 21:16; Jeremiah 2:34; Jeremiah 19:4; Jeremiah 22:3
  • 10. S Exodus 20:3; S Deuteronomy 8:19
  • 11. S Deuteronomy 4:40
  • 12. S Joshua 1:6
  • 13. S Job 15:31
  • 14. S ver 4
  • 15. Exodus 20:15
  • 16. Exodus 20:13
  • 17. Exodus 20:14; S Numbers 25:1
  • 18. Exodus 20:16; S Leviticus 19:12; Zechariah 8:17; Malachi 3:5
  • 19. S Isaiah 1:13
  • 20. Jeremiah 11:13,17; Jeremiah 32:29
  • 21. S Exodus 20:3; Hosea 2:13
  • 22. S Isaiah 48:1
  • 23. ver 30; 2 Kings 21:4-5; Jeremiah 23:11; Jeremiah 32:34; Ezekiel 23:38-39
  • 24. Ezekiel 33:25
  • 25. Isaiah 56:7
  • 26. Matthew 21:13*; Mark 11:17*; Luke 19:46*
  • 27. Genesis 31:50; Judges 11:10; Jeremiah 29:23; Jeremiah 42:5
  • 28. S Joshua 18:1; S 1 Samuel 2:32
  • 29. S Exodus 40:2; S Joshua 18:10
  • 30. Daniel 9:18
  • 31. S 1Sa 4:10-11,22; Psalms 78:60-64
  • 32. Psalms 71:17; Isaiah 48:17; Jeremiah 32:33
  • 33. S 2 Chronicles 36:15
  • 34. S ver 26; S Isaiah 65:12
  • 35. S Proverbs 1:24
  • 36. Jeremiah 35:17
  • 37. S Judges 18:31; S 1 Samuel 2:32
  • 38. S 1 Kings 9:7
  • 39. ver 4; Ezekiel 24:21
  • 40. S Genesis 4:14; S Exodus 33:15; S 2 Kings 17:20; Jeremiah 23:39
  • 41. S Psalms 78:67
  • 42. S Exodus 32:10; Deuteronomy 9:14; Jeremiah 15:1
  • 43. S Numbers 23:19
  • 44. Jeremiah 44:17-19
  • 45. S Isaiah 57:6; Jeremiah 19:13
  • 46. S Deuteronomy 31:17; S 1 Kings 14:9
  • 47. Deuteronomy 32:21; Jeremiah 44:3
  • 48. S Job 7:20; Jeremiah 9:19; Jeremiah 20:11; Jeremiah 22:22
  • 49. S Isaiah 30:15
  • 50. S Job 40:11; Jeremiah 42:18; Lamentations 2:3-5
  • 51. Jeremiah 6:11-12; Lamentations 4:11
  • 52. S Isaiah 1:31; Jeremiah 11:16; Jeremiah 13:14; Jeremiah 15:6,14; Jeremiah 17:4,27; Ezekiel 20:47-48
  • 53. Isaiah 1:11; S Jeremiah 6:20; Amos 5:21-22
  • 54. S 1 Samuel 2:12-17; Hosea 8:13
  • 55. Isaiah 43:23
  • 56. S 1 Samuel 15:22; Psalms 51:16; Hosea 6:6
  • 57. 1 John 3:23
  • 58. S Exodus 19:5
  • 59. S Leviticus 26:12; S Isaiah 51:16
  • 60. S 1 Kings 8:36; S Psalms 119:3
  • 61. Exodus 15:26; S Deuteronomy 5:33
  • 62. S Jeremiah 6:10
  • 63. Psalms 81:11-12; Jeremiah 11:8; Jeremiah 17:23; Jeremiah 34:14
  • 64. S Jeremiah 3:17
  • 65. S Jeremiah 2:19; Ezekiel 37:23
  • 66. S 2 Chronicles 36:15
  • 67. S Isaiah 20:3
  • 68. S Numbers 11:29; Jeremiah 25:4; Jeremiah 35:15
  • 69. ver 13,24; S 2 Chronicles 36:16; Psalms 81:11; Jeremiah 13:11; Jeremiah 22:21; Jeremiah 25:3; Jeremiah 35:15; Ezekiel 20:8,21
  • 70. S Exodus 32:9; Acts 7:51
  • 71. Jeremiah 16:12; Malachi 3:7; Luke 11:47
  • 72. Ezekiel 2:7
  • 73. ver 13; Ezekiel 3:7; Zechariah 7:13
  • 74. S Isaiah 65:12
  • 75. S Leviticus 26:23; Zephaniah 3:7
  • 76. S Psalms 15:2; S Isaiah 59:15
  • 77. S Leviticus 21:5; S Job 1:20; Isaiah 15:2; Micah 1:16
  • 78. S Jeremiah 4:8; S Ezekiel 19:1
  • 79. S Jeremiah 6:30; Jeremiah 12:7; Hosea 11:8; Micah 5:3
  • 80. S ver 10; S Leviticus 18:21
  • 81. S Jeremiah 2:7; S Jeremiah 4:1; Ezekiel 7:20-22
  • 82. S Leviticus 20:3; Jeremiah 32:34
  • 83. S 2 Kings 23:10
  • 84. S Joshua 15:8; 2 Chronicles 33:6
  • 85. S Leviticus 18:21; Ezekiel 16:20; Psalms 106:38
  • 86. Jeremiah 19:5; Jeremiah 32:35; Ezekiel 20:31; Micah 6:7
  • 87. Jeremiah 19:6
  • 88. Jeremiah 19:11
  • 89. S Genesis 15:11
  • 90. S Deuteronomy 28:26; Ezekiel 29:5
  • 91. Jeremiah 6:11; Jeremiah 14:16
  • 92. S Isaiah 24:8; Ezekiel 26:13
  • 93. Revelation 18:23
  • 94. Isaiah 24:7-12; Jeremiah 33:10
  • 95. S Leviticus 26:34; Zechariah 7:14; Matthew 23:38

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "and swear by false gods"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 7

In this chapter the Lord, by the prophet, calls the people of the Jews to repentance and reformation; reproves them for their vain confidence; and threatens them with destruction for their many sins, and particularly idolatry. The preface to all this is in Jer 7:1,2, the exhortation to amendment, encouraged to by a promise that they should dwell in the land, is in Jer 7:3, but this was not to be expected on account of the temple, and temple service; but through a thorough reformation of manners; an exercise of justice, and avoiding all oppression and idolatry, Jer 7:4-7, their vain confidence in the temple is exposed; they fancying that their standing there, and doing the service of it, would atone for their theft, murder, adultery, perjury, and idolatry; and that they might commit these with impunity; wherefore they are let to know, that so doing these they made the temple a house of thieves; and that for such wickedness, what the Lord had done to his place in Shiloh, which they are reminded of, he would to the temple, and to them, reject and cast them off, Jer 6:8-15, and seeing they also had a dependence on the prophet's prayer, he is bid not to pray for them, for his prayers would not he heard; and he is directed to observe their wretched idolatry, of which an instance is given, whereby they provoked the Lord to anger; and therefore he was determined to pour out his fury on man and beast, and on the trees and fruit of the field, Jer 7:16-20 and whereas they trusted in their burnt offerings and sacrifices, these are rejected, as being what were not originally commanded; but obedience to the moral law, and the precepts of it, which they refused to hearken to, though they were oft called upon to it by his servants the prophets, Jer 7:21-26, and it is foretold that the Prophet Jeremy would meet with the same treatment; that they would not hearken to his words, nor answer to his call; and therefore he should declare them a disobedient, incorrigible, and an unfaithful people, Jer 7:27,28 hence, either he, or Jerusalem, is called upon to cut off the hair, as a sign of mourning; for their rejection of the Lord, occasioned by their sins, and especially their idolatry, of which instances are given, Jer 7:29-31 and it is threatened that the place of their idolatry should be a place of slaughter and of burial, till there should be no room for more; and the carcasses of the rest should be the food of fowls and beasts; and all joy should cease from Judah and Jerusalem, Jer 7:32-34.

Jeremiah 7 Commentaries