Jeremiah 7:1-7

1 The Message from God to Jeremiah:
2 "Stand in the gate of God's Temple and preach this Message.
3 God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel's God, has this to say to you:
4 Don't for a minute believe the lies being spoken here - "This is God's Temple, God's Temple, God's Temple!"
5 Total nonsense! Only if you clean up your act (the way you live, the things you do), only if you do a total spring cleaning on the way you live and treat your neighbors,
6 only if you quit exploiting the street people and orphans and widows, no longer taking advantage of innocent people on this very site and no longer destroying your souls by using this Temple as a front for other gods -
7 only then will I move into your neighborhood. Only then will this country I gave your ancestors be my permanent home, my Temple.

Jeremiah 7:1-7 Meaning and Commentary

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 7:1-7 In-Context

1 The Message from God to Jeremiah:
2 "Stand in the gate of God's Temple and preach this Message.
3 God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel's God, has this to say to you:
4 Don't for a minute believe the lies being spoken here - "This is God's Temple, God's Temple, God's Temple!"
5 Total nonsense! Only if you clean up your act (the way you live, the things you do), only if you do a total spring cleaning on the way you live and treat your neighbors,
6 only if you quit exploiting the street people and orphans and widows, no longer taking advantage of innocent people on this very site and no longer destroying your souls by using this Temple as a front for other gods -
7 only then will I move into your neighborhood. Only then will this country I gave your ancestors be my permanent home, my Temple.
8 "'Get smart! Your leaders are handing you a pack of lies, and you're swallowing them!
9 Use your heads! Do you think you can rob and murder, have sex with the neighborhood wives, tell lies nonstop, worship the local gods, and buy every novel religious commodity on the market
10 - and then march into this Temple, set apart for my worship, and say, "We're safe!" thinking that the place itself gives you a license to go on with all this outrageous sacrilege?
11 A cave full of criminals! Do you think you can turn this Temple, set apart for my worship, into something like that? Well, think again. I've got eyes in my head. I can see what's going on.'" God's Decree!