The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Jeremiah 7

Jer 7:1

Jer 7-10: All one section (cp intro here and Jer 11:1). Time: reign of Jehoiakim (ie Jer 25:1; cp Jer 25:6 with Jer 7:12,14). Jehoiakim reigned 609-597 BC. He was placed on throne by Necho of Egypt, and then was made servant to Babylon, against whom he rebelled. He was defeated and killed, and then given the burial of an ass (Jer 22:19; 36:30; cp Jer 8:2).

Jer 7: "This chapter reveals the hypocrisy and false confidence of Judah in their religious formalism. It is typical of the reign of the flesh within the community of the faithful. It was probably proclaimed before the second reform of Josiah, when the people were enthusiastically contributing to the restoration of the temple, and when an apparent willingness to honour Yahweh was presented. But it was an empty facade. The spiritual perception of the people was soon to manifest itself in the feasting and debauchery of the gods of the land. The people were involved in a religion of deceit, with false prophets contradicting Jeremiah's warnings, and turning from his appeal for righteousness in the land. Instead the false leaders preached peace and unity, where there was none. Jeremiah stood in the very court of the temple and courageously declared the divine will. He told them that the temple will not save (vv 1-7); that it would experience a similar fate to Shiloh (vv 8-16); that the city and people were full of adultery against God (vv 17-20); that ritualism cannot save (vv 21-28); that the ecclesia had forgotten her vows (vv 29-31); that it has prepared for its own destruction (vv 32-34). What a sad end to a monarchy that commenced with the courage and faithfulness of David, and now saw the abandonment of the royal sons of David when ultimately Zedekiah assumed the throne. When the pioneers of the ecclesia are ignored; the people become wilful in their folly (cp 2Pe 3:3-4)" (GEM).

Jer 7:4

'God will never allow His temple to be cast down,' they said. But God had ceased to care for His temple (Jer 5:10) -- typ of Christ's prophecy in Mar 13:2. Also, the people themselves claimed to BE God's "temple" (ie Joh 2:21; 1Co 3:16; Isa 57:15; 66:1,2), but they were not!

Jer 7:10

"I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan" (Rev 2:9).

SAFE TO DO ALL THESE DETESTABLE THINGS: By a discharge of the merest formalities, they are now free to return to their wickednesses.

Jer 7:11

A DEN OF ROBBERS: Not where the robbers commit their crimes, but where they hide to escape the consequences of their crimes committed elsewhere (vv 9,10). THIS was the temple!

Jer 7:12

SHILOH: Ref to the incidents of 1Sa 1-4: Eli and his sons; God's judgments; loss of ark (1Sa 4:7,11,21). Cp Psa 78:58-68.

Jer 7:13

I SPOKE TO YOU AGAIN AND AGAIN: Unwearied earnestness.

Jer 7:16

Cp with Joh 17:9; 1Jo 5:16; Heb 10:26,27.

Jeremiah was told not to pray for this people (Jer 7:16; 11:14; 14:11), and yet he did (Jer 14:20; 42:2,4).

Jer 7:18

THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN: "This goddess was probably the Assyro-Babylonian Ishtar (cf also Jer 44:17) -- the goddess of love and fertility; she was the planet Venus. It appears she was worshiped mainly by women (cf Jer 44, esp vv 15-19). Such worship was probably initiated by Manasseh (2Ki 21:1-9) and reintroduced into Judah by Jehoiakim. This obscene idolatry was practiced not only privately but also by whole families, including the children. The 'cakes' have been described as round and flat, resembling the moon" (EBC).

Jer 7:19

God's attitude toward these sins: Rom 1:28; 2Th 2:11.

Jer 7:21

That is, 'all this will avail you nothing!'

Jer 7:22

I DID NOT JUST...: "Not only... but also".

Jer 7:23

That is, the important laws concerned individual conduct and love and mercy (Hos 6:6; Psa 51:16,17; Mat 9:13; 12:7).

Jer 7:25

The parable of the tenants of the vineyard: Luk 20:9-16.

Jer 7:29

CUT OFF YOUR HAIR AND THROW IT AWAY: Because they had profaned their vow of Nazariteship, or holiness (Num 6:9). This may also be a sign (as in Eze 5), of the smiting and scattering of Judah by God.

Jer 7:31

TOPHET: "Gehenna" (Mat 5:22).

Jer 7:33

Rev 19:17,18,21; Eze 39:17.

Jer 7:34

Conclusion: Jeremiah is called to trial because of this speech (Jer 29:1-17).

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