Jeremiah Chapter 7:1-15 Antique Commentary Quotes

Adam Clarke
Jer 7:1
The word that came to Jeremiah – This prophecy is supposed to have been delivered in the first year of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, who, far from following the example of his pious father, restored idolatry, maintained bad priests and worse prophets, and filled Jerusalem with abominations of all kinds.

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
Jer 7:1
Jer_7:1-34. The seventh through ninth chapters. Delivered in the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign, on the occasion of some public festival.
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 from Jer_26:1-9, 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, Jer_7:10).

John Calvin
Jer 7:2
Here the Prophet gives a short account of the sermon, in which he severely reproved the people, because his labor had been useless, though he had sharply and severely reproved them. He says then, that he had a command from above to stand at the gate of the Temple. This was indeed usually done by the prophets: but God seems to have intended that this reproof should be heard by all. He says further, that he was commanded to address the whole tribe of Judah

It is hence probable, and what may be easily concluded, that this discourse was delivered on a feast — day, when there was the usual assembly of the people. He could not indeed have made this address on other days; for then the inhabitants of the city only frequented the Temple. But on the feast — days they usually came from the neighboring towns and from the whole country to celebrate God’s rightful worship, which had been prescribed in the law. Since then Jeremiah addressed the whole tribe of Judah, we hence conclude, that he spoke not only to the inhabitants of the city, but also to the whole tribe, which came together to keep the feast — day.

Now the object of his sermon was, to exhort them seriously to repent, if they wished God to be reconciled to them. So the Prophet shews, that God did not regard their sacrifices and external rites, and that this was not the way, as they thought, of appeasing him. For after they had celebrated the feast, every one returned home, as though they all, after having made an expiation, had God propitious to them. The Prophet shews here, that the way of worshipping God was very different, which was to reform their lives.

Adam Clarke
Jer 7:2
Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house – There was a show of public worship kept up. The temple was considered God’s residence; the usual ceremonies of religion restored by Josiah were still observed; and the people were led to consider the temple and its services as sacred things, which would be preservatives to them in case of the threatened invasion.

Albert Barnes
Jer 7:1-2
In Jer. 7–10 he addresses the people as they flocked into Jerusalem from the country, to attend the solemn services in the temple upon a fastday. Jehoiakim Jer. 26 had just ascended the throne, and was so incensed at this sermon that he would have put Jeremiah to death but for the influence of Ahikam. With the accession of Jehoiakim all hope of averting the ruin of the country had passed away. He represented the reverse of his father’s policy, and belonged to that faction, who placed their sole hope of deliverance in a close alliance with Pharaoh-Necho. As this party rejected the distinctive principles of the theocracy, and the king was personally an irreligious man, the maintenance of the worship of Yahweh was no longer an object of the public care. At this time upon a public fast-day, appointed probably because of the calamities under which the nation was laboring, Jeremiah was commanded by Yahweh to stand at the gate of the temple, and address to the people as they entered words of solemn warning. The whole sermon divides itself into three parts;

In Jer. 7–10 he addresses the people as they flocked into Jerusalem from the country, to attend the solemn services in the temple upon a fastday. Jehoiakim Jer. 26 had just ascended the throne, and was so incensed at this sermon that he would have put Jeremiah to death but for the influence of Ahikam. With the accession of Jehoiakim all hope of averting the ruin of the country had passed away. He represented the reverse of his father’s policy, and belonged to that faction, who placed their sole hope of deliverance in a close alliance with Pharaoh-Necho. As this party rejected the distinctive principles of the theocracy, and the king was personally an irreligious man, the maintenance of the worship of Yahweh was no longer an object of the public care. At this time upon a public fast-day, appointed probably because of the calamities under which the nation was laboring, Jeremiah was commanded by Yahweh to stand at the gate of the temple, and address to the people as they entered words of solemn warning. The whole sermon divides itself into three parts;

(1) It points out the folly of the superstitious confidence placed by the people in the temple, while they neglect the sole sure foundation of a nation’s hope. A sanctuary long polluted by immorality must inevitably be destroyed Jer. 7:2–8:3.

(2) complaints follow of a more general character, in which the growing wickedness of the nation and especially of the leaders is pointed out Jer. 8:4–9:24.

(3) lastly the prophet shows the possibility of averting the evils impending upon the nation Jer. 9:25–10:25.
Jer_10:1-2. The temple had several entrances 2Ch_4:9; and the gate or door here mentioned is probably that of the inner court, where Baruch read Jeremiah’s scroll Jer_36:10. The prophet stood in the doorway, and addressed the people assembled in the outer court.
All ye of Judah – Better, literally all Judah (compare Jer_26:2).

John Calvin
Jer 7:3
Make good, he says, your ways and your doings, then will I dwell in this place This promise contains an implied contrast; for the Prophet intimates, that the people would not long survive, unless they sought in another way to pacify God. “I will dwell, “he seems to say, — in this place, when your life is changed.” It then follows on the other hand, “God will drive you into exile, except you change your life: in vain then do you seek a quiet and happy state through offering your sacrifices. God indeed esteems as nothing this external worship, except it be preceded by inward sincerity, unless integrity of life accompanies your profession.” This is one thing.

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
Jer 7:3
cause you to dwell — permit you still to dwell (Jer_18:11; Jer_26:13).

John Calvin
Jer 7:4
Then the Prophet comes closer to them when he says, Trust ye not in words of falsehood. For had not this been expressly said, the Jews might, according to their usual way, have found out some evasion: “Have we then lost all our labor in celebrating our festivals with so much diligence, in leaving our homes and families to present ourselves before God? We have spared no expense, we have brought sacrifices and spent our money; and is all this of no value before God?” For hypocrites always magnify their trumperies, as we find in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah, where they expostulated with God, as though he were unkind to them, “We have from day to day sought the Lord.” To this the Lord answered, “In vain ye seek me from day to day and search for my ways.” Hence the Lord disregarded that diligence with which hypocrites sought to render him propitious without real sincerity of heart.

It is for the same purpose that the Prophet now adds, Trust ye not, etc. It is an anticipation in order to prevent them from making their usual objection, “What then? Has the Temple been built in vain?” But he says, “Is not God worshipped here in vain? They are words of falsehood, when religious sincerity is absent.”

We hence see that external rites are here repudiated, when men seek in a false way to gain favor before God, and seek to redeem their sins by false compensations, while yet their hearts continue perverse. This truth might be enlarged upon, but as it often occurs in the prophets, I only notice it shortly. It is enough to regard the main point, — that while the Jews were satisfied with the Temple, the ceremonies and the sacrifices, they were self — deceivers, for their boasting was fallacious: “the words of falsehood” are to be taken as meaning that false and vain glorying in which the Jews indulged, while they sought to ward off God’s vengeance by external rites, and at the same time made no effort to return into favor by ameliorating their life.

With regard to the expressions The Temple, etc., some explain them thus, — they were “words of falsehood, “when they said that they came to the Temple; and so the supplement is, “when they said that they came, “for the pronoun demonstrative is plural. Hence they understand this of the people; not that the Jews called themselves the Temple of God, but that they boasted that they came to the Temple and there worshipped God. But I rather agree with others, who explain this of the three parts of the Temple. There was, we know, the court, then the Temple, and, lastly, the interior part, the Holy of holies, where was the Ark of the Covenant. The prophets often speak of the Temple only; but when they spoke distinctly of the form of the Temple, they mentioned the court, as I have said, where the people usually offered their sacrifices, and then the holy place, into which the priests entered alone; and, lastly, the secret place, which was more hidden, and was called the Holy of holies. It seems then that this passage of the Prophet is to be understood as meaning that the people said that the court, the Temple, and the interior part, were the Temples of God, as though they had a triple Temple.

But we must observe the design of the Prophet, which interpreters have omitted. The Prophet then made this repetition especially, because the Temple was as it were a triple defense to hypocrites, like a city, which, when surrounded, not by one, but by three walls, is deemed impregnable. Since, then, the Jews exalted their Temple, consisting of three parts, it was the same as they set up a triple wall or a triple rampart against God’s judgments! “We are invincible; how can enemies come to us? how can any calamity reach us? God dwells in the midst of us, and here he has his habitation, and not one and single fort, but a triple fort; he has his court, his Temple, and his Holy of holies.” We now then understand why the Prophet made this repetition, and used also the plural number.

John Gill
Jer 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words,…. In the words of the lying prophets, as the Targum; and to the same purpose is the Arabic version,

“do not trust in lying words, for the false prophets do not profit you in anything;”

the things in which they trusted, and in which the false prophets taught them to place their confidence, were their coming up to the temple at certain times for religious exercises, and their attendance on temple service and worship, offering of sacrifices, and the like. The Septuagint version is, “trust not in yourselves, in lying words”; see Luk_18:9, in their external actions of devotion, in their ritual performances, taking them for righteousness; and adds, what is not in the Hebrew text, “for they altogether profit you not”; in the business of justification before God, and acceptance with him:

saying, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are these; that is, the people that hypocritically worshipped there, as the false prophets told them; and so the Syriac version, “ye are the temple of the Lord”; though that begins the next verse, with the last clause of this,

if ye amend your ways, &c. see 1Co_3:16 or rather the temple of the Lord are those gates through which they entered, Jer_7:2 or those buildings which were pointed at with the finger; or המה, “these”, is a clause by itself; and the sense is, these are the lying words that should not be trusted in, namely, the temple and temple services; when all manner of sin and wickedness were committed by them, which they thought to atone for by coming to the temple and worshipping there. The mention of these words three times is, as Jarchi thinks, in reference to the Jews appearing in the temple three times a year, at the feast of passover, pentecost, and tabernacles; and so the Targum,

“who say (i.e. the false prophets), before the temple of the Lord ye worship; before the temple of the Lord ye sacrifice; before the temple of the Lord ye bow; three times in a year ye appear before him.”

Kimchi’s father, R. Joseph, is of opinion, that it refers to the three parts of the temple, the porch, the holy place, and the holy of holies; but Kimchi himself takes it that these words are trebled for the greater confirmation of them; and they may denote the vehemence and ardour of affection for the temple.

Albert Barnes
Jer 7:4
The temple of the Lord – Thrice repeated, to emphasize the rejection of the cry ever upon the lips of the false prophets. In their view the maintenance of the temple-service was a charm sufficient to avert all evil.

These – The buildings of the temple, to which Jeremiah is supposed to point. The Jews put their trust in the material buildings.

Keil and Delitzsch
Jer_7:3-4
Jer_7:3 contains the central idea of the discourse: it is only morally good endeavours and deeds that give the people a sure title to a long lease of the land. הֵיטִיב is not merely, amend one’s conduct; but, make one’s way good, i.e., lead a good life. The “ways” mean the tendency of life at large, the “doings” are the individual manifestations of that tendency; cf. Jer_18:11; Jer_26:13. “In this place,” i.e., in the land that I have given to your fathers; cf. Jer_7:8 and Jer_14:13 with Jer_7:15, Jer_24:5-6. Positive exhortation to a pure life is followed by negative dehortation from putting trust in the illusion: The temple, etc. The threefold repetition of the same word is the most marked way of laying very great emphasis upon it; cf. Jer_22:29, Isa_6:3. “These,” these halls, the whole complex mass of buildings (Hitz.), as in 2Ch_8:11; and here הֵמָּה has the force of the neuter; cf. Ew. §318, b. The meaning of this emphatic way of mentioning the temple of the Lord is, in this connection, the following: Jerusalem cannot be destroyed by enemies, because the Lord has consecrated for the abode of His name that temple which is in Jerusalem; for the Lord will not give His sanctuary, the seat of His throne, to be a prey to the heathen, but will defend it, and under its protection we too may dwell safely. In the temple of the Lord we have a sure pledge for unbroken possession of the land and the maintenance of the kingdom. Cf. the like discourse in Mic_3:11, “Jahveh is in our midst, upon us none evil can come.” This passage likewise shows that the “lying words” quoted are the sayings of the false prophets, whereby they confirmed the people in their secure sinfulness; the mass of the people at the same time so making these sayings their own as to lull themselves into the sense of security.

John Calvin
Jer 7:5
Interpreters do not agree as to the meaning of this passage. Some render כי אם, ki am, “But rather, “or, “But.” I indeed allow that it is so taken in many places; but they are mistaken who read כי אם, ki am, as one word; for the Prophet, on the contrary, repeats what he had said, and that is, that God would not be propitious to the Jews except their life proved that they had really repented. The words are sometimes taken as one in Hebrew, and mean “but;” yet in other places they are often taken as separate words, as we found in the second chapter, “Though thou washest thyself with nitre;” and for the sake of emphasis the particle “surely, “is put before “though.” But in this place the Prophet simply means, that the Jews were deceived in seeking to prescribe a law for God according to their own will, as it belongs only to him either to approve or to reject their works. And this meaning is confirmed by the latter part of the verse, for we read not there כי אם, ki am, but אם, am; “If by doing ye shall do judgment;” and then in the same form he adds, “If ye will not oppress the stranger, the orphan, and the widow;” and at last he adds, “Then (a copulative I allow is here, but it is to be taken as an adverb) I will make you to dwell in this place.”

The purport of the whole is, — that sacrifices are of no importance or value before God, unless those who offer them wholly devote themselves to God with a sincere heart. The Jews sought to bind God as it were by their own laws: he shews that he was thus impiously put under restraint. He therefore lays down a condition, as though he had said, “it belongs to me to prescribe to you what is right. Away, then, with your ceremonies, by which ye think to expiate your sins; for I regard them not, and esteem them as nothing.” What then is to be done? He now shews then, “If you will rightly order your life, ye shall dwell in this place.”

For yesterday the Prophet exhorted the people to repent; and he employed the sentiment which he now repeats. He commanded the people to come to God with an upright and pure mind; he afterwards added another sentence, “Trust not in words of falsehood, saying, The Temple of the Lord, “etc. He now again repeats what he had said, “If ye will make your ways good.” He shews now more clearly that no wrong was done to the people when God repudiated their ceremonies; for he required a pure heart, and external rites without repentance are vain and useless. This then is what the Prophet had in view: “Though God seems to treat you with great severity, he yet promises to be kind to you, if you order your lives according to his law: is this unjust? Can the condition which is proposed to you by God be liable to any calumnies, as though God treated you cruelly!” This then is the meaning of the Prophet.

If ye will make good your ways, that is, if your life be amended; and if ye will do judgment, etc. He now comes to particulars; and first he addresses the judges, whose duty it was to render to every one his right, to redress injuries, to pronounce what was just and right when any contention arose. If then, he says, ye will do justice between a man and his neighbor, that is, if your judgments be right, without favor or hatred, and if no bribes lead you from what is right and just, while pronouncing judgment on a case between a man and his brother.

Jamiseon, Fausset, and Brown
Jer 7:5 For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings,…. Or, “if ye make your ways good, and do your works well”, which is what is exhorted to Jer_7:3, and respects the duties of the moral law; which are more acceptable to God than legal sacrifices, when done from right principles, and with right views, from love, in faith, and to the glory of God; which is doing good works well; the particulars of which follow:

if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; without respect to persons, without favour and affection, without bribery and corruption; passing a righteous sentence, and making an equitable decision of the case between them, according to the law of God, and the rules of justice and equity: this respects judges and civil magistrates.

John Calvin
Jer 7:6
Then he adds, if ye will not oppress the stranger and the orphan and the widowThis also belonged to the judges: but God no doubt shews here generally, that injustice greatly prevailed among the people, as he condemns the cruelty and perfidy of the judges themselves.

As to strangers and orphans and widows, they are often mentioned; for strangers as well as orphans and widows were almost destitute of protection, and were subject to many wrongs, as though they were exposed as a prey. Hence, whenever a right government is referred to, God mentions strangers and orphans and widows; for it might hence be easily understood of what kind was the public administration of justice; for when others obtain their right, it is no matter of wonder, since they have advocates to defend their cause, and they have also the aid of friends. Thus every one who defends his own cause, obtains at least some portion of his right. But when strangers and orphans and widows are not unjustly dealt with, it is an evidence of real integrity; for we may hence conclude, that there is no respect of persons among the judges. But as this subject has been handled elsewhere, I only touch on it lightly here.

And if ye will not shed, he says, innocent blood in this place Here the Prophet accuses the judges of a more heinous crime, and calls them murderers. They had, however, no doubt some plausible pretences for shedding the blood of the innocent. But the Prophet, speaking here in the name of God and by the dictates of his Spirit, overlooks all these as altogether vain, though the judges might have thought them sufficient excuses. By saying, in this place, he shews how foolish was their confidence in boasting of God’s worship, sacrifices, and Temple, while yet they had polluted the Temple with their cruel murders.

He then passes to the first table of the law, If ye will not walk after foreign gods to your evilBy stating a part for the whole, he condemns every kind of impiety: for what is it to walk after alien gods but to depart from the pure and legitimate worship of the true God and to corrupt it with superstitions? We see then what the Prophet means: he recalls the Jews to the duty of observing the law, that they might thereby give a veritable evidence of their repentance: “Prove, “he says, “that you have repented from the heart.” He shews how they were to prove this, even by observing the law of God. And, as I have said, he refers to the first Table by stating a part for the whole. As to the second Table, he mentions some particulars which were intended to shew that they violated justice and equity, and also that cruelty and perfidiousness, frauds and rapines, prevailed greatly among them.

John Gill
Jer 7:6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow,…. Who have none to help them, and who ought to have mercy and compassion shown them, as well as justice done them; and should not be injured by private men in their persons and properties, and much less oppressed in courts of judicature by those who should be the patrons and defenders of them:

and shed not innocent blood in this place: in the temple, where the sanhedrim, or great court of judicature, sat; for this does not so much respect the commission of murder by private persons, as the condemnation of innocent men to death by the judges, which is all one as shedding their blood; and by which actions they defiled that temple they cried up, and put their trust in; to shed innocent blood in any place, Kimchi observes, is an evil; but to shed it in this place, in the temple, was a greater evil, because this was the place of the Shechinah, or where the divine Majesty dwelt:

neither walk after other gods to your hurt; the gods of e people, as the Targum; “for this”, as the Arabic version renders it, “is pernicious to you”; idolatry was more hurtful to themselves than to God; and therefore it is dissuaded from by an argument taken from their own interest.

John Calvin
Jer 7:7
Then follows the latter part, Then I will make you to dwell, etc. God sets this clause in opposition to the false confidence of the people, as though he had said, “Ye wish me to be propitious to you; but mock me not by offering sacrifices without sincerity of heart, without a devout feeling; be consistent; and think not that I am pacified by you, when ye come to the Temple with empty display, and pollute your sacrifices with impure hands. I therefore do not allow this state of things; but if ye come on the condition of returning into favor with me, then I will make you to dwell in this place and in the land which I gave to your fathers.” The last part of the verse, from age to age, ought to be connected with the verb, “I will make you to dwell, “שכנתי, shekanti, “I will make you to dwell from age to age, “that is, As your fathers dwelt formerly in this land, so shall you remain quiet in the same, and there shall be to you a peaceable possession; but not in any other place. We must bear in mind the contrast which I noticed yesterday; for he indirectly denounces exile on the Jews, because they had contaminated the land by their vices, and gloried only in their sacrifices. It now follows —

Albert Barnes
Jer_7:7
Why then do not the Jews still possess a land thus eternally given them? Because God never bestows anything unconditionally. The land was bestowed upon them by virtue of a covenant Gen_17:7; the Jews had broken the conditions of this covenant Jer_7:5-6, and the gift reverted to the original donor.

Keil and Delitzsch
Jer_7:5-7
Over against such sayings Jeremiah puts that which is the indispensable condition of continued sojourn in the land. כִּי, Jer_7:5, after a preceding negative clause, means: but on the contrary. This condition is a life morally good, that shall show itself in doing justice, in putting away all unrighteousness, and in giving up idolatry. With אִם begins a list of the things that belong to the making of one’s ways and doings good. The adjunct to מִשְׁפָּט, right, “between the man and his neighbour,” shows that the justice meant is that they should help one man to his rights against another. The law attached penalties to the oppression of those who needed protection – strangers, orphans, widows; cf. Exo_22:21., Deu_24:17., Jer_27:19; and the prophets often denounce the same; cf. Isa_1:17, Isa_1:23; Isa_10:2; Eze_22:7; Zec_7:10; Mal_3:5; Psa_94:6, etc. for ‘לֹא־ת is noteworthy, but is not a simple equivalent for it. Like ου ̓ μή, כ̓ב implies a deeper interest on the part of the speaker, and the sense here is: and ye be really determined not to shed innocent blood (cf. Ew. §320, b). Hitz.’s explanation, that אַל is equal to אֲשֶׁר לֹא or אִם לֹא, and that it her resumes again the now remote אִם, is overturned by the consideration that אַל is not at the beginning of the clause; and there is not the slightest probability in Graf’s view, that the אַל must have come into the text through the copyist, who had in his mind the similar clause in Jer_22:3. Shedding innocent blood refers in part to judicial murders (condemnation of innocent persons), in part to violent attacks made by the kings on prophets and godly men, such as we hear of in Manasseh’s case, 2Ki_21:16. In this place (Jer_7:7), i.e., first and foremost Jerusalem, the metropolis, where moral corruption had its chief seat; in a wider sense, however, it means the whole kingdom of Judah (Jer_7:3 and Jer_7:7). “To your hurt” belongs to all the above-mentioned transgressions of the law; cf. Jer_25:7. “In the land,” etc., explains “this place.” “From eternity to eternity” is a rhetorically heightened expression for the promise given to the patriarchs, that God would give the land of Canaan to their posterity for an everlasting possession, Gen_17:8; although here it belongs not to the relative clause, “that I gave,” but to the principal clause, “cause you to dwell,” as in Exo_32:13.

John Calvin
Jer 7:8
He again teaches what we observed yesterday, — that the glorying of the Jews was foolish, while they boasted of the Temple and of their sacrifices to God. He calls their boastings the words of falsehood, as we have explained, because they wholly turned to a contrary end what God had instituted. It was his will that sacrifices should be offered to him in the Temple — to what purpose? To preserve unity of faith among the whole people. And sacrifices, what was their design? To shew the people that they deserved eternal death, and also that they were to flee to God for mercy, there being no other expiation but the blood of Christ. But there was no repentance, they were not sorry for their sins; nay, as we shall presently see, they took liberty to indulge more in them on account of their ceremonies, which yet ought to have been the means of leading them to repentance. They were then the words of falsehood when they separated the signs from their ends. The reality and the sign ought indeed to be distinguished the one from the other; but it is an intolerable divorce, when men lay hold on naked signs and overlook the reality. There was in the sacrifices the reality which I have now mentioned: they were reminded by the spectacle that they were worthy of eternal death; and then, they were to exercise penitence, and thus to flee to God’s mercy. As there was no account made of Christ, no care for repentance, no sorrow for sins, no fear of God, no humility, it was an impious separation of what ought to have been united.

We now then more clearly see why the Prophet designates as words of falsehood, that false glorying in which hypocrites indulge, in opposition to God, when they would have him satisfied with naked ceremonies. Hence he adds, that they were words that could not profit, as though he had said, “As ye seek to trifle with God, so he will also frustrate your design.” It is indeed certain that they dealt dishonestly with God, when they attempted to satisfy his judgment by frigid ceremonies. He therefore shews that a reward was prepared for them; for they would at length find, that no fruit would come from their false dealings. It follows —

Keil and Delitzsch
Jer_7:8
In Jer_7:8 there is a recurrence to the warning of Jer_7:4, under the form of a statement of fact; and in Jer_7:9-11 it is expanded to this effect: The affirmation that the temple of the Lord affords protection is a sheer delusion, so long as all God’s commandments are being audaciously broken. לְבִלְתִּי הֹועִיל, lit., to no profiting: ye rely on lying words, without there being any possibility that they should profit you.

John Calvin
Jer 7:9
The meaning seems to be suspended in the first verse, when he says, Whether to steal, to kill, and to commit adultery,etc.; but there is nothing ambiguous in the passage. For though there is something abrupt in the words, we yet infer this to be the meaning, “Will you steal, “etc.? Verbs in the infinitive mood, we know, are often to be considered as verbs in the future tense: “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, burn incense to Baal, “etc.? The Prophet shews how foolishly the Jews sought to make an agreement with God, so that they might with impunity provoke him by their many vices. When they entered the Temple, they thought him to be under a necessity to receive them, as though that was a proper reconciliation. But the Prophet exposes this folly. For what can be more absurd than that God should allow men to commit murders, thefts, and adulteries, with impunity? Hypocrites do not in words express this; but when they make external ceremonies a sort of expiation, and seek by such means to bury their sins, do they not make God their associate? Do they not make him a partaker, as it were, with them, when they would have him to cover their adulteries? When they take sacrifices from their plunders, to expiate their crimes, do they not make him a participator in their robberies? The Prophet, therefore, plainly condemns hypocrites in this place, because they acted most contumeliously towards God, in implicating him in their own vices, as though he was the associate of thieves, murderers, and adulterers.

Will you steal, he says, and then, will you kill, commit adultery, and swear falsely? These four sins are against the Second Table, in which God forbids us to steal, to kill, to commit adultery, and to deceive our neighbors by false swearing. These four vices are mentioned, in order that the Prophet might shew that all the duties of love were wholly disregarded by the Jews. He then adds things which belong to the First Table, even the offering of incense to Baal, and the walking after alien gods, which yet were unknown to them. By these two clauses he proves their impiety. He mentions one kind of idolatry, — that they offered incense to Baal. The Prophets often refer in the plural number to Baalim, regarded by the Jews as advocates, by whose intercession, as they thought, they gained favor with God; as the case is at this day under the Papacy, whose Baalim are angels and dead men: for they regard them not as gods, but think that by employing these as advocates they conciliate God, and obtain his favor. Such was the superstition which prevailed among the Jews. But the Prophet here includes all idols under the word Baal. There is afterwards a general complaint, — that God was neglected, and that they had perfidiously departed from him, for they walked after alien gods; and he exaggerates the crime by saying that they were unknown

The Prophet, no doubt, intimates here a contrast with the sure knowledge, which is the basis of true religion: for God had given evident proofs of his glorious power by many miracles, when the Israelites were redeemed; and he had afterwards confirmed the same by many blessings; and the law had been proclaimed, accompanied with many signs and wonders. (Exo_20:18; Deu_5:22.) Hence the Jews could not have pleaded involuntary error, for after so many proofs there could have been no excuse on the ground of ignorance. Now, as to alien gods, how came they to know that they were gods? There was no proof, they had no reason to believe them to be so. We hence see how grievously wicked were the Jews; for they had departed from the worship of the true God, who had made himself known to them by many miracles, and who had confirmed the authority of his law, so that it could not be questioned, and they had gone after unknown gods!

John Calvin
Jer 7:10
The Prophet now adds, Ye come, that is, after ye have allowed yourselves to steal, and to murder, and to commit adultery, and to corrupt the whole worship of God, — at last, Ye come and stand before me in this temple. God proceeds with the same subject; for it was not only his purpose in this place to condemn the Jews as murderers, and thieves, and adulterers, but he proceeds farther, even to shew their shameless effrontery in coming with an unblushing front and entering the Temple, as though they were the true worshippers of God. “What do you mean, “he says, “by this? Ye bring with you murders, and thefts, and adulteries, and abominable filth; ye are contaminated with the most disgraceful things: by and bye ye enter the Temple, and think that you are at liberty to do anything.” Similar is the language we find in the first chapter of Isaiah, verses 12 and 15 (Isa_1:12 ): God complains there that they trod the pavement of his Temple, and brought hands polluted with blood. So also in this place, Ye come, he says, intimating his detestation, and ye stand before me in this Temple Though God was not inclosed in that Temple, yet we know that the Ark of the Covenant was the symbol of his presence. Hence, we often meet in the law with this expression, “Ye shall stand before me.” Here then, God shews that it was a detestable and monstrous thing, that the Jews dared to rush into his presence, when polluted and contaminated with so many vices.

And he adds, In this house, on which is called my name, that is, which has been dedicated to me; for to call God’s name on the Temple, means nothing else, but that the Temple was consecrated to him, so that he was there worshipped. When God is truly worshipped, they who seek him find that he himself is present by his grace and power. As then God had commanded the Temple to be built for him, that he might there be worshipped, he says his name was there called, that is, according to its first and sacred appointment. Absurdly indeed did the Jews call on his name, for there was in them no religion, no piety: but according to God’s institution, his name was called upon in the Temple, as he had consecrated it to himself. Hence God reminds them of the first institution, which was holy and ought to have continued inviolable: “Know ye not, that this place has been chosen by me, that my name might be there invoked? Ye stand before me in the holy place, and ye stand polluted; and though polluted, not with one kind of vices, but my whole law has been violated by you, and my Tables despised, ye yet stand!” We hence see the design of the Prophet: for he condemns the effrontery and frowardness of the Jews, because they thus dared to rush into God’s presence in all their pollutions.

And ye say, he adds, that is, while standing in the Temple; ye say, O, we are freed to do all these abominations; that is, “Ye think that the Temple is a covert for you to hide all your vices; and so ye think, that you have escaped from my hand, as though no account is any more to be made of your sins, my Temple being regarded by you as an asylum, under whose shade ye take shelter.” It is indeed certain, that the Jews did not thus speak; for had they been asked whether their life was abominable, they would have denied it to be so. He speaks of the fact itself, and he speaks in the person of God, and according to his command. He therefore condemns hypocrites for thinking themselves freed, because they came to the Temple, and for thinking that all those abominations which he had mentioned, their impiety towards God and their injustice towards their neighbors, would be unpunished.

Keil and Delitzsch

Jer_7:10
Breaches of almost all the commandments are specified; first the eighth, sixth, and seventh of the second table, and then two commandments of the first table; cf. Hos_4:2. Swearing falsely is an abuse of God’s name. In “offer odours to Baal,” Baal is the representation of the false gods. The phrase, other gods, points to the first commandment, Exo_20:3; and the relative clause: whom ye knew not, stands in opposition to: I am Jahveh your God, who hath brought you out of Egypt. They knew not the other gods, because they had not made themselves known to them in benefits and blessings; cf. Jer_19:4. While they so daringly break all God’s commands, they yet come before His face in the temple which Jahveh has chosen to reveal His name there. ‘אֲשֶׁר נִקְרָא is not: which bears my name (Hitz.); or: on which my name is bestowed, which is named after me (Graf). The name of Jahveh is the revelation of Himself, and the meaning is: on which I have set my glory, in which I have made my glorious being known; see on Deu_28:10 and Amo_9:12. We are saved, sc. from all the evils that threaten us, i.e., we are concealed, have nothing to fear; cf. Eze_14:16, Eze_14:18; Amo_3:12. The perfect denotat firmam persuasionem incolumitatis. Chr. B. Mich. By changing נִצַּלְנוּ into נַצְּלֵנוּ, as Ewald, following the Syr., reads, the sense is weakened. ‘לְמַעַן עֲשֹׂות וגו is neither: as regards what we have done, nor: because = while or whereas ye have done (Hitz.), but: in order to do that ye may do. לְמַעַן with the infin., as with the perf., has never the signif., because of or in reference to something past and done, but always means, with the view of doing something; English: to the end that. The thought is simply this: Ye appear in my temple to sacrifice and worship, thinking thus to appease my wrath and turn aside all punishment, that so ye may go on doing all these (in Jer_7:9 enumerated) abominations. By frequenting the temple, they thought to procure an indulgence for their wicked ongoings, not merely for what they had already done, but for what they do from day to day.

Albert Barnes
Jer 7:10
We are delivered – Jeremiah accuses them of trusting in the ceremonial of the temple instead of leading holy lives. “You break,” he says, “the Ten Commandments, and then you go to the Temple; and when the service is over you say, We are delivered. We have atoned for our past actions, and may start afresh with easy minds upon a new course of wickedness.”

John Calvin
Jer 7:11
He afterwards adds, Is this house, which is called by my name, a den of robbers? This is the conclusion of the passage, which contains an amplification of their vices. For the Prophet had allowed the Jews to form a judgment, as though he had been discussing an obscure or doubtful subject, “Behold, be ye yourselves judges in your own case; is it right for you to steal, to murder, and to commit adultery? and then to come into this Temple, and to boast that impunity is granted to you as to all your evils?” This indeed ought to have been enough; but as the obstinacy and stupor of the Jews were so great, that they would not have given way without being most fully and in various ways proved guilty, the Prophet adds this sentence, Is this house, which is called by my name, a den of robbers? that is, “Have I chosen this place for myself, that ye might worship me, in order that ye might be more licentious than if there was no religion? For what purpose is religion? Is it not that men may by this bridle restrain themselves, that they may not be libertines? For surely the worship and fear of God are the directors of equity and justice. Now, would it not be better to have no Temple and no sacrifices, than that men should take more liberty to sin by making their ceremonies as an excuse? Away then with your ceremonies: conscience shews that it is a wretched thing to oppress or injure a neighbor; all are constrained by common sense to own that adultery is a filthy and a detestable thing; and men think the same of rapines and murders. As to superstitions, when they are seen as such, all are constrained to allow the worship of God ought to be preserved in its purity. Well then, had there been no Temple among you, this truth must have been impressed on your minds, — that God ought to be worshipped in purity. Now, because the Temple has been built at Jerusalem, because ye offer sacrifices there, ye are thieves, ye are adulterers, ye are murderers; and ye think that I am in some sort blind, that I am no longer the avenger of so many and of such atrocious evils. A den of robbers then is my house become to you.” But this sentence is to be read interrogatively, “Can it be, that this Temple, this sanctuary, is become a den of robbers?”

But we must consider the import of the comparison: Robbers, though they are most audacious and wholly savage, do not yet dare openly to use their sword; they dare not kill helpless men. Why? they fear the punishment allotted to them by the laws; they are cautious. But when they seize on men in some hidden place, then they take more liberty in their robberies; they kill men, and then take their property. We hence see that dens and hidden places have in them more safety for robbers. The comparison then is most suitable, when the Prophet says that the Jews made the Temple of God the den of robbers: for had there been no Temple, some integrity might have remained, secured by the common feeling of men. But when they covered their baseness with sacrifices, they thought that they thus escaped all judgment.

And hence, Christ applied this prophecy to his time; for the Jews had even then profaned the Temple. Though they presumptuously and falsely called on God’s name, they yet sought the Temple as an asylum for impurity. This folly Christ exposed, as the Prophet had done.
He afterwards adds, Even I, behold I see, saith JehovahJeremiah here no doubt touches ironically on the false confidence with which the Jews deceived themselves: for hypocrites seem to themselves to know whatever is necessary. And hence also it is, that as they think themselves to be acute, they are bolder and more presumptuous in contriving deceitful schemes, by which they seek to delude God and men. And hence the Prophet here tauntingly touches them to the quick, by intimating that they wished to make God as it were blind, Even I, behold I see, he says. It would not yet be sufficiently evident how emphatical the phrase is, were it not for a similar passage in Isa_29:15, “I also am wise.” The Prophet had said, “Woe to the crafty and the wise, who have dug pits for themselves.”

He there condemns ungodly men, who thought that they could somehow by their falsehoods deceive God; which seems to be and is monstrous: and yet it is an evil which commonly prevails among men. For hardly a man in a hundred can be found who does not seek coverings to hide himself from the eyes of God. This is the case especially with courtiers and clever men, who assume to themselves so much clear-sightedness, that God sees nothing in comparison with them. The Lord therefore, by Isaiah, gives this answer, “I also am wise: if ye are wise, allow me at least some portion of wisdom, and think not that I am altogether foolish.” So also in this place, “Before my eyes, this house is made a den of robbers;” that is, “If there be any sense in you, does it not appear evident that you have made a den of robbers of my Temple? and can I be yet blind? If you think that you are very clear-sighted, I also do see, saith the Lord.”

We hence see what force there is in the particle גם, gam, also, and in the pronoun אנכי, anoki, I, and in הנה, ene, behold; for these three words are heaped together, that God might shew that he was not unobservant, when the people so audaciously ran headlong into all kinds of vices, and sought by their falsehoods to cover his eyes, that he might not see anything. (195)

Jamieson, fausset, and Brown
Jer 7:11
den of robbers — Do you regard My temple as being what robbers make their den, namely, an asylum wherein ye may obtain impunity for your abominations (Jer_7:10)?

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” (Isa_56:7; Mat_21:13).

Albert Barnes
Jer 7:11
Robbers – literally, tearers, those who rob with violence. The temple was the place which sheltered them. It had been consecrated to God. Now that it harbors miscreants, must it not as inevitably be destroyed as a den of robbers would be by any righteous ruler?

jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
Jer 7:12
my place … in Shiloh — God caused His tabernacle to be set up in Shiloh in Joshua’s days (Jos_18:1; Jdg_18:31). In Eli’s time God gave the ark, which had been at Shiloh, into the hands of the Philistines (Jer_26:6; 1Sa_4:10, 1Sa_4:11; Psa_78:56-61). 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 (Act_7:44).
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.

Albert Barnes
Jer 7:12
Go ye unto my place in Shiloh – This argument roused the indignation of the people Jer_26:8-9, Jer_26:11. The ark, Jeremiah shows, had not always been at Jerusalem. The place first chosen, as the center of the nation’s worship, was Shiloh, a town to the north of Bethel, situated in the powerful tribe of Ephraim (Jos_18:1 note). The ruin of Shiloh is ascribed Psa_78:58-64 to the idolatry which prevailed in Israel after the death of Joshua; a similar ruin due to similar causes should fall on Jerusalem Jer_7:14. The site of Shiloh is identified with Seilun, the ruins of which are so insignificant as to bear out Jerome’s remark, “At Silo, where once was the tabernacle and ark of the Lord, there can scarcely be pointed out the foundation of an altar.”

At the first – In the first stage, the first period of the existence of the Jewish commonwealth, Shiloh was to the Judges what Jerusalem subsequently was to the kings; and as the fall of Shiloh through the wickedness of Eli’s sons marked the period when the government by Judges was to pass away, and the second stage begin; so the power of the kings perished at the fall of Jerusalem, and left the way clear for the third stage of Jewish polity, government by the scribes.

John Calvin
Jer 7:13
The Prophet confirms by an example what he said yesterday, — that the Jews deceived themselves in thinking that they were covered by the shadow of the Temple, while yet they disclosed themselves, and when the whole world were witness of their impious rebellion. He therefore mentions what had before happened. The Ark of the Covenant, as it is well known, had long rested in Shiloh. Now the Temple did not excel in dignity on its own account, but on account of the Ark of the Covenant and the altar. It was indeed splendidly adorned; but the holiness of the Temple was derived from the Ark of the Covenant, the altar, and the sacrifices. This Ark had been in Shiloh. Hence Jeremiah shews how foolish were the Jews in being proud, because they had among them the Ark of the Covenant and the altar, for the first place, where sacrifices had been offered to God, was not preserved in safety. This is the import of the whole.

But he did not in vain say, Even go to Shiloh The כי, ki, here, though commonly a causal particle, seems to be taken as explanatory. If yet it be viewed only as an affirmative, I do not object, “Well, go to Shiloh.” But the language in this case is ironical, “Ye glory in the Temple; forsooth! go to Shiloh.” And God calls it his place — my place, in order that the Jews might understand that it had nothing superior in itself. The Ark of the Covenant had indeed been removed into Mount Sion, and there God had chosen a perpetual habitation for himself; but the other place was superior as to antiquity. This is the reason why he calls it “my place, “and adds, Where I made my name to dwell, that is, where I designed the Ark to be: for the Ark of the Covenant and the altar, with all their furniture, were properly the name of God; nor was it by chance that all the tribes had placed the Ark in Shiloh; but it was God’s will to be there worshipped for a time. Hence he says, that the place was sacred before Jerusalem; and therefore he says at the first,בראשונה, berashune; that is, the Shilomites are not only equal with you, but antiquity brings them a greater honor: if then a comparison is made, they excel you as to what is ancient.

See, he says, what I did to that place for the iniquity of my people Israel. He calls here Israel his people, not for honor’s sake, but that he might again remind the Jews that they were only equal to the Israelites; and yet that it profited all the tribes nothing, that they were wont to assemble there to worship God. For when we reason from example, we must always see that there be no material difference. Jeremiah then shews that the Israelites were equal to the Jews, and that if the Jews claimed a superiority, the claim was neither just nor right, for Israel were also the people of God, inasmuch as it was God’s will to fix there the Ark of the Covenant, that sacrifices might be there offered to him; and then antiquity was in its favor, for it was a holy place before it was known that God had chosen Mount Sion as a situation for his Temple.

Hence he draws this conclusion, Now, then, as ye have done all these works, that is, as ye have become like the Israelites, therefore, etc. But he first amplifies their crime, — that they had not only imitated the wickedness of the twelve tribes, but had also perversely despised all warnings, I spake to you, he says, and rose up early By this metaphor he intimates, that he was as solicitous for preserving the kingdom of Judah, as parents are wont to be for the safety of their children: for as a father rises early to see what is necessary for his family, so also God says, that he rose early, inasmuch as he had been assiduous in exhorting them. He appropriates to his own person what properly belonged to his prophets: but as he had roused them by his Spirit and employed them in their work, he justly claims to himself whatever he had done by them as his instruments: and it was an exaggeration of their guilt, that they were slothful, nay, stupid, when God sedulously labored for their safety.

He adds, I spoke, and ye heard not; I cried to you, and ye did not answer, he inveighs more at large against their hardness; for had he only once warned them, some pretense might have been made; but as God, by rising early every day, labored to restore them to himself, and as he had not only employed instruction, but also crying, (for by crying he doubtless means exhortations and threatenings, which ought to have produced greater effect upon them,) there appeared in this contumacy the highest degree of mad audacity. The meaning is, — that God had tried all means to restore the Jews to a sound mind, but that they were wholly irreclaimable; for he had called them not only once, but often; and he had also endued his prophets with power to labor strenuously in the discharge of their office: he had not only shewed by them what was useful and necessary, but he had cried, that is, had employed greater vehemence, in order to correct their tardiness. Since then God, in using all these means, could effect nothing, what remained for them was miserably to perish, as they willfully sought their own destruction.

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
Jer 7:13
rising … early — implying unwearied earnestness in soliciting them (Jer_7:25; Jer_11:17; 2Ch_36:15).

John Calvin
Jer 7:14
Therefore, he says, I will do to this house, which is called by my name, etc. He anticipates, no doubt, all objections, as though he had said, “I know what you will say, — that this place is sacred to God, that his name is invoked here, and that sacrifices are here offered: all these things, he says, are alleged to no purpose, for in Shiloh also was his name invoked, and he dwelt there. Though then ye foolishly trust in this place, it shall not yet escape that judgment which happened to the former place.” He adds, which I gave to you and to your fathers Be it so; for this is to be considered as a concession; and at the same time objections are anticipated, in order that the Jews might understand that it availed them nothing, that God had chosen to build his sanctuary on Mount Sion; for the object was to promote religion. But as the place was converted to a wholly different purpose, and as God’s name was there shamefully profaned, he says, “Though I gave this place to you and your fathers, yet nothing better shall be its fate than the fate of Shiloh.” It follows —

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown

Jer 7:14

I gave — and I therefore can revoke the gift for it is still Mine (Lev_25:23), 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.

Keil and Delitzsch
Jer_7:12-14
The temple is to undergo the fate of the former sanctuary at Shiloh. This threat is introduced by a grounding כִּי, for. This for refers to the central idea of the last verse, that they must not build their expectations on the temple, hold it to be a pledge for their safety. For since the Lord has seen how they have profaned and still profane it, He will destroy it, as the sanctuary at Shiloh was destroyed. The rhetorical mode of utterance, Go to the place, etc., contributes to strengthen the threatening. They were to behold with their own eyes the fate of the sanctuary at Shiloh, that so they might understand that the sacredness of a place does not save it from overthrow, if men have desecrated it by their wickedness. We have no historical notice of the event to which Jeremiah refers. At Shiloh, now Seilân (in ruins) the Mosaic tabernacle was erected after the conquest of Canaan (Jos_18:1), and there it was still standing in the time of the high priest Eli, 1Sa_1:1-3; but the ark, which had fallen into the hands of the Philistines at the time of their victory (1 Sam 4), was not brought back to the tabernacle when it was restored again to the Israelites. In the reign of Saul we find the tabernacle at Nob (1Sa_21:2.). The words of Jer_7:12 intimate, that at that time “the place of God at Shiloh” was lying in ruins. As Hitz. justly remarks, the destruction of it is not to be understood of its gradual decay after the removal of the ark (1Sa_4:11; 1Sa_7:1.); the words imply a devastation or destruction, not of the place of God at Shiloh only, but of the place Shiloh itself. This is clearly seen from Jer_7:14 : I will do unto this house (the temple), and the place which I gave to your fathers, as I have done unto Shiloh. This destruction did not take place when the Assyrians overthrew the kingdom of the ten tribes, but much earlier. It may, indeed, be gathered from Jdg_18:20, Jdg_18:31 (see the comment. on this passage), that it was as early as the time of Saul, during a Syrian invasion. By the destruction of the place of God at Shiloh, we need not understand that the tabernacle itself, with its altar and other sacred furniture (except the ark), was swept away. Such a view is contradicted by the statement in 1Ch_21:29; 2Ch_1:3, according to which the tabernacle built by Moses in the wilderness was still standing at Gibeon in David’s time, and in the beginning of Solomon’s reign; cf. with 2Ch_1:5, when the brazen altar of burnt-offering is expressly mentioned as that which was made by Bezaleel. Hence it is clear that the Mosaic tabernacle, with its altar of burnt-offering, had been preserved, and consequently that it must have been moved first from Shiloh to Nob, and then, when Saul sacked this town (1 Sam 22), to Gibeon. The destruction of the place of God in Shiloh must accordingly have consisted in this, that not only was the tabernacle with the altar carried off from thence, but the buildings necessary in connection with the maintenance of the public worship which surrounded it were swept away when the city was plundered, so that of the place of the sanctuary nothing was left remaining. It is clear that about the tabernacle there were various buildings which, along with the tabernacle and its altars, constituted “the house of God at Shiloh;” for in 1 Sam 3 we are told that Samuel slept in the temple of Jahveh (1Sa_3:3), and that in the morning he opened the doors of the house of God (1Sa_3:15). Hence we may gather, that round about the court of the tabernacle there were buildings erected, which were used partly as a dwelling-place for the officiating priests and Levites, and partly for storing up the heave-offerings, and for preparing the thank-offerings at the sacrificial meals (1Sa_2:11-21). This whole system of buildings surrounding the tabernacle, with its court and altar of burnt-offering, was called the “house of God;” from which name Graf erroneously inferred that there was at Shiloh a temple like the one in Jerusalem. The wickedness of my people, is the Israelites’ fall into idolatry in Eli’s time, because of which the Lord gave up Israel into the power of the Philistines and other enemies (Jdg_13:1; cf. 1Sa_7:3). “These deeds” (Jer_7:13) are the sins named in Jer_7:9. וָאֲדַבֵּר is a continuation of the infinitive sentence, and is still dependent on יַעַן. Speaking from early morn, i.e., speaking earnestly and unremittingly; cf. Gesen. §131, 3, b. I have called you, i.e., to repent, and ye have not answered, i.e., have not repented and turned to me.

John Calvin
Jer 7:15
He concludes the former verse. The Prophet had indeed sufficiently explained himself; but this confirmation was necessary for a people so refractory. He then alleges nothing new, but only shews that there would be no defense to his own people against God’s vengeance any more than to the Israelites: and hence he now calls them their brethren, as he had previously said that they were his people; for the state of the ten tribes was the same, until it had pleased God to remove the Ark of the Covenant to Mount Sion, that he might have his throne in the tribe of Judah. All the children of Abraham were indeed equal; but the Israelites were superior in number and in power. And he says, the whole seed. This is significantly added; for the Jews had with them only the half of the tribe of Manasse. The ten tribes had perished; in nothing could they exalt themselves; and they were in this respect inferior, because they were only one tribe and half, and the ten tribes were larger in number.

He calls them the seed of Ephraim, because of their first king, and also because that tribe was more illustrious than the other nine tribes. And in the Prophets Ephraim is in many places named for Israel, that is, for that second kingdom, which yet flourished more in wealth and power. We now perceive the meaning of the Prophet.

But we may hence learn this important truth, — that God had never so bound himself to any people or place, that he was not at liberty to inflict punishment on the impiety of those who had despised his favors, or profaned them by their ingratitude and their sins. And this ought to be carefully noticed; for we see that it is an evil as it were innate in us, that we become elated and proud whenever God deals bountifully with us; for we so abuse his favors as to think that more liberty is given us, because God has bestowed on us more than on others. But there is nothing more groundless than this presumption; and yet we become thus insolent whenever God honors us with peculiar favors. Let us therefore bear in mind what is taught here by the Prophet, — that God is ever at liberty to take vengeance on the ungodly and the ungrateful.

Hence also it appears how foolish is the boasting of the Papists; for whenever they bring against us the name of the apostolic throne, they think that God’s mouth is closed; they think that all authority is to be taken away from his word. In short, they harden themselves against God, as though they had a legitimate possession, because the gospel had been once preached at Rome, and because that place was the first seat of the Church in Italy as well as in Europe. But God never favored Rome with such a privilege, nor has he said that his habitation was to be there. If the Pope and his adherents had what the Jews then possessed, (which really belonged to Mount Sion,) who could bear their fury, I say not, their pride? But we see what Jeremiah says of Mount Sion, of which yet it had been said, “This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell,  because I have chosen it.” (Psa_132:14 )

Go now, he says, to Shiloh Now, since Shiloh and Jerusalem, and so many celebrated cities, where the gospel formerly flourished, have been taken away from us, it is not to be doubted, but that a dreadful vengeance and destruction await all those who reject the doctrine of salvation, and despise the treasure of the gospel. Since then God has shewn by so many proofs and examples that he is not bound to any places, how stupid is their madness who seek, through the mere name of an apostolic seat, to subvert all truth and all fear of God, and whatever belongs to true religion.

Albert Barnes
Jer 7:15
The whole seed of Ephraim – i. e., the whole of the nine northern tribes. Their casting out was a plain proof that the possession of the symbols of God’s presence does not secure a Church or nation from rejection, if unworthy of its privileges.

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