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Jer 7:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Ver. 1. The word that came to Jeremiah. ] A new sermon, but to the same purpose as the former. See on Jeremiah 1:2 . Toto libro idem argumentum sursum deorsum versat. a
Jer 7:2 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.
Ver. 2. Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house.] The east gate, which was the most famous and most frequented of the people, and therefore fittest for the purpose.
And proclaim there this word. ] Stand there with this word (as once the angel with a terrible sword did at the porch of paradise) to excommunicate, as it were, this hypocritical people; and do it verbis non tantum disertis sed et exertis, plainly and boldly.
Jer 7:3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
Ver. 3. Amend your ways and your doings. ] Heb., Make good your ways, sc., by repentance for and from your sins, and by believing the Gospel. Defaecantur enim mores, ubi medullitus excipitur evangelium. Amendment of life is an upright, earnest, and constant endeavour to do all that God commandeth, and to forbear what he forbiddeth.
Jer 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, [are] these.
Ver. 4. Trust ye not in lying words. ] Or, Matters, sc., that will deceive you. The ships Triumph or Good Speed may be ventorum ludibrium, mocked by the wind and miscarry upon the hard rocks or soft sands; so fair shows and bare titles help not. Vatinius, that wicked Roman, professed himself a Pythagorean: a and vicious Antipater wore a white cloak, the ensign of innocence. This was virtutis stragulum pudefacere, said Diogenes wittily, to put honesty to an open shame.
The temple of the Lord, the temple - are these,] i.e., These buildings, or these three parts of the temple, viz., the most holy place, the sanctuary, and the outer court. To these are made the promises of God’s perpetual residence; Psa 132:14 therefore we are safe from all danger while here we take sanctuary. See Micah 3:11 . The Romish crew, in like manner, have nothing in their mouths so much as the Church, the Church, the Catholic Church; b and therein, like oyster wives, they outcry us. Many also among ourselves cry, "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord," who do yet nothing care for the Lord of the temple. They glory in external privileges, and secure themselves therein, as the Jews fable that Og, King of Bashan, escaped in the flood by riding astride upon the ark without. But what profiteth it
“ Respicere ad phaleras, et nomina vana Catonum? ”
Esse Christianum grande est, non videri, saith Jerome. It is a great privilege to be a Christian, but not to seem only to be so; an empty title yieldeth but an empty comfort at last.
a Cic. in Vatinium.
b Ecclesiam ad ravim usque crepant catholicam.
Jer 7:5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
Ver. 5. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways. ] If ye thoroughly execute judgment; if ye be serious in the one, and sedulous in the other. See Jeremiah 7:2 .
Jeremiah 7:6 [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:
Ver. 6. If ye oppress not the stranger, &c. ] Turtures amat Deus, non vultures. See on Isaiah 1:23 .
Jer 7:7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
Ver. 7. Then will I cause you to dwell in this place. ] Not else. God’s promises are with a condition, which is as an oar in a boat or stern of a ship, and turns the promise another way.
Jer 7:8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
Ver. 8. Behold, ye trust, &c. ] See on Jeremiah 7:4 .
Jer 7:9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
Ver. 9. Will ye steal, murder, &c. ] Heb., Will ye stealing steal, murdering murder, &c. - i.e., drive a trade with the devil by these foul practices allowed and wallowed in, quasi examen malorum facinorum nihil obsit, modo domum Dei ingrederemini, as if you could set off with me, and make amends by your good deeds for your bad.
Jer 7:10 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?
Ver. 10. And come and stand before me in this house. ] This was worse than to do as the Circassiaus, a kind of mongrel Christians of the Greek Church of this day, who, as they baptize not their children till the eighth year, so they enter not into the Church, the gentlemen especially, till the sixtieth year, but hear divine service standing without the temple - that is to say, till through age they grow unable to continue their rapines and robberies, to which sin that nation is exceedingly addicted. a
And say, We are delivered, ] i.e., Licensed. Hoc idem dicunt qui cogitationes inter peccata non numerant, saith Oecolampadius.
a Breerwood’s Enquiry.
Jer 7:11 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.
Ver. 11. Is this house, which is called by my name. ] Is it become impiae gentis arcanum? as Florus afterwards spitefully called it; or a professed sanctuary of roguery? as the Papists maliciously say of Geneva; or a receptacle of all abominations? a as Pompey’s theatre in Rome was once said to be.
Become a den of robbers? ] To such it should have been said by the porters, Gressus removete profani. In the mystical sacrifices of Ceres, no profane person was to be admitted, for the priest going before uttered these words, εκας εκας οστις αλιτρος - that is, be packing every wicked person. So the Roman priests had their procul, O procul este, profani.
a Arx omnium turpitudinum.
Jer 7:12 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.
Ver. 12. But go ye now. ] Non passibus sed sensibus. Summon the sobriety of your senses before your own judgments, and consider what I did of old to Shiloh, a place no less privileged than yours, and wherefore I did it, and be warned by their woes. Alterius perditio, tua sit cautio; seest thou another shipwrecked, look well to thy tackling. Reason should persuade, and therefore lodgeth in the brain; but when reason cannot persuade, example should, and mostly will.
Jer 7:13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;
Ver. 13. And now, because ye have done. ] Worthily are they made examples to others, that will not take example by others; that will not aliena frui insania, make benefit of other men’s miseries.
Rising early. ] As good husbands use to do; and as Plutarch reporteth of the Persian kings, that they had an officer to call them up betimes, and to mind them of their business.
Jer 7:14 Therefore will I do unto [this] house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.
Ver. 14. Therefore will I do unto this house. ] Which ye fondly think that I am bound to hold and uphold. The disciples also seem to have had a conceit that the temple and the world must needs end together; hence that mixed discourse of our Saviour - now of one, and now of another. Mat 24:2 Jer 7:3 See Trapp on " Jer 7:3 "
Jer 7:15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, [even] the whole seed of Ephraim.
Ver. 15. And I will cast you out of my sight. ] Heb., From against, or over against my face.
As I have cast out your brethren. ] For your instance and admonition I hanged them up in gibbets, as it were at your very doors but nothing would warn you.
Jer 7:16 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.
Ver. 16. Therefore pray not thou for this people. ] For I am unchangeably resolved upon their ruin, and I would not have thy prayers, those honeydrops, spilt upon them. Their day of grace is past, their sins are full, the decree is now gone forth, and it is irreversible, therefore pray not for this deplored people; there is a sin unto death, and who knows but their sin was such? Sure it is the prophet was silenced here, and that was a sad symptom.
Neither lift up cry. ] Verbum aptum precibus est; lift up is a very fit expression, and the word rendered cry comes from a root a that signifieth clamare voce contenta et efficaci, to set up the note to some tune, as we say.
Neither make intercession to me. ] Interdicit ei ne intercedat. Here and elsewhere God flatly forbids the prophet to pray. See Jeremiah 14:7 ; Jeremiah 14:11 ; and yet he is at it again. Jer 7:19-22 So Exodus 32:11-13 , Let me alone, saith God. The Chaldee there hath it, Cease thy prayer; but Moses would not. These were men of prayer, and could truly say of themselves, as David once did, Psa 109:4 But I gave myself to prayer. Where the Hebrew hath it, But I, prayer; as if he had been made up of it, and had minded little else. The Lord also, they knew, was a prayer hearing God. "Oh thou that art hearing prayers" - so the Hebrew hath it Psa 65:2 - always hearing some, and ready to hear the rest. Our God is not like Jupiter of Crete, that had no ears; nor as those other heathen deities of whom Cicero sadly complaineth to his brother Quintus in these words: I would pray to the gods for those things, but that they have given over to hear my prayers. Jeremiah could upon better ground pray, than ever he in Plato did,
“ Zευ βασιλευ τα μεν εσθλα , ” b &c.
In English thus:
"Great God, the good thou hast to give,
Whether we ask’t or no,
Let’s still receive: no mischief thrive
To work our overthrow."
a Ranan; unde ranae, ut aliqui volunt.
b Plat. in Alcibiad.
Jer 7:17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
Ver. 17. Seest thou not what they do? ] a And hast thou yet a heart to pray for them? and should I yet have a heart to pity them? There is only this hope left sometimes, that something God will yield to the prayers of his people, even when he is most bitterly bent against them.
“ Flectitur iratus, voce rogante, Deus. ”
a Ratio additur quasi digito ad Ieremiam extenso.
Jer 7:18 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.
Ver 18. The children gather wood. ] a All sorts, sizes, and sexes are as busy as bees:
“ Sed turpis labor est ineptiarum. ”
Oh that we were so intent, with united forces, to the worship of the true God of heaven! Vae torpori nostro. Oh take heed of industrious folly! dispirit not yourselves in the pursuit of trifles, &c.
To make cakes. ] Popana, b cakes stamped with stars.
To the queen of heaven, ] i.e., To the heavenly bodies, and, as some will have it, to the moon in special. The Hebrews have a saying, that God is to be praised in the least gnat, to be magnified in the elephant, but to be admired in the sun, moon, and stars. And if the Jews in the text had stayed here, who could have blamed them? but to deify these creatures was gross idolatry, and an inexpiable sin. Epiphanius c telleth us of certain heretics called Collyridians, that they baked cakes and offered them to the Virgin Mary, whom they called the queen of heaven. And do not the Papists to this day the very same, saying that hyperdulia d is due unto her? not to speak of Bonaventure’s blasphemous Lady psalter; Bernard Baubusius, the Jesuit, hath set forth a book in praise of the Virgin Mary, by changing this one verse -
“ Tot tibi sunt dotes, Virgo, quot sidera caelo, ”
a thousand twenty and two ways, according to the number of the known stars. The Jesuits commonly write at the end of their books, Laus Deo et beatae Virgini, Praise be given to God and to the blessed Virgin; but this is the badge of the beast. Let us say, Soli Deo gloria; Glory only to God, and yet not in the sense of that Persian ambassador, who, whensoever his business lay with Christians, was wont to have Soli Deo gloria very much in his mouth; but by soli he meant the sun, whom he honoured for his god. Why the women here, and Jeremiah 44:19 , should be so busy in kneading cakes to the moon, these reasons are given: - (1.) Because the moon was a queen; (2.) Because the women at their labour were most beholden to the moon, who by her great moisture mollifies the pregnant, and makes the passage easy for their delivery. This custom of offering cakes to the moon, saith one, e our ancestors may seem not to have been ignorant of; to this day our women make cakes at such times, yea, the child is no sooner born but called cake bread. Add, that the Saxons did adore the moon, to whom they set a day apart, which to this day we call Monday. The same author f telleth us, that he who not long since conquered the Indies, persuaded the natives that he had complained of them to their moon, and that such a day the goddess should frown upon them; which was nothing else but an eclipse, which he had found out in the almanac.
a Distribuunt inter se munera.
b Scilicet et tenui popano corruptus Osiris. - Juven., Sat. vi.
c Haeres., 79.
d The superior dulia or veneration paid by Roman Catholics to the Virgin Mary.
e Greg. Posth., 202.
f Ibid., 132.
Jer 7:19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: [do they] not [provoke] themselves to the confusion of their own faces?
Ver. 19. Do they provoke me to anger? ] i.e., Hurt they me by their provocations? or hope they to get the better of me, and to cause me to lay down the bucklers first? Surely, as Ulysses’s companions said to him, when he would needs provoke Polydamas, may we better say to such as provoke the Almighty,
“ Sχετλιε, τιπτ δθελεις εριθεζεμεν αγριον ανδρα .”
Or as the wise man, "Contend not with him that is mightier than thou"; meddle with thy matchman.
Jer 7:20 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.
Ver. 20. Mine anger and mine fury. ] A very dreadful doom, denounced against these daring monsters. Those that provoke God to anger shall soon have enough of it. It is a fearful thing to fall into the punishing hands of the living God Heb 10:31 Oh keep out of them!
Jer 7:21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.
Ver. 21. Put your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat flesh. ] Congerite, ingerite, digerite, egerite. Take away all your sacrifices, wherewith ye fondly think to expiate your sins, and feast your carcases with them; for I wot well that you offer them to me, ventris potius gratia quam internae pietatis, rather of gourmandise than good devotion. You have therefore my good leave to make your best of them; for I account them no other than ordinary and profane food, such flesh as is bought and sold in the shambles. So their meat offering Lev 2:5 is in scorn called "their bread for their soul," or life; Hos 9:4 that is, for their natural sustenance. And no better are the elements in the Lord’s Supper to the unworthy receiver, whatever he may promise himself by them.
Jer 7:22 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:
Ver. 22. For I spake not unto your fathers. ] Videlicet solum aut simpliciter. Only clearly and candidly I gave them not those holy rites as the substance of my service, or that ye should thus hold them up against my threats for your rebellions, as a buckler of defence. Sacrifices without obedience nec placent nec placant Deum. neither may they please nor placate God.
Jer 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
Ver. 23. But this thing I commanded them, ] i.e., I principally commanded them, giving them therefore first the decalogue, and then afterwards the ceremonial law, which was, or should have been, their gospel.
Jer 7:24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels [and] in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
Ver. 24. But they hearkened not, nor inclined. ] So cross grained they were, and thwart from the very first.
In the imagination of their evil hearts. ] In sententia animi sui pessimi. a Heb., Aspectu cordis - so Deuteronomy 19:9 .
They went backward, and not forward. ] As crab fish do; as vile apostates, in peius proficiunt, grow every day worse than other, being not only averse but adverse to any good, they daily "grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived," seipsis indies facti deteriores. Islebius first became an Antinomian, and the father of that sect, and then a Papist, and lastly an atheist and epicure, as Osiander testifieth. While he was an Antinomian only, he many times promised amendment, being convinced of his error, but performed it not. After that he condemned his error, and recanted it in a public auditory, and printed his recantation; yet when Luther was dead, he not only licked up his former vomit, but fell to worse, as aforesaid. b
b Cent. xvi. p. 802.
Jer 7:25 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]:
Ver. 25. Since the day. ] The Church hath never wanted preachers of the truth. See my True Treasure, pp. 7, 8. Woe to the world because of this!
Daily rising up early. ] See on Jeremiah 7:13 .
Jer 7:26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
Ver. 26. Yet they hearkened not unto me. ] This God speaketh to the prophet, as weary of talking to them any longer, since it was to no better purpose.
Jer 7:27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.
Ver. 27. But they will not hearken unto thee. ] Howbeit speak - "whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear" - for a testimony against them.
Jer 7:28 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.
Ver. 28. This is a nation. ] A heathenish nation, such as they use to reproach with this name, Goi, and Mamzer Gojim, that is, bastardly heathens.
Nor receiveth correction. ] Or, Instruction.
Jer 7:29 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.
Ver. 29. Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem. ] In token of greatest sorrow and servitude. Job 1:20 Isa 15:2 Eze 27:31 Tu, dum servus es, comam nutris? said he in Aristophanes. The word here rendered "hair" is nezir, which signifieth a crown, and there hence the Nazarites had their name, Numbers 6:2 ; Num 6:5 intimating thereby haply that their votaries should be as little accepted as were their sacrifices. Jer 7:21
And forsaken the generation of his wrath. ] Who are elsewhere called "the people of his curse," and "vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction."
Jer 7:30 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.
Ver. 30. They have set their abominations in the house. ] So do those now that broach heresies in the Church.
Jer 7:31 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.
Ver. 31. To burn their sons and their daughters. ] Haply in a sinful imitation of Abraham or Jephthah; or else after the example of the Canaanites Deu 12:31 and other heathens, who thus sacrificed to the devil, commanding them so to do by his oracles, though Hercules taught the Italians to offer unto him rather men made of wax. a
a Macrob. Saturn., lib. vii.
Jer 7:32 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.
Ver. 32. It shall no more be called Tophet. ] Unless it be quasi Mophet, i.e., Portentum.
Nor the valley of the son of Hinnom. ] As it had been called from Joshua’s days. Jos 15:8
But the valley of slaughter. ] Or, Gehaharegah; for the great slaughter that the Chaldees shall make there. Ecce congrua poena peccato, saith Oecolampadius.
For they shall bury in Tophet. ] It shall become a polyandrion, or common burial place, till there be no place or room left.
Jer 7:33 And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray [them] away.
Ver. 33. And the carcases of this people, ] a Their murrain carcases, as the Vulgate rendereth it.
Shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven. ] Whereby we may also understand the devils of hell, saith Oecolampadius.
a Et erit morticinum populi.
Jer 7:34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
Ver. 34. Then will I cause to cease. ] Laetitia in luctum convertetur, plausus in planctum, &c. Their singing shall be turned into sighing, their hollowing into howling, &c.
The voice of the bridegroom. ] No catches or canzonets shall be sung at weddings; no Epithalamia.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 7". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
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