Jeremiah begins to preach in the temple. God will judge the people because of their abhorrent religious practices. Even Jerusalem will not be spared.
VERSE 1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
VERSE 2. “Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim this word there, and say, ‘Hear the LORD’s word, all you of Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.’ ”
Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house. Jeremiah took a stand. He stood at the entrance to the temple, and preached to everyone who entered.
VERSE 3. The LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel says, “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
VERSE 4. Don’t trust in lying words, saying, ‘The LORD’s temple, the LORD’s temple, the LORD’s temple, are these.’
The LORD’s temple. People imagined the judgment of God would never extend to Jerusalem because the temple was located there. However, they were to abandon that hope.
The building in which we worship is unimportant. It is just a building. What matters is that we worship in spirit and in truth.
Jeremiah 7:4. Don’t trust in lying words, saying, ‘The LORD’s temple, the LORD’s temple, the LORD’s temple, are these.’
John 4:24. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
Romans 7:14. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin.
VERSE 5. For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute justice between a man and his neighbor;
NASB translation. For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor,
amend your ways and your deeds. In previous centuries, the salvation of God’s people was mediated through their religious observances. God required them to offer sacrifices and the like. But now, their salvation is mediated through their treatment of the weakest members of society.
VERSE 6. if you don’t oppress the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, and don’t shed innocent blood in this place, and don’t walk after other gods to your own hurt;
NASB translation. if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin,
VERSE 7. then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, from of old even forever more.
NASB translation. then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.
VERSE 8. Behold, you trust in lying words that can’t profit.
VERSE 9. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known,
VERSE 10. then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered,’ that you may do all these abominations?
We are delivered. Once they felt safe, they resumed their abominations.
VERSE 11. Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 56:7. I will bring these to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
Jeremiah 7:11. Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it,” says the LORD.
Matthew 21:13. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers!”
Mark 11:17. He taught, saying to them, “Isn’t it written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations?’ But you have made it a den of robbers!”
VERSE 12. “But go now to my place which was in Shiloh, where I caused my name to dwell at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.
VERSE 13. Now, because you have done all these works,” says the LORD, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you didn’t hear; and I called you, but you didn’t answer;
VERSE 14. therefore I will do to the house which is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.
VERSE 15. I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, even the whole offspring of Ephraim.
VERSE 16. “Therefore don’t pray for this people. Don’t lift up a cry or prayer for them or make intercession to me; for I will not hear you.
don’t pray for this people. The LORD God instructed Jeremiah to NOT pray for his people.
VERSE 17. Don’t you see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
VERSE 18. The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes to the queen of the sky, and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
NAB translation. The children gather wood, their fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven, while libations are poured out to strange gods in order to hurt me.
women knead dough to make cakes. What does the Book of Jeremiah say about women? Here are all the verses we found that mention a woman. Read more »
make cakes. People made cakes shaped like stars for the queen of heaven.
the queen of heaven. That is, Ishtar. In Assyria and Babylon, she was the goddess of fertility, love, war, sex, and power. She was identified with the planet Venus. King Manasseh had led the Jewish people to worship her. Later, it was revived after Josiah had died.
We can easily fall away. We can easily be led astray. We can easily fall into the trap of joining a popular religious group.
VERSE 19. Do they provoke me to anger?” says the LORD. “Don’t they provoke themselves, to the confusion of their own faces?”
VERSE 20. Therefore the Lord GOD says: “Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, on man, on animal, on the trees of the field, and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and will not be quenched.”
VERSE 21. the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel says: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat meat.
VERSE 22. For I didn’t speak to your fathers or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices;
VERSE 23. but this thing I commanded them, saying, ‘Listen to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. Walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’
VERSE 24. But they didn’t listen or turn their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
VERSE 25. Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them.
my servants the prophets. The prophets were servants of the Most High God.
VERSE 26. Yet they didn’t listen to me or incline their ear, but made their neck stiff. They did worse than their fathers.
VERSE 27. “You shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you.
NASB translation. You shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you.
they will not listen to you. Jeremiah’s calling was difficult. Very difficult. His preaching would be ineffective. Can you imagine starting a “career” where your only assurance was that you would be a “failure”?
VERSE 28. You shall tell them, ‘This is the nation that has not listened to the LORD their God’s voice, nor received instruction. Truth has perished, and is cut off from their mouth.’
VERSE 29. Cut off your hair, and throw it away, and take up a lamentation on the bare heights; for the LORD has rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.
VERSE 30. “For the children of Judah have done that which is evil in my sight,” says the LORD. “They have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it.
VERSE 31. They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I didn’t command, nor did it come into my mind.
burn their sons and their daughters in the fire. They were immolating their children, burning them to death, as a religious sacrifice.
which I didn’t command. The LORD God never wanted them to do that.
VERSE 32. Therefore behold, the days come”, says the LORD, “that it will no more be called ‘Topheth’ or ‘The valley of the son of Hinnom’, but ‘The valley of Slaughter’; for they will bury in Topheth until there is no place to bury.
VERSE 33. The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky, and for the animals of the earth. No one will frighten them away.
VERSE 34. Then I will 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 will become a waste.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.