King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Jeremiah 7

Confidence in the temple is vain. (1-16) The provocation by persisting in idolatry. (17-20) God justifies his dealings with them. (21-28) And threatens vengeance. (29-34)

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Confidence in the temple is vain

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

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.

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.

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.

5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;

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:

7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.

8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

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;

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?

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.

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.

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;

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.

15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.

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.

The provocation by persisting in idolatry

17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

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.

19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?

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.

God justifies his dealings with them

21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.

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:

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.

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.

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:

26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.

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.

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.

And threatens vengeance

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Gate, before all the people. This discourse ends C. xiii. C.

Ver. 3. Dwell. Heb. “make you dwell here.” H.

Ver. 4. Lord. The triple repetition shews the vain confidence of the people, who blindly imagined that the temple would screen them, (C.) and that external sacrifices would suffice. But they were rejected with the temple. W.

Ver. 7. Dwell. Heb. and Sept. as v. 3. H.

Ver. 9. Not, which have done you no good, and deserve not to be styled gods. C.

Ver. 10. Because. Hebrew also, “although,” (Sa. Grot.) “to perform,” (Chal. Mont.) or “by doing.” God must surely approve of our conduct, since we are unmolested. S. Tho. Lyr. — But the Vulg. seems preferable, and the people attribute their success to idols. C. xliv. 17. and 2 Par. xxviii. 23.

Ver. 11. Robbers. Our Saviour alludes to this. Mat. xxi. 13. — Seen. Think not to hide yourselves, as in a den. My temple shall not be an asylum for wretches. C.

Ver. 12. Beginning, under Josue. H. — The sins of a few priests caused this place to be abandoned, (1 K. ii. 22. and iii. 4. Ps. lxxviii. 60.) and shall the crimes of a whole people escape? C. — It is true, that place and Jerusalem were once sanctified: but the people being criminal, God retires. W.

Ver. 13. Early. Sparing no opportunity of reclaiming you. C.

Ver. 15. Ephraim. The ten tribes (W.) had been led into captivity in the days of Ezechias, the great-grandfather of Josias. C.

Ver. 16. Praise, offered to appease my wrath. H. — This admirably shews the force of the saints’ intercession, which God does not reject, but rather encourages by such declarations. Abraham and Moses did not leave off praying for the guilty, (Gen. xviii. 23. Ex. xxxii. 10.) and the Lord complains that there was none to withhold him. Is. lxiv. 7. Ezec. xxii. 30. C.

Ver. 18. Heaven. That is, the moon, which they worshipped under that name. Ch. — Some understand the sun also the stars. C. xliv. 17. Is. lxv. 11. All the family contributes to promote this idolatry.

Ver. 21. Flesh. I reject your holocausts. Keep them for yourselves. C.

Ver. 22. I commanded them not: viz. such sacrifices as the Jews at this time offered without obedience; which was the thing principally commanded: so that in comparison with it, the offering of the holocausts and sacrifices was of small account. Ch. — The observance of the decalogue would suffice. Victims were to teach internal piety. Lev. i. W. — God “brought them out of Egypt, not for the sake of their sacrifices, but that they might…hear his word.” S. Iræn. iv. 17. — This was the principal design. See Mat. ix. 13. Os. vi. 6. and 1 Cor. i. 17. Maldon. M. C. — The rules for sacrifices were given after the adoration of the calf, as necessary preservatives against idolatry. S. Tho. i. 2. q. 102. a. 3. — Yet the paschal lamb, &c. had been already commanded. C. — Many such absolute expressions imply a condition or comparison. Gloss. Prov. viii. 10. — I brought. Several MSS. read thus more accurately than the Heb. “He brought,” (Ken.) which Prot. abandon, (H.) though the present reading may stand. Chappel. Crat. — Every variation should be noticed, as this and the former verse “seem greatly corrupted; perhaps the Syr. version will be the best guide to their true meaning.” Kennicott. — Yet the passage is sufficiently intelligible in the Vulg. and Sept..

Ver. 27. Thee. Sept. omit this verse, which Grabe replaces. The people will be more inexcusable. H.

Ver. 29. High. People lamented in such places. C. ix. 13. Judg. xi. 35. C. — Wrath, which he treats with the utmost severity. H.

Ver. 30. Abominations. Heb. We have lit. “stumbling-blocks,” offendicula. H. — Manasses placed idols in the very temple, as the last kings of Juda did. 4 K. xxiii. 4. Ezec. viii. 3.

Ver. 31. Valley, to the south of the city. Here Moloc was adored, and Josias therefore contaminated the place. 4 K. xxiii. 10. C. — It was very delightful. S. Jer.

Ver. 32. Place, elsewhere. H. — This was verified when Nabuchodonosor and Titus besieged the city. C. — The latter was quite shocked. Jos. Bel. vi. 14. See C. xix. and xxxi. 40.

Ver. 34. Bride. None shall think of marrying, (C. xvi. 9. and xxv. 10. C.) all being filled with lamentation. M.