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Jeremiah 7:30-31

Context

7:30 The Lord says, “I have rejected them because 1  the people of Judah have done what I consider evil. 2  They have set up their disgusting idols in the temple 3  which I have claimed for my own 4  and have defiled it. 7:31 They have also built places of worship 5  in a place called Topheth 6  in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they can sacrifice their sons and daughters by fire. That is something I never commanded them to do! Indeed, it never even entered my mind to command such a thing! 7 

Jeremiah 19:5

Context
19:5 They have built places here 8  for worship of the god Baal so that they could sacrifice their children as burnt offerings to him in the fire. Such sacrifices 9  are something I never commanded them to make! They are something I never told them to do! Indeed, such a thing never even entered my mind!

1 tn The words “I have rejected them” are not in the Hebrew text, which merely says “because.” These words are supplied in the translation to show more clearly the connection to the preceding.

2 tn Heb “have done the evil in my eyes.”

3 sn Compare, e.g., 2 Kgs 21:3, 5, 7; 23:4, 6; Ezek 8:3, 5, 10-12, 16. Manasseh had desecrated the temple by building altars, cult symbols, and idols in it. Josiah had purged the temple of these pagan elements. But it is obvious from both Jeremiah and Ezekiel that they had been replaced shortly after Josiah’s death. They were a primary cause of Judah’s guilt and punishment (see beside this passage, 19:5; 32:34-35).

4 tn Heb “the house which is called by my name.” Cf. 7:10, 11, 14 and see the translator’s note 7:10 for the explanation for this rendering.

5 tn Heb “high places.”

sn These places of worship were essentially open air shrines often located on hills or wooded heights. They were generally connected with pagan worship and equipped with altars of sacrifice and of incense and cult objects such as wooden poles and stone pillars which were symbols of the god and/or goddess worshiped at the sight. The Israelites were commanded to tear down these Canaanite places of worship (Num 33:52) but they did not do so, often taking over the site for the worship of Yahweh but even then incorporating some of the pagan cult objects and ritual into their worship of Yahweh (1 Kgs 12:31, 32; 14:23). The prophets were especially opposed to these places and to this kind of syncretism (Hos 10:8; Amos 7:9) and to the pagan worship that was often practiced at them (Jer 7:31; 19:5; 32:35).

6 tn Heb “the high places of [or in] Topheth.”

sn The noun Topheth is generally explained as an artificial formation of a word related to the Aramaic word for “cooking stove” combined with the vowels for the word for “shame.” Hence, Jewish piety viewed it as a very shameful act, one that was contrary to the law (see Lev 18:21; 20:2-6). Child sacrifice was practiced during the reigns of the wicked kings Ahaz and Manasseh and apparently during Jeremiah’s day (cf. 2 Kgs 16:3; 21:6; Jer 32:35).

7 tn Heb “It never entered my heart.” The words “to command such a thing” do not appear in the Hebrew but are added for the sake of clarity.

8 tn The word “here” is not in the text. However, it is implicit from the rest of the context. It is supplied in the translation for clarity.

9 tn The words “such sacrifices” are not in the text. The text merely says “to burn their children in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal which I did not command.” The command obviously refers not to the qualification “to Baal” but to burning the children in the fire as burnt offerings. The words are supplied in the translation to avoid a possible confusion that the reference is to sacrifices to Baal. Likewise the words should not be translated so literally that they leave the impression that God never said anything about sacrificing their children to other gods. The fact is he did. See Lev 18:21; Deut 12:30; 18:10.



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