7:8 “‘But just look at you! 1 You are putting your confidence in a false belief 2 that will not deliver you. 3 7:9 You steal. 4 You murder. You commit adultery. You lie when you swear on oath. You sacrifice to the god Baal. You pay allegiance to 5 other gods whom you have not previously known. 7:10 Then you come and stand in my presence in this temple I have claimed as my own 6 and say, “We are safe!” You think you are so safe that you go on doing all those hateful sins! 7 7:11 Do you think this temple I have claimed as my own 8 is to be a hideout for robbers? 9 You had better take note! 10 I have seen for myself what you have done! says the Lord. 7:12 So, go to the place in Shiloh where I allowed myself to be worshiped 11 in the early days. See what I did to it 12 because of the wicked things my people Israel did. 7:13 You also have done all these things, says the Lord, and I have spoken to you over and over again. 13 But you have not listened! You have refused to respond when I called you to repent! 14 7:14 So I will destroy this temple which I have claimed as my own, 15 this temple that you are trusting to protect you. I will destroy this place that I gave to you and your ancestors, 16 just like I destroyed Shiloh. 17 7:15 And I will drive you out of my sight just like I drove out your relatives, the people of Israel.’” 18
7:16 Then the Lord said, 19 “As for you, Jeremiah, 20 do not pray for these people! Do not cry out to me or petition me on their behalf! Do not plead with me to save them, 21 because I will not listen to you. 7:17 Do you see 22 what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 23 7:18 Children are gathering firewood, fathers are building fires with it, and women are mixing dough to bake cakes to offer to the goddess they call the Queen of Heaven. 24 They are also pouring out drink offerings to other gods. They seem to do all this just 25 to trouble me. 7:19 But I am not really the one being troubled!” 26 says the Lord. “Rather they are bringing trouble on themselves to their own shame! 27 7:20 So,” the Lord God 28 says, “my raging fury will be poured out on this land. 29 It will be poured out on human beings and animals, on trees and crops. 30 And it will burn like a fire which cannot be extinguished.”
7:21 The Lord said to the people of Judah, 31 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 32 says: ‘You might as well go ahead and add the meat of your burnt offerings to that of the other sacrifices and eat it, too! 33 7:22 Consider this: 34 When I spoke to your ancestors after I brought them out of Egypt, I did not merely give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices. 7:23 I also explicitly commanded them: 35 “Obey me. If you do, I 36 will be your God and you will be my people. Live exactly the way I tell you 37 and things will go well with you.” 7:24 But they did not listen to me or pay any attention to me. They followed the stubborn inclinations of their own wicked hearts. They acted worse and worse instead of better. 38 7:25 From the time your ancestors departed the land of Egypt until now, 39 I sent my servants the prophets to you again and again, 40 day after day. 41 7:26 But your ancestors 42 did not listen to me nor pay attention to me. They became obstinate 43 and were more wicked than even their own forefathers.’”
7:27 Then the Lord said to me, 44 “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you. When you call out to them, they will not respond to you. 7:28 So tell them: ‘This is a nation that has not obeyed the Lord their God and has not accepted correction. Faithfulness is nowhere to be found in it. These people do not even profess it anymore. 45 7:29 So, mourn, 46 you people of this nation. 47 Cut off your hair and throw it away. Sing a song of mourning on the hilltops. For the Lord has decided to reject 48 and forsake this generation that has provoked his wrath!’” 49
7:30 The Lord says, “I have rejected them because 50 the people of Judah have done what I consider evil. 51 They have set up their disgusting idols in the temple 52 which I have claimed for my own 53 and have defiled it. 7:31 They have also built places of worship 54 in a place called Topheth 55 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! 56 7:32 So, watch out!” 57 says the Lord. “The time will soon come when people will no longer call those places Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom. But they will call that valley 58 the Valley of Slaughter and they will bury so many people in Topheth they will run out of room. 59 7:33 Then the dead bodies of these people will be left on the ground for the birds and wild animals to eat. 60 There will not be any survivors to scare them away. 7:34 I will put an end to the sounds of joy and gladness, or the glad celebration of brides and grooms throughout the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. For the whole land will become a desolate wasteland.”
1 tn Heb “Behold!”
3 tn Heb “not profit [you].”
7 tn Or “‘We are safe!’ – safe, you think, to go on doing all those hateful things.” Verses 9-10 are all one long sentence in the Hebrew text. It has been broken up for English stylistic reasons. Somewhat literally it reads “Will you steal…then come and stand…and say, ‘We are safe’ so as to/in order to do…” The Hebrew of v. 9 has a series of infinitives which emphasize the bare action of the verb without the idea of time or agent. The effect is to place a kind of staccato like emphasis on the multitude of their sins all of which are violations of one of the Ten Commandments. The final clause in v. 8 expresses purpose or result (probably result) through another infinitive. This long sentence is introduced by a marker (ה interrogative in Hebrew) introducing a rhetorical question in which God expresses his incredulity that they could do these sins, come into the temple and claim the safety of his protection, and then go right back out and commit the same sins. J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 52) catches the force nicely: “What? You think you can steal, murder…and then come and stand…and say, ‘We are safe…’ just so that you can go right on…”
9 tn Heb “Is this house…a den/cave of robbers in your eyes?”
10 tn Heb “Behold!”
11 tn Heb “where I caused my name to dwell.” The translation does not adequately represent the theology of the
12 sn The place in Shiloh…see what I did to it. This refers to the destruction of Shiloh by the Philistines circa 1050
13 tn This reflects a Hebrew idiom (e.g., 7:25; 11:7; 25:3, 4), i.e., an infinitive of a verb meaning “to do something early [or eagerly]” followed by an infinitive of another verb of action. Cf. HALOT 1384 s.v. שָׁכַם Hiph.2.
14 tn Heb “I called to you and you did not answer.” The words “to repent” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
17 tn Heb “I will do to this house which I…in which you put…and to this place which…as I did to Shiloh.”
18 tn Heb “the descendants of Ephraim.” However, Ephraim here stands (as it often does) for all the northern tribes of Israel.
19 tn The words “Then the
20 tn Heb “As for you.” The personal name Jeremiah is supplied in the translation for clarity.
21 tn The words “to save them” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
22 tn Or “Just look at…” The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer.
24 tn The form for “queen” is unusual. It is pointed (מְלֶכֶת [mÿlekhet] instead of מַלְכַּת [malkat]) as though the Masoretes wanted to read the word for “work” (מְלֶאכֶת [mÿle’khet]), i.e., the “hosts of,” a word that several Hebrew
sn The Queen of Heaven is probably a reference to the goddess known as Ishtar in Mesopotamia, Anat in Canaan, Ashtoreth in Israel. She was the goddess of love and fertility. For further discussion, see G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 266-68.
25 tn Heb “to provoke me.” There is debate among grammarians and lexicographers about the nuance of the Hebrew particle לְמַעַן (lÿma’an). Some say it always denotes purpose, while others say it may denote either purpose or result, depending on the context. For example, BDB 775 s.v. לְמַעַן note 1 says that it always denotes purpose, never result, but that sometimes what is really a result is represented ironically as though it were a purpose. That explanation fits nicely here in the light of the context of the next verse. The translation is intended to reflect some of that ironic sarcasm.
26 tn Heb “Is it I whom they provoke?” The rhetorical question expects a negative answer which is made explicit in the translation.
27 tn Heb “Is it not themselves to their own shame?” The rhetorical question expects a positive answer which is made explicit in the translation.
28 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” The translation follows the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the Hebrew word for God for the proper name Yahweh.
29 tn Heb “this place.” Some see this as a reference to the temple but the context has been talking about what goes on in the towns of Judah and Jerusalem and the words that follow, meant as a further explanation, are applied to the whole land.
30 tn Heb “the trees of/in the field and the fruit of/in the ground.”
32 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.”
sn See the study notes on 2:19 and 7:3.
33 tn Heb “Add your burnt offerings to your [other] sacrifices and eat the meat!” See the following sn for explanation. This is an example of the rhetorical use of the imperative for a sarcastic challenge. Cf. GKC 324 §110.a; cf. Amos 4:4, “Go to Bethel and sin!”
sn All of the burnt offering, including the meat, was to be consumed on the altar (e.g., Lev 1:6-9). The meat of the other sacrifices could be eaten by the priest who offered the sacrifice and the person who brought it (e.g., Lev 7:16-18, 32). Since, however, the people of Judah were making a mockery of the sacrificial system by offering sacrifices while disobeying the law, the
34 tn Heb “For” but this introduces a long explanation about the relative importance of sacrifice and obedience.
35 tn Verses 22-23a read in Hebrew, “I did not speak with your ancestors and I did not command them when I brought them out of Egypt about words/matters concerning burnt offering and sacrifice, but I commanded them this word:” Some modern commentators have explained this passage as an evidence for the lateness of the Pentateuchal instruction regarding sacrifice or a denial that sacrifice was practiced during the period of the wilderness wandering. However, it is better explained as an example of what R. de Vaux calls a dialectical negative, i.e., “not so much this as that” or “not this without that” (Ancient Israel, 454-56). For other examples of this same argument see Isa 1:10-17; Hos 6:4-6; Amos 5:21-25.
36 tn Heb “Obey me and I will be.” The translation is equivalent syntactically but brings out the emphasis in the command.
37 tn Heb “Walk in all the way that I command you.”
38 tn Or “They went backward and not forward”; Heb “They were to the backward and not to the forward.” The two phrases used here appear nowhere else in the Bible and the latter preposition plus adverb elsewhere is used temporally meaning “formerly” or “previously.” The translation follows the proposal of J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 57. Another option is “they turned their backs to me, not their faces,” understanding the line as a variant of a line in 2:27.
39 tn Heb “from the day your ancestors…until this very day.” However, “day” here is idiomatic for “the present time.”
41 tc There is some textual debate about the legitimacy of this expression here. The text reads merely “day” (יוֹם, yom). BHS suggests the word is to be deleted as a dittography of the plural ending of the preceding word. The word is in the Greek and Latin, and the Syriac represents the typical idiom “day after day” as though the noun were repeated. Either יוֹם has dropped out by haplography or a ם (mem) has been left out, i.e., reading יוֹמָם (yomam, “daily”).
42 tn Or “But your predecessors…”; Heb “But they….” There is a confusing interchange in the pronouns in vv. 25-26 which has led to some leveling in the ancient versions and the modern English versions. What is involved here are four levels of referents, the “you” of the present generation (vv. 21-22a), the ancestors who were delivered from Egypt (i.e., the “they” of vv. 22b-24), the “you” of v. 25 which involves all the Israelites from the Exodus to the time of speaking, and the “they” of v. 26 which cannot be the ancestors of vv. 22-24 (since they cannot be more wicked than themselves) but must be an indefinite entity which is a part of the “you” of v. 25, i.e., the more immediate ancestors of the present generation. If this is kept in mind, there is no need to level the pronouns to “they” and “them” or to “you” and “your” as some of the ancient versions and modern English versions have done.
43 tn Heb “hardened [or made stiff] their neck.”
44 tn The words, “Then the
45 tn Heb “Faithfulness has vanished. It is cut off from their lips.”
sn For the need for faithfulness see 5:1, 3.
46 tn The word “mourn” is not in the text. It is supplied in the translation for clarity to explain the significance of the words “Cut your hair and throw it away.”
47 tn The words, “you people of this nation” are not in the text. Many English versions supply, “Jerusalem.” The address shifts from second masculine singular addressing Jeremiah (vv. 27-28a) to second feminine singular. It causes less disruption in the flow of the context to see the nation as a whole addressed here as a feminine singular entity (as, e.g., in 2:19, 23; 3:2, 3; 6:26) than to introduce a new entity, Jerusalem.
48 tn The verbs here are the Hebrew scheduling perfects. For this use of the perfect see GKC 312 §106.m.
49 tn Heb “the generation of his wrath.”
50 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.
51 tn Heb “have done the evil in my eyes.”
52 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).
54 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).
55 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).
56 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.
57 tn Heb “Therefore, behold!”
58 tn Heb “it will no longer be said ‘Topheth’ or ‘the Valley of Ben Hinnom’ but ‘the valley of slaughter.’
59 tn Heb “And they will bury in Topheth so there is not room.”
60 tn Heb “Their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth.”