|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-16 No observances, professions, or supposed revelations, will profit, if men do not amend their ways and their doings. None can claim an interest in free salvation, who allow themselves in the practice of known sin, or live in the neglect of known duty. They thought that the temple they profaned would be their protection. But all who continue in sin because grace has abounded, or that grace may abound, make Christ the minister of sin; and the cross of Christ, rightly understood, forms the most effectual remedy to such poisonous sentiments. The Son of God gave himself for our transgressions, to show the excellence of the Divine law, and the evil of sin. Never let us think we may do wickedness without suffering for it.
Verse 4. - The temple of the Lord. Notice the iteration of the phrase, as if its very sound were a charm against evil. It reminds us of the performances of the howling dervishes at Cairo, who "sometimes remain for hours, incessantly shouting the Muslim confession of faith (la ilaha, etc.)" (Dr. Ebers, in Badeker's 'Egypt,' p. 150). The phrase is repeated three times to express earnestness of the speakers (comp. Jeremiah 22:29, "O earth, earth, earth"). These false prophets evidently retained a large amount of the old materialistic faith of the Semitic nations (to whom the Israelites belonged by race), which localized the presence and the power of the divinity. The temple was, in fact, their palladium, and as long as it stood, the national independence appeared to them to be secured. They faithfully handed on the teaching of those prophets of the last generation, who, as Micah tells us (Micah 3:11), were wont to "lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us." How Isaiah met this error we may collect from Isaiah 28:16 (see my Commentary). Are these; i.e. these buildings (comp. 2 Chronicles 8:11, where for "the places" the Hebrew has "these").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Trust ye not in lying words,.... In the words of the lying prophets, as the Targum; and to the same purpose is the Arabic version,
"do not trust in lying words, for the false prophets do not profit you in anything;''
the things in which they trusted, and in which the false prophets taught them to place their confidence, were their coming up to the temple at certain times for religious exercises, and their attendance on temple service and worship, offering of sacrifices, and the like. The Septuagint version is, "trust not in yourselves, in lying words"; see Luke 18:9, in their external actions of devotion, in their ritual performances, taking them for righteousness; and adds, what is not in the Hebrew text, "for they altogether profit you not"; in the business of justification before God, and acceptance with him:
saying, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are these; that is, the people that hypocritically worshipped there, as the false prophets told them; and so the Syriac version, "ye are the temple of the Lord"; though that begins the next verse, with the last clause of this,
if ye amend your ways, &c. see 1 Corinthians 3:16 or rather the temple of the Lord are those gates through which they entered, Jeremiah 7:2 or those buildings which were pointed at with the finger; or "these", is a clause by itself; and the sense is, these are the lying words that should not be trusted in, namely, the temple and temple services; when all manner of sin and wickedness were committed by them, which they thought to atone for by coming to the temple and worshipping there. The mention of these words three times is, as Jarchi thinks, in reference to the Jews appearing in the temple three times a year, at the feast of passover, pentecost, and tabernacles; and so the Targum,
"who say (i.e. the false prophets), before the temple of the Lord ye worship; before the temple of the Lord ye sacrifice; before the temple of the Lord ye bow; three times in a year ye appear before him.''
Kimchi's father, R. Joseph, is of opinion, that it refers to the three parts of the temple, the porch, the holy place, and the holy of holies; but Kimchi himself takes it that these words are trebled for the greater confirmation of them; and they may denote the vehemence and ardour of affection for the temple.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. The Jews falsely thought that because their temple had been chosen by Jehovah as His peculiar dwelling, it could never be destroyed. Men think that ceremonial observances will supersede the need of holiness (Isa 48:2; Mic 3:11). The triple repetition of "the temple of Jehovah" expresses the intense confidence of the Jews (see Jer 22:29; Isa 6:3).
these—the temple buildings which the prophet points to with his finger (Jer 7:2).
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