Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,The Prophet’s Temple Address (7-9)
1. Amend your ways and your doings (Jeremiah 7:1-15)
2. No prayer-answer to be expected (Jeremiah 7:16-20)
3. Sacrifices rejected; Obedience demanded (Jeremiah 7:21-28)
4. Jerusalem’s rejection (Jeremiah 7:29-34)
Jeremiah 7:1-15. We call this next address of the prophet “the temple address,” because he was commanded to stand in the gate of the LORD’s house. There he stood, a solitary figure, and said: “Hear the Word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship Jehovah.” Their worship was but external. They trusted in the temple of the Lord, as if with the house itself some kind of a blessing was connected and the house would shield them from disaster. Micah gives the same delusion of the apostate people: “Yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, is not the LORD among us? no evil can come upon us” Micah 3:11. Such a false trust in ordinances and outward worship is only too evident in Christendom also. The masses of unsaved people with their religious observances think it is a protection and insures the Lord’s help and blessing. They trusted in lying words. They were thieves, murderers, adulterers, perjurers and idolators, and they thought if they go to the house of the LORD they would be delivered from these abominations. The Lord calls upon them to amend their ways and their doings, to work a better righteousness. They had made His house a den of robbers. This verse (Jeremiah 7:11) was quoted by our Lord in Matthew 21:13. He tells them of the fate of Shiloh when it was overthrown on account of the wickedness of Israel; such would be the fate of the temple Psalm 78:60. They would be cast out as the whole seed of Ephraim had been cast out.
Jeremiah 7:16-20. The Lord told the prophet that no prayer of intercession would be answered. “I will not hear thee.” What a word this is, coming from Him, who had told Israel to cry unto Him and He would answer. They had provoked Him by making cakes to the queen of heaven. They had fallen in with the worship of a female idol, so prevalent among the idolatrous nations which surrounded them, like the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the Egyptians and the Babylonians. The Babylonian Venus, Ishtar, was called by them the queen of heaven. The Assyrian called her Beltis, the female form of Baal; they placed in the sculpture a star over her head and called her “the mistress of the heavens.” The Phoenicians worshipped this “queen of heaven” under the name of Ashtoreth or Astarte. This wicked worship, with which all kinds of immoral ceremonies were connected, had been adopted by the Jews. The women made cakes to present to this goddess. Jewish tradition tells us that the image of the idol was stamped on each cake. This worship of “the queen of heaven” is perpetuated in the mystical Babylon, Rome, the great whore and mother of harlots Revelation 17:1-18. Mary is called by Romanists “the queen of heaven” and “mistress of the heavens.” It can be proven that Mariolatry is but the continuation of the Babylonish worship of the goddess they called “queen of heaven.” If the Lord was provoked to anger because the women of Israel brought cakes to this queen of heaven, how much more is He provoked to anger with the idolatries of papal Rome?
Jeremiah 7:21-28. He brands their sacrifices as worthless. He gave no command concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices in the day He brought them out of Egypt. Destructive critics have built upon this verse (22) a puerile argument to prove that the law of sacrifices was not given by Moses, but introduced many centuries later. When the Lord first led them out of Egypt, He gave them no laws as to sacrifices, but asked obedience. They harkened not; nor did they in Jeremiah’s day. It is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord, nor receiveth correction.
Jeremiah 7:29-34. The hair was cut off as a sign of mourning Job 1:20. Jerusalem is to lament in the high places. They have defiled His house. On the heights of Tophet, in the valley of the son of Hinnom, they had burned their children as a sacrifice to Molech 2Kings 23:10. The days were now to come when the same place should become the place of slaughter. The carcasses of the people should then be meat for the beasts of the earth; they should lie there unburied. Such was to be Jerusalem’s rejection and judgment.