Jeremiah 7:16
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.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(16) Pray not thou.—The words imply that a prayer of intercession, like that which Moses had offered of old (Exodus 32:10), was rising up in the heart of the prophet. He is told that he must check it. Judgment must have its way. The discipline must be left to do its work. A like impulse met by a like repression is found in Jeremiah 11:14; Jeremiah 14:11. It is obvious that the utterance of the conflict between his human affections and the Divine will made the sentence which he pronounced more terrible than ever.

Jeremiah 7:16. Therefore pray not thou for this people — God had been wont to suffer himself to be prevailed with to spare his people by the mediation of his servants, as of Moses, Exodus 32:11; Exodus 32:14; Numbers 14:19-20; but now he will admit of no intercession. See also chap. Jeremiah 15:1; Ezekiel 14:20. Nothing but a universal reformation, which God foresaw would not take place, could preserve the Jews from that captivity and desolation which he had threatened to bring upon them. This decree of God to destroy them, unless they repented and were reformed, being irrevocable, the prophet is forbid to interpose by his prayers for the reversing of it. But still he might beseech God not to proceed to an utter destruction of his people, but, in remembrance of his covenant with Abraham and his seed, might spare a remnant, and accordingly we find he did pray to that effect, Jeremiah 14:7-9.

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.They had reached that stage in which men sin without any sense of guilt (see 1 John 5:16).

Neither make intercession to me - In Jeremiah 14:7-9 we have an intercessory prayer offered by Jeremiah, but not heard. The intercession of Moses prevailed with God Numbers 11:2; Numbers 14:13-20; Numbers 16:22, because the progress of the people then wins upward; the progress now was from bad to worse, and therefore in Jeremiah 15:1 we read that the intercession even of Moses and Samuel (see 1 Samuel 12:23) would profit nothing.

16. When people are given up to judicial hardness of heart, intercessory prayer for them is unavailing (Jer 11:14; 14:11; 15:1; Ex 32:10; 1Jo 5:16). God forbids his prophets to pray for them in any kind by any cry or intercession; or, running upon me, which shows that God is resolved to root them out, seeing he will admit of no intercession; according as he charged Moses, Exodus 32:10, and the like Jeremiah 11:14. For God had been wont to suffer himself to be prevailed with by the mediation of his servants, as of Moses, Exodus 32:11,14 Num 14:19,20; but now he would admit of no intercession. See Ezekiel 14:14,20, and Jeremiah 15:1, and the next words. This charge seems to be laid upon the prophet, partly to take off the envy of the people from him, when they knew he was commanded to do no otherwise; partly to embolden him in this unpleasing work, laying aside all compassion. But certainly the prophet did pray that God would mind his covenant in saving a remnant, though not that God would revoke his decree, and to save the body of them.

Therefore pray not thou for this people,.... These are the words of the Lord to the Prophet Jeremiah, forbidding him to pray for the people of the Jews; which he either was doing, or about to do, and which, from the great affection he had for them, he was inclined unto; wherefore, to show how much the Lord was displeased with them, and how determined he was to punish them with captivity, he orders the prophet not to make any supplication for them:

neither lift up cry nor prayer for them; referring to the gestures of lifting up the eyes and hands in prayer, and also to the frame of the heart, in the exercise of faith and holy confidence: "cry" and "prayer" are put together, because prayer is sometimes made, especially when persons are in great distress, with strong cryings and tears; see Hebrews 5:7,

neither make intercession to me; or, "meet me" (o); or come between him and this people, and so act the part of a mediator, of which office intercession is a branch; it properly belongs to Christ. The Jews say (p) there is no "meeting", but prayer, or that is always intended by it; for proof of which they cite this passage:

for I will not hear thee; on the behalf of them, being so highly provoked by them, and determined they should go into captivity; see Jeremiah 15:1.

(o) "et ne oecurras mihi", Calvin; "et ne obsistas mihi", V. L. "et ne intervenias apud me", Tigurine version. (p) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 26. 2. Taanith, fol. 7. 2. & 8. 1. Sota, fol. 14. 1. & Sanhedrin, fol. 95. 2.

Therefore {h} 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.

(h) To assure them that God had determined with himself to punish their wickedness, he shows the prayer of the godly cannot help them, while they remain in their obstinacy against God, and will not use the means that he uses to call them to repentance, Jer 11:14,14:11.

16. pray not thou] So in ch. Jeremiah 14:7 f. when Jeremiah does intercede, the prayer is refused (Jeremiah 7:11), and in ch. Jeremiah 15:1 even the intercession of Moses and Samuel it is declared would be of no avail, although the former had more than once interceded with success (Numbers 11:2; Numbers 14:22; Numbers 16:22 ff.).

16–20. See introd. note on the section and cp. Jeremiah 15:1. It is hardly probable that this formed part of Jeremiah’s address, seeing that it gives us in fact Jehovah’s words to His prophet abruptly inserted, without any introductory formula. According to some commentators, e.g. Co., the kind of idolatry here spoken of was not practised as late as Jehoiakim’s reign. It is mentioned, however, in Jeremiah 19:13, which may belong to that date. It is true that in ch. 44 the people ascribe their misfortunes to the neglect of it, but it is a question whether the women who there speak are not contrasting their present with their own past practice and not with that of a previous generation. Jeremiah’s tone of hopelessness also points in the direction of the later period, rather than in that of Josiah’s reforms.

Verses 16-20. - The hypocrisy of the worship of Jehovah proved; its punishment. Verse 16. - Pray not thou for this people. Abraham prayed for Sodom (Genesis 18:23-32); Moses and Samuel for Israel (Exodus 32:11-14; Exodus 17:11; Numbers 14:13-20; Psalm 106:23; 1 Samuel 7:9, 10; 1 Samuel 12:17, 18, 23); and Jeremiah would fain perform the same pious duty to his people. We have a specimen of his intercession in Jeremiah 14:19-22 (comp. Jeremiah 18:20), followed immediately by a rejection of his prayer, parallel in thought to the present passage. Verbal parallels are Jeremiah 11:14; Jeremiah 14:11. Cry; i.e. cry for help (see on Jeremiah 14:12); parallel with "prayer," as Jeremiah 11:14; Psalm 17:1 61:1. Jeremiah 7:16This punishment will be turned aside, neither by intercession, because the people re2fuses to give up its idolatry, nor by sacrifice, which God desires not, because for long they have turned to Him the back and not the face, and have not hearkened to His words. - Jeremiah 7:16. "But thou, pray not for this people, and lift not up for them cry and prayer; and urge me not, for I do not hear thee. Jeremiah 7:17. Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem? Jeremiah 7:18. The sons gather sticks, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the Queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto other gods, to provoke me. Jeremiah 7:19. Provoke they me, saith Jahveh, not themselves, to the shaming of their face? Jeremiah 7:20. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jahveh, Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out on this place, upon man, upon beast, upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and shall burn, and not be quenched. Jeremiah 7:21. Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Your burnt-offerings add to your slain-offerings, and eat flesh. Jeremiah 7:22. For I spake not with your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning the matters of burnt-offering or slain-offering. Jeremiah 7:23. But this word commanded I them, saying, Hearken to my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and walk in the way which I command you, that it may be well with you. Jeremiah 7:24. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, and walked in the counsels, in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and turned to me the back, and not the face. Jeremiah 7:25. Since the day that your fathers went forth of the land of Egypt until this day, I sent to you all my servants the prophets, daily from early morn sending them; Jeremiah 7:26. But they hearkened not to me, nor inclined their ear, and were stiffnecked, and did worse than their fathers. Jeremiah 7:27. And though thou speakest all these words unto them, yet will they not hearken unto thee; and though thou callest unto them, yet will they not answer thee. Jeremiah 7:28. Thus speak to them: This is the people that hearken not unto the voice of Jahveh its God, and that receive not correction. Perished is faithfulness, cut off from their mouth."

The purport of Jeremiah 7:16, that God will not suffer Himself to be moved by any entreaties to revoke the doom pronounced on the wicked people, is expressed by way of a command from God to the prophet not to pray for the people. That Jeremiah did sometimes pray thus, however, we see from Jeremiah 14:19. (cf. Jeremiah 18:20), when to his prayer the same answer is given as we have here, and all intercession for the corrupt race is characterized as in vain. The second clause: lift not up for them crying, i.e., supplicatory prayer, expresses the same, only more strongly; while the third clause: urge me not, cuts off all hope of success from even the most importunate intercession. The reason for this command to desist is shown in Jeremiah 7:17, by a reference to the idolatry which was openly practised throughout the land by young and old, men and women. Each takes part according to strength and capacity: the sons gather wood together, the fathers set the fire in order, etc. The deity so zealously worshipped by the people is called the Queen of heaven, and is mentioned only by Jeremiah. Besides here, there is reference to her in Jeremiah 44:17, where we see that her worship was very diligently cultivated, and that she was adored as the bestower of earthly possessions. (מלכת is stat. constr., either from the Chald. form מלך, or from מליכה, after the analogy of גּברת, st. constr. of גּבירה; but perhaps it has מלכת in stat. abs.) This worship was combined with that of the stars, the host of heaven, which especially prevailed under Manasseh (2 Kings 21:5). Thence it may be presumed that the Queen of heaven was one of the deities who came to Western Asia with the Assyrians, and that she corresponds to the Assyrian-Persian Tanais and Artemis, who in the course of time took the place once occupied by the closely related Phoenician Astarte. She is originally a deification of the moon, the Assyrian Selene and Virgo caelestis, who, as supreme female deity, was companion to Baal-Moloch as sun-god; cf. Movers, Phnizier, i. S. 623ff. With this accords the statement of Steph. Byz., that σελήνη is also πήπανον τι τῷ ἄστρω παραπλήσιον. The offerings which, acc. to this verse and Jeremiah 44:19, were brought to her, are called כּוּנים, a word which would appear to have come to the Hebrews along with the foreign cultus. By the lxx it was Grecized into χαυῶνας, for which we find in glossators and codd. καυῶνας and χαβῶνας. They were, acc. to the Etymol. magn. and Suidas, ἄρτοι ἐλαίῳ ἀναφυραθέντες or λάχανα ὄπτα (? cooked vegetables); acc. to Jerome, χαυῶνας, quas nos placentas interpretati sumus. In any case, they were some kind of sacrificial cakes, which Vitr. put alongside of the πόπανα of Aristophanes and Lucian; cf. the various interpretations in Schleussner, Lexic. in lxx s.v. χαυών. These cakes were kindled on the altar (cf. מקטּרים, Jeremiah 44:19) as a kind of Minchah (meat-offering), and with this Minchah a libation or drink-offering (נסכים) was combined. הסּך corresponds to לעשׂות, so that ל has to be repeated; cf. Jeremiah 44:19, Jeremiah 44:25, where we find libations poured out to the Queen of heaven. In the 18th verse the expression is generalized into "other gods," with reference to the fact that the service of the Queen of heaven was but one kind of idolatry along with others, since other strange gods were worshipped by sacrifices and libations. To provoke me; cf. Deuteronomy 31:29; Deuteronomy 32:16, etc.

Jeremiah 7:16 Interlinear
Jeremiah 7:16 Parallel Texts

Jeremiah 7:16 NIV
Jeremiah 7:16 NLT
Jeremiah 7:16 ESV
Jeremiah 7:16 NASB
Jeremiah 7:16 KJV

Jeremiah 7:16 Bible Apps
Jeremiah 7:16 Parallel
Jeremiah 7:16 Biblia Paralela
Jeremiah 7:16 Chinese Bible
Jeremiah 7:16 French Bible
Jeremiah 7:16 German Bible

Bible Hub

Jeremiah 7:15
Top of Page
Top of Page