Jeremiah 7:17
See you not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
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(17) Seest thou not . . .?—We enter on one of the darker regions of Jewish idolatry, such as Ezekiel (Jeremiah 8) saw in vision. A foreign worship of the basest kind was practised, not only in secret, but in the open places.

Jeremiah 7:17-19. Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah — Thou canst not pass along the streets, but thou must needs be an eye witness of their abominations, committed openly and publicly in the face of the sun, without either shame or fear; and in the streets of Jerusalem — In both city and country. This intimates both that their sins were evident and could not be denied, and that the sinners were impudent and would not be reclaimed: they committed their wickedness even in the prophet’s presence and under his eye; he saw what they did, and yet they did it; which was an affront to his office, and to God, whose minister he was, and bid defiance to both. The children gather wood — Here God shows how busily they were employed, from the youngest to the oldest, for their idolatry. Every one in the family did something toward it. To make cakes to the queen of heaven — That is, the moon, either in an image, or in the original, or both. They worshipped her probably under the name of Astarte, or Ashtaroth, being in love, it seems, with the brightness with which they saw the moon walk, and thinking themselves indebted to her for her benign influences, or fearing her malignant ones, Job 32:26. The worship of the moon was much in use among the heathen nations, and, as appears from Jeremiah 44:17-19, many of the Jews were so attached to it, that they could not be reclaimed from it: no, not when destruction had come upon their country for that and other species of idolatry. We may observe, that the word מלכת, here rendered queen, may signify regency, as Blaney translates it, and therefore may include the whole host of heaven: but queen is the more common and proper signification of the word, and most probably here means the moon only: they, however, worshipped the sun and stars also. That they may provoke me to anger — Which is the direct tendency of their sin, though they may not propose to themselves such an end in the committing it. Do they provoke me to anger? — Do they think to grieve me, and trouble my infinite and eternal mind, as if they could hurt me by their wickedness? They are deceived: I am without passion, and can be without their offerings. Do they not provoke themselves, &c. — Will they not themselves feel the hurt, and reap the fruits of their conduct? Will not the arrow which they shoot against heaven recoil upon their own guilty heads? Will not their sins turn at last to their own utter confusion?7:17-20 The Jews took pride in showing zeal for their idols. Let us learn to be earnest in the service of our God, even from this bad example. Let us think it an honour to be employed in any work for God. Let us be as diligent ourselves, and as careful to teach our children the truths of God, as many are to teach the mysteries of iniquity. The direct tendency of this sin is malice against God, but it will hurt themselves. And they shall find there is no escaping. God's wrath is fire unquenchable.The proof of the hopeless immorality of the people is this, that they worship pagan deities

(1) generally in the cities of Judah, and not in the capital only; and

(2) publicly in the streets of Jerusalem. Such public idolatry could have been practiced only in the reign of a king like Jehoiakim.

17. Jehovah leaves it to Jeremiah himself to decide, is there not good reason that prayers should not be heard in behalf of such rebels? q.d. How canst thou pass along the streets but thou must needs be an eye witness of their abominations, to thy no small trouble and sorrow? as Sodom was to Lot, 2 Peter 2:8; therefore how canst thou plead with me on their behalf? How canst thou either pray for them, or I pity them?

In the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; in city and country. See Jeremiah 2:28 11:13. Seest thou not what they do in the cities Judah,.... Not in one city only, but in all of and particularly the chief of them; as follows:

and in the streets of Jerusalem? these words, with what is said next, show the reason why the prophet was forbid to pray for this people, and the Lord was so provoked with them as to cast them out of his sight; and he appeals to the prophet, and to what he saw, or which he might see; for what was done was done not in secret, but openly, in the very streets of the city; by which he might be sufficiently convinced it was but just with God to do what he determined to do with them.

Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
Verse 17. - In the streets. A climax. Them is no sense of shame left. To expose the senselessness of such an idea, God asks if they take the temple for a den of robbers? "In your eyes" goes with היה : is it become in your eyes, i.e., do ye take it for such? If thieves, murderers, adulterers, etc., gathered to the temple, and supposed that by appearing there they procured the absolution of their sins, they were in very act declaring the temple to be a robbers' retreat. פּריץ, the violent, here: the house-breaker, robber. I, too, have seen, sc. that the temple is made by you a den of thieves, and will deal accordingly. This completion of the thought appears from the context.
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