Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The gate of the Lord’s house.—As a priest, Jeremiah would have access to all parts of the Temple. On some day when the courts were thronged with worshippers (Jeremiah 7:10), probably a fast-day specially appointed, he stands at the inner gate of one of the courts, possibly, as in Jeremiah 17:19, that by which the king entered in ceremonial state, and looking about on the multitudes that thronged it, speaks to them “the word of the Lord,” the message which he had been specially commissioned to deliver.Jeremiah 7:2. Stand in the gates of the Lord’s house — Namely, the east gate of the temple, which led directly to it, where he delivered this discourse, before all the people who entered there. And proclaim there this word — Proclaiming signifies both the authority by which he spake, and the divulging of what he spake plainly and boldly. And as it was in so public a place, namely, at the entrance of the court of the people, not of that of the priests, that he uttered this prophecy, so possibly it might be at one of the three feasts, when all the males from all parts of the country were to appear before the Lord in the courts of his house. In that case he would have many collected together to preach to, and that was the most seasonable time to admonish them not to trust in their privileges.Jeremiah 7-10 he addresses the people as they flocked into Jerusalem from the country, to attend the solemn services in the temple upon a fastday. Jehoiakim Jeremiah 26 had just ascended the throne, and was so incensed at this sermon that he would have put Jeremiah to death but for the influence of Ahikam. With the accession of Jehoiakim all hope of averting the ruin of the country had passed away. He represented the reverse of his father's policy, and belonged to that faction, who placed their sole hope of deliverance in a close alliance with Pharaoh-Necho. As this party rejected the distinctive principles of the theocracy, and the king was personally an irreligious man, the maintenance of the worship of Yahweh was no longer an object of the public care. At this time upon a public fast-day, appointed probably because of the calamities under which the nation was laboring, Jeremiah was commanded by Yahweh to stand at the gate of the temple, and address to the people as they entered words of solemn warning. The whole sermon divides itself into three parts;
In Jeremiah 7-10 he addresses the people as they flocked into Jerusalem from the country, to attend the solemn services in the temple upon a fastday. Jehoiakim Jeremiah 26 had just ascended the throne, and was so incensed at this sermon that he would have put Jeremiah to death but for the influence of Ahikam. With the accession of Jehoiakim all hope of averting the ruin of the country had passed away. He represented the reverse of his father's policy, and belonged to that faction, who placed their sole hope of deliverance in a close alliance with Pharaoh-Necho. As this party rejected the distinctive principles of the theocracy, and the king was personally an irreligious man, the maintenance of the worship of Yahweh was no longer an object of the public care. At this time upon a public fast-day, appointed probably because of the calamities under which the nation was laboring, Jeremiah was commanded by Yahweh to stand at the gate of the temple, and address to the people as they entered words of solemn warning. The whole sermon divides itself into three parts;
(1) It points out the folly of the superstitious confidence placed by the people in the temple, while they neglect the sole sure foundation of a nation's hope. A sanctuary long polluted by immorality must inevitably be destroyed Jeremiah 7:2-8:3.
(2) complaints follow of a more general character, in which the growing wickedness of the nation and especially of the leaders is pointed out Jeremiah 8:4-9:24.
(3) lastly the prophet shows the possibility of averting the evils impending upon the nation Jeremiah 9:25-10:25.
Jeremiah 10:1-2. The temple had several entrances 2 Chronicles 4:9; and the gate or door here mentioned is probably that of the inner court, where Baruch read Jeremiah's scroll Jeremiah 36:10. The prophet stood in the doorway, and addressed the people assembled in the outer court.
All ye of Judah - Better, literally all Judah (compare Jeremiah 26:2).Stand in the gate, viz. the east gate, which was chiefly frequented; this being the public place of going out and coming in, and where the people were then wont to assemble, Jeremiah 26:2,10; and he is said to stand, because he was to execute the office of a preacher, Jeremiah 26:2, not of a judge, where the posture would rather have been sitting.
The Lord’s house; the temple, Jeremiah 7:4,10.
Proclaim there: the place notes the vanity of their confidence, who, notwithstanding all their provocations, yet placed their safety much in the privileges of the temple, glorying much in that; and the manner. proclaiming, signifies both the authority by which he spake, and the divulging of what he spake plainly and boldly, which as it was in a public place, viz. the court of the people, not the court of the priests, (from which it is distinguished, 2 Chronicles 4:9) and therefore said at these gates, viz. the several gates that were in the wall of the court, of which there were six, three on the south side and three on the north; so, possibly, it might be at some public time of the people’s resorting thither from all quarters, Psalm 122:4,5, when all the males were to meet, Exodus 23:17; see John 7:37; and therefore said,
all ye of Judah. This word; the message that I send thee with.
The word of the Lord: see Jeremiah 2:4. Jeremiah 26:2,
and proclaim there this word, and say; with a loud voice, as follows:
hear ye the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah; the inhabitants of the several parts of Judea, which came to the temple to worship; very probably it was a feast day, as Calvin conjectures; either the passover, or pentecost, or feast of tabernacles, when all the males in Israel appeared in court:
that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord; there were seven gates belonging to the court, three on the north, three on the south, and one in the east, the chief of all, as Kimchi, Abarbinel, and Ben Melech observe; and this agrees with the account in the Misna (k). The names of them were these; on the south side were these three, the watergate, the gate of the firstlings; or the gate of offering, and the gate of kindling; on the north were these three, the gate Nitzotz, called also the gate of the song, the gate Korban, sometimes called the gate of women, and Beth Moked; and the gate in the east was the gate Nicanor, and this gate was the most frequented; and therefore Jeremiah was ordered to stand here, and deliver his message.Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. the gate] In Jeremiah 26:2 “the court” (perhaps the “new gate” of Jeremiah 36:10), probably between the inner and outer court, in the latter of which the crowd from city and country would assemble on a fast day or festival. The sympathy of numbers would naturally provoke the attack which followed (Jeremiah 26:7 ff.).Verse 2. - Stand in the gate; i.e. not an outer gate (for the outer court would be filled with the people whom Jeremiah was to address), but one of the three gates which led from the inner court to the outer. Probably it was the gate where Baruch recited the prophecies of Jeremiah at a later period, and which is designated "the new gate of the Lord's house," and said to have been situated in the "upper" i.e. inner court (Jeremiah 36:10; comp. Jeremiah 26:10). We may conjecture that either one of the three great festivals or some extraordinary fast had brought a large number of people together at the temple. Jeremiah 4:11; on "gird thee with sackcloth," cf. Jeremiah 4:8. To bestrew the head with ashes is a mode of expressing the greatest affliction; cf. Ezekiel 27:30; Micah 1:10. אבל as in Amos 8:10; Zechariah 12:10.
The closing verses of this discourse (Jeremiah 6:27-30) are regarded by Hitz. as a meditation upon the results of his labours. "He was to try the people, and he found it to be evil." But in this he neglects the connection of these verses with the preceding. From the conclusion of Jeremiah 6:30, "Jahveh hath rejected them," we may see that they stand connected in matter with the threatening of the spoiler; and the fact is put beyond a doubt when we compare together the greater subdivisions of the present discourse. The Jeremiah 6:27-30 correspond in substance with the view given in Jeremiah 5:30-31 of the moral character of the people. As that statement shows the reasons for the threatening that God must take vengeance on such a people (Jeremiah 5:29), so what is said in the verses before us explain why it is threatened that a people approaching from the north will execute judgment without mercy on the daughter of Zion. For these verses do not tell us only the results of the prophet's past labours, but they at the same time indicate that his further efforts will be without effect. The people is like copper and iron, unproductive of either gold or silver; and so the smelting process is in vain. The illustration and the thing illustrated are not strictly discriminated in the statement. בּחון is adject. verb. with active force: he that tries metal, that by smelting separates the slag from the gold and silver ore; cf. Zechariah 13:9; Job 23:10. מבצר creates a difficulty, and is very variously understood. The ancient comm. have interpreted it, according to Jeremiah 1:18, as either in a fortress, or as a fortress. So the Chald., changing בחון for בחור: electum dedi te in populo meo, in urbe munita forti. Jerome: datur propheta populo incredulo probator robustus, quod ebraice dicitur מבצר, quod vel munitum juxta Aquil., vel clausum atque circumdatum juxta Symm. et lxx sonat. The extant text of the lxx has ἐν λαοῖς δεδοκιμασμένοις. Following the usage of the language, we are justified only in taking מבצר as apposition to בּחון, or to the suffix in נתתּיך; in which case Luther's connection of it with עמּי, "among my people, which is so hard," will appear to be impossible. But again, it has been objected, not without reason, that the reference of "fortress" to Jeremiah is here opposed to the context, while in Jeremiah 1:18 it falls well in with it; consequently other interpretations have been attempted. Gaab, Maur., Hitz., have taken note of the fact that בּצר occurs in Job 36:19, like בּצר in the signification of gold; they take מבצר as a contraction for מן בצר, and expound: without gold, i.e., although then was there no gold, to try for which was thy task. To this view Graf has objected: the testing would be wholly purposeless, if it was already declared beforehand that there was no noble metal in the people. But this objection is not conclusive; for the testing could only have as its aim to exhibit the real character of the people, so as to bring home to the people's apprehension what was already well known to God. These are weightier considerations: 1. We cannot make sure of the meaning gold-ore for בּצר by means of Job 36:19, since the interpretation there is open to dispute; and בּצר, Job 22:24, does not properly mean gold, but unworked ore, though in its connection with the context we must understand virgin gold and silver ore in its natural condition. Here, accordingly, we would be entitled to translate only: without virgin ore, native metal. 2. The choice of a word so unusual is singular, and the connection of מבצר with עמּי htiw is still very harsh. Yet less satisfactory is the emendation defended by J. D. Mich., Dahl, Ew., and Graf, מבצּר: "for a trier have I made thee among my people, for a separater;" for בּצר has in Heb. only the meaning cut off and fortify, and the Pi. occurs in Isaiah 22:10 and Jeremiah 51:53 in the latter meaning, whereas the signif. separate, discriminate, can be maintained neither from Hebrew nor Arabic usage. The case being so, it seems to us that the interpretation acc. to Jeremiah 1:18 has most to be said for it: To be a trier have I set thee amid my people "as a strong tower;" and to this Ges., Dietr. in Lex. s.v., adhere.
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