Jeremiah 7:5
For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor;
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(5) A man and his neighbour.—The Jewish idiom for the English “one man and another.”

Jeremiah 7:5-7. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways, &c. — In these verses the prophet tells them particularly what the amendment was which was necessary that they might escape destruction. It must be a thorough amendment, a universal, continued, persevering reformation; not partial, but entire; not hypocritical, but sincere; not wavering, but constant. They must make the tree good, and so make the fruit good; must amend their hearts and thoughts, and so amend their ways and doings. In particular, 1st, They must be honest and just in all their dealings. They who had power in their hands must thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour, without partiality. They must not, either in judgment, or in matters of contract, oppress the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow — Nor countenance or protect those that did oppress them, nor refuse to do them right when they sought for it. They must not shed innocent blood — And with it defile the temple, the city, and the land wherein they dwelt. 2d, They must keep close to the worship of the true God only, neither walking after other gods, nor hearkening to those that would draw them into communion with idolaters. Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, &c. — Upon this condition I will establish and fix you in this land for ever and ever — That is, from age to age, and you shall possess it, as your fathers did before you, from the days of Joshua until now.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.A summary of the conditions indispensable on man's part, before he can plead the terms of the covenant in his favor.5. For—"But" [Maurer].

judgment—justice (Jer 22:3).

He tells them, it is not their vain confidence in their privileges, and boasting of the temple, but only their serious and thorough repentance in turning to God, both in point of piety and equity, that can secure them.

Between a man and his neighbour, i.e. impartially among one another, between man and man, without favour or hatred. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings,.... Or, "if ye make your ways good, and do your works well", which is what is exhorted to Jeremiah 7:3, and respects the duties of the moral law; which are more acceptable to God than legal sacrifices, when done from right principles, and with right views, from love, in faith, and to the glory of God; which is doing good works well; the particulars of which follow:

if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; without respect to persons, without favour and affection, without bribery and corruption; passing a righteous sentence, and making an equitable decision of the case between them, according to the law of God, and the rules of justice and equity: this respects judges and civil magistrates.

For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
Verse 5. - If ye thoroughly amend, etc.; a development of the ides of ver. 3. The true palladium of Judah would be the faithful performance of Jehovah's moral laws, especially those referring to the conduct of the rulers. Observe the stress which all the prophets lay on the virtues of civil life. The trial of the people has brought about no purification, no separation of the wicked ones. The trial is viewed under the figure of a long-continued but resultless process of smelting. נחר, Niph. from חרר, to be burnt, scorched, as in Ezekiel 15:4. מאשׁתּם is to be broken up, as in the Keri, into two words: מאשׁ and תּם (from תמם). For there does not occur any feminine form אשּׁה from אשׁ, nor any plural אשּׁת (even אשּׁה forms the plur. אשּׁים), so as to admit of our reading מאשּׁתם or מאשּׁתם. Nor would the plur., if there were one, be suitable; Ew.'s assertion that אשּׁות means flames of fire is devoid of all proof. We connect מאשׁ with what precedes: Burnt are the bellows with fire, at an end is the lead. Others attach "by the fire" to what follows: By the fire is the lead consumed. The thought is in either case the same, only תּם is not the proper word for: to be consumed. Sense: the smelting has been carried on so perseveringly, that the bellows have been scorched by the heat of the fire, and the lead added in order to get the ore into fusion is used up; but they have gone on smelting quite in vain. צרף with indefinite subject, and the infin. absol. added to indicate the long duration of the experiment. In the last clause of the verse the result is mentioned in words without a figure: The wicked have not been separated out (prop., torn asunder from the mass).
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