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them, and then who can save them ? who will have pity on them? Let us pray that we may be refined by the means of grace, as silver is refined ; and be purified as gold ; then shall we be vessels of honour, and our faithful ministers will rejoice in the day of Christ, that they have not run in vain, nor laboured in vain.
Here begins another section of the prophecy, ending at the tenth chane
ter : it opens with exhortations to amendment of life, without which their confidence in the temple is declared to be in vain,
THE word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 1 Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, (probably at some
grand festival and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear
the word of the Lord, all [ye of] Judah, that enter in at these 3 gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will
cause you to dwell in this place, or else I will give it to strangers 4 and idolaters. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The tem
ple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the 5 LORD, (are] these. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and
your doings ; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a 6 man and his neighbour ; [If] ye oppress not the stranger, the
fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this 7 place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt : Then will I
cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
Behold, ye trust in lying words that cannot profit, that is, in 9 false prophets. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery,
and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after 10 other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before
me in this house, which is called by my name, and prelend 10 worship me, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations ? will ye abuse my mercy and the deliverances granted you,
as if I designed them as an encouragement to you to go on in your 11 sins? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den
of robbers in your eyes ? Behold, even I have seen [it,] saith the 12 LORD, though you think I did not. But go ye now unto my place
which (was) in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, the place where the ark was settled at your first entrance into Canaan, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel ;
probably the city was destroyed, as we never read of it afterwards. 13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord,
and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye 14 heard not ; and I called you, but ye answered not ; Therefore
will I do unto [this] house which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your 15 fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of
my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, (even) the whole 16 seed of Ephraim. Therefore pray not thou for this people,
neither lift up cry por prayer for them ; neither make inter
cession to me : for I will not hear thee.* 17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the 18 streets of Jerusalem ? The children gather wood, and the fa
thers kindle the fire, and the women knead (their) dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, ihe new moon, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me
to anger ; all hands are employed as if they had their meat and 19 drink from them. Do they provoke me to anger ? saith the LORD;
can they hurt me by their wickedness ? (do they] not (provoke) 20 themselves to the confusion of their own faces ? Therefore thus
saith the Lord God; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man and upon beast, and upon
the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground ; and it 21 shall burn, and shall not be quenched. Thus saith the LORD of
hosts, the God of Israel ; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh ; though the burnt offerings should be entirely consumed, and only the fat of the peace offering, you may either burn them all, or eat them all, it is the same thing to me while you go on thus to do wickedly ; or rather, Ye have added your
burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat flesh, which I said nothing 22 of to your fathers. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor com
manded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of 23 Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices :f But this thing
commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your • God, and ye shall be my people : and walk ye in all the ways 24 that I have commanded you that it may be well unto you. But
they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the
counsels [and] in the imagination of their evil heart, and went 25 backward like headstrong oxen, and not forward. Since the day
that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this
day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, 26 daily rising up early, and sending [them :] Yet they hearkened
not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck :
they did worse than their fathers ; set up idols in the temple and 27 took no warning. Therefore thou shalt speak all these words
unto them ; but they will not hearken to thee ; thou shalt also 28 call upon them ; but they will not answer thee. But thou shalt
say unto them, This [is] a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction : truth loward • God and man is perished, and is cut off from their mouth ; there is no depending on any thing they say.
• God foresaw that there would not be a universal reformation, which was the only thing that could prevent their captivity ; therefore he commands the prophet not to pray for them.
+ As God really commanded these when they came out of Egypt, the meaning must be, that he had a greater regard to obedience than to burnt offerings, and to mere v than sacri. fices. Or, that ceremonial obsel vances were no further acceptable, than as they were the cenuine fruits of obedience.
29 Cut off thine hair, (O Jerusalem,) and cast [it] away, in token
of sorrow, and take up a lamentation on high places, a solemn public lamentation ; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the
generation of his wrath, that used to be the generation of his love, 30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the
LORD : they have set their abominations in the house which is
called by my name to pollute it ; which was actually done in Ma31 nassch's time. And they have built the high places of Tophet,
which [is] in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, wicked rites which they have learned of the Canaanites,* which I commanded [them] not,
neither came it into my heart. 32 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it
shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter : for they shall bury those
that shall be slain by the Chaldeans in Tophet, till there be no 33 place. And the carcasses of this people shall be meat for the
fowls of the heaven, and for the beasis of the earth ; and none 34 shall fray (them) away. Then will I cause to cease from the
cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride : for the land shall be desolate ; there shall be no encouragement to marry when they have nothing but desolation and ruin before their eyes.
E learn hence, that there are many who are very
V zealous for the forms of godliness, yet have nothing of the power of it. This wicked people made a great ado about the temple of the Lord. It was the cry of the times ; as many in the christian world have said, The church, the church ; while by their sins they have been pulling it down ; zealous for forms and rites, while the church has been made a den of robbers, and their hearts have been full of all wickedness. God sees this hypocrisy, and cannot be deceived by it. Let us take heed that we do not deceive ourselves.
2. Observe the gracious regard which God has to the prayer of his servants. When he was determined to root out this wicked people, he commands his prophet not to pray for them. He knew his affection and zeal for the people, and that he would pray, while there was any hope. But God esteemed the praying breath of his servant too precious to be spent in vain. This is an encouragement to pray for our country, while we have reason to hope for success ; and it contains an awful admonition, that they who will not be reformed by the preaching of ministers, shall not be the better for their prayers.
• Toplet was that particular spot in the valley of Hinoom, where fires were made, inte which the poor innocent victims were thrown; and is supposed to have derived its name from the drums and tabrets that were beaten in order to drown the cries of th children when they sacrificed then to Moloch. VoL, V.
3. We here see the wisdom and necessity of obedience. The same is commanded under every dispensation, as in v, 23. Walk in all the ways I have comnanded you ; and our encouragement is the same, I will be your God, and it shall be well with you. We must walk in all his commands, both moral and positive, if we would enjoy the privileges and happiness of his people. Oh that there was such a heart in us, to fear God and keep his commandmenis, that it might be well with us for ever.
The prophet here upbraids the people with their folly and obstinacy, and
bewails the dreadful miseries that were coming upon them.
1 A T that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones
I of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves ; the Chaldeans shall break open their sepulchres, in hope of finding
treasures, but in the rage of disappointment they shall throw about 2 their boncs : And they shall spread them before the sun, and
the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped, but who can do nothing for them:* they shall not be gathered, nor be buried ; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. 3 And so great shall be their misery, that death shall be chosen
rather than life, by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driv
en them, saith the LORD of hosts. 4 Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD ;
Shall they fall, and not arise ? shall he turn away, and not return ? they act different from the maxims of common prudence ; if
a man fall, will he not rise, and be glad of help? if a traveller misses 5 his way, will he not ingure, and be glad to be set right ? Why
(then) is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual 6 backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I s providence, nor think of returning to me. Ilow do ye say, We
hearkened and heard, [but] they spake not aright : no map repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? God is represented as waiting and expecting that they would say so,
but every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the 7 battle, without considering or fearing his danger. Yea, the stork
in the heaven knoweth her appointed times ; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming ; they return in the summer lo their former aboder ; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD ; they do not observe my
These various expressions are useil, to show how fond they were of this worship, and what rexard they paid to those gods, who now cannot protect their bones.
[are) wise, and the law of the LORD (is) with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he [it ;] the pen of the scribes [is] in vain ; you boast of your wisdom, because p088essed of my law; but, wi!h re
gard to you, that law was marle, transcribed, and orpounded in 9 vain ; you might as well have been without it. The wise (men)
are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, tiey have rejected the word of the LORD ; and what wisdom (is) in them? the politicians that boast of their wisdom show egregious folly, and
suffer the consequences of their own schemes and devices, because 10 they will not be ruled by my word. Therefore will I give their
wives unto others, [and] their fields to them that shall inherit [them :) for every one, from the least even unto the greatest is
given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest Il every one dealeth falsely. For they have healed the hurt
of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; 12 when [there is) no peace. Were they ashamed when they had
committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush : therefore shall they fall among them
that fall : in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, 13 saith the Lord. I will surely consume them saith the LORD :
(there shall be] no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree,
and the leaf shall fade ; and (the things that] I have given them 14 shall pass away from them. Why do we sit still ? say the peo
ple to one another ; assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there : for the Lord our God hath put us to silence, halh given us no reason to complain, and yet no encouragement 10 pray, and given us water of gall, or
hemlock, to drink, that is, severe and painful judgments, because 15 we have sinned against the Lord. We looked for peace, as the
false prophets had said, but no good [came ; aud) for a time of 16 health, and behold trouble! The snorting of his horses was
heard irom Dan, from the north : the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones, or horses : for
they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it ; 17 the city, and those that dwell therein. For, behold, I will send
serpents, cockatrices, among you, which (will] not [be] charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord ; though musical sounds may have such an influence on particular sergents as 10
prevent their biling, your enemies shall not be mullified or disarmed 18 by any means. The prophet adds in his own name, [When] I
would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart [is] faint in 19 me; I see much more reason to fear than 10 home. Behold the
voice of the cry of ihe daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country : (Is) not the Lord in Zion? [is] not her king in her ? their vain pilea : 10 which God ansver 8,
Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven im20 ages, (and) with strange vanities? The people then sau, The
harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved ; the tinie in which we expecte'l deliverance is over, we have no help