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even trample on the rights of the poor and wretched, widows and orphans, which God has declared inviolable, or let them be trampled on. What other end could such a state have than sudden judgment? The last saying (v. 30) sums up thus: Events exciting horror and trembling will certainly happen in the land. Ver. 31 indicates not so much the contents as the main reason of this state. It arises from this, that a lying spirit speaks in the prophets, who ought to awaken and alarm the conscience; while the priests, forgetful of their sacred office as guardians of the law, willingly assist the false prophets who encourage to resistance against God; and fiually, the people, instead of lamenting such perverseness, take pleasure therein, because under such guides they are free from the strict rule of the holy God, and can give free scope to their impure passions.
c. Ch. vi. 1-30. The alarm becomes still more intense. Even Jerusalem cannot be retained. Hence (differently in iv. 6) they are to flee from this city also towards the south, the enemy coming from the north. Thither the crowds of fugitives are to be directed by signals of smoke and fire. Already the hostile hosts press forward with unwearied speed, and carry on the work of investment with alarming energy in order to destroy guilty Jerusalem, which the prophet with a last urgent entreaty exhorts to repentance, vi. 8. In vi. 9 ff. follows the condemnation in the form of alternate addresses of God and the prophet. The latter is called upon to complete the judgment passed upon the vine Israel by a gleaning. This gleaning must, of course, fall on the remnant of Judah, which, however, does not exclude the promises, iv. 27, v. 18. The prophet rightly understands this charge to mean, that he is to punish Judah by a prophetic message of judgment carrying in itself God's action, but complains (vi . 10) that his people has no ear for God's message, preaching is therefore useless, and that he himself can no longer conceal such woes in his bosom (ver. 11a). The Lord, therefore, bids him pour out the whole matter of the judgment—exile, impoverishment, privation, etc.—upon the multitude without distinction. Since no one is terrified by the warning cry, or will withdraw from fellowship with sinners, no one shall be excepted from fellowship with judgment. From child to old man all fall a prey to it, because all share in the guilt. Here also, vi. 13 (as in v. 27 f.), unbridled covetousness is made especial matter of complaint, and the accusation culminates as in v. 31, being directed against the priests and prophets, who also are given up to such base greed, and therefore preach lucrative falsehood instead of truth and self-denial. Entangled in such self-seeking, they dare not, of course, expose the evils of the community entrusted to them, but are forced to whitewash them and apply superficial remedies. They cry, Peace, when there is no peace! This Hebrew word shalom, of course, is not quite equivalent to our word "peace;" it is more comprehensive, describing properly a state of undisturbed prosperity, and including, therefore, comfort and competence just as much as calm security. In prophetic language it applies chiefly to unbroken harmony between God and man, then to the effects of this harmonious relation: peace and safety in outward life. The false prophets, in saying, Peace, Peace, heal the deep breach, consisting in backsliding from God, superficially; they hush it up. They first of all deny the actual severance between God and His people, the divine wrath that is called forth by the people's enmity to God; and next, they consistently question the threatened ruin and confirm the people in their security. In both respects they are the antipodes of the prophet Jeremiah, whose mission it is to proclaim the schism between God and the nation, and the judgment coming on the nation in consequence. That the nation does not discern its evil condition, is bad enough. Neither by examples of blessing and judgment in the present and past (vi. 16), nor by the trumpet-voices of the prophets (vi. 17), could it be brought to discernment. It must therefore reap the fruit of its frivolous spirit; the Lord will make it an example to the whole world, and will not be restrained from this course by hypocritical sacrifices. Cf. with vi. 20 the following discourse, vii. 21 ff. At the end the northern conquerors appear once more, vi. 22 ff.; cf. on v. 15 ff., and Introd. p. 16. At the conclusion of this longer discourse or group of discourses from Josiah's days the prophet is taught in a figure the design and issue of his work, vi. 27-30. The fire of his message would sift the hearers and separate a penitent portion from the corrupt mass, if such an one existed. But although he spared no effort, all his expenditure of strength failed to discover such a hopeful remnant. Therefore the divine sentence takes the form of universal rejection.
The Temple Discourse, Chs. Vii.-ix.
VII. 1. The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahveh, saying: 2. Take thy stand in the gate of Yahveh's house and proclaim there this word, and say: Hear ye the word of Yahveh, all Judah, who enter at these gates to fall down before Yahveh. 3. Thus says Yahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your works, then will I cause you to dwell in this place. 4. Trust not in deceitful words, when it is said: "The temple of Yahveh, the temple of Yahveh, the temple of Yahveh is this!" 5. On the contrary, if you are diligent in good ways and works, if you really do right between every one and his neighbour; 6. and oppress not the stranger, the orphan and the widow, and shed not
Ver. 2. The prophet is to take his stand in the gate of the temple, i.e. of the temple forecourt . According to xxxvi. 10 (cf. xxvi. 10), one thinks of the "new" gate leading into the inner or upper forecourt . But the words "they who enter by this gate" do not fit this view, for the people could not enter that forecourt. It is better, therefore, to suppose that the prophet was to address the crowds on their entrance into the outer court. He did so on the Sabbath, or, still more probably, on a feast, when "the whole of Judah" streamed together there. Ver. 3. Ways and works combined, as in ver. 5, xviii. 11, xxvi. 13, xxxii . 19. This place, where they dwell, is JerusalemJudah, of course with the temple for a centre. Cf. ver. 7, xiv. 13 (15), xxiv. 5 (6), xxxiii . 10. Ver. 4. "The temple of Yahveh," those treacherous voices constantly cry, in order to quiet all inner doubts. nan, these spaces, 2 Chron. viii . 11. Therefore no evil can befall the place, must be supplied. Ver. 5. Cf. v. 28. Ver. 6. The stranger, widow and orphan, are specially protected by the law and recommended to kindly treatment, Ex. xxii . 20 ff., Deut . x. 18 i, xxvii. 19, which innocent blood in this place, and walk after no other gods to your hurt; 7. then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land which I gave your fathers, from of old and for ever.
8. Behold, you trust in deceitful words which shall not profit. 9. What? Do you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and offer incense to Baal, and walk after foreign gods, whom ye know not—10, and then come and appear before me in this house, over which my name has been proclaimed, and say: "We are delivered"—that you may commit all those abominations? 11. Has then this house, over which my name was proclaimed, become a robbers' den in your eyes? I also, behold I have looked into this, is Yahveh's oracle. 12. For go now to my place, which is at Shiloh, where I caused my name to dwell formerly, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people
commands were often enjoined by the prophets, e.g. Tsa. i. 17, 23, x. 2; Ezek. xxii. 7. On the shedding of innocent blood, cf. Deut. xxvii. 25 and Jer. ii. 34. ta, perhaps in place in the similar passage xxii. 3, seems strange here instead of t6, but is to be explained by the vivacity with which a speaker can interrupt his long sentences. Ver. 9. The infin. absolutes describe with indignation the evil practices which visiting the temple is meant to atone for, ver. 10. The enumeration recalls the Decalogue, although varying with a prophet's freedom from the order there (see Dillmann, Exod. p. 206). In the same way the violations of the first table are put afterwards. On iBp, see on i. 16. Ver. 10. by tXf top, originally not merely "to name after some one," but to proclaim a name over something —a formal proclaiming of the owner, 2 Sam. xii. 28. ubvj, we are plucked away, namely, from well-merited judgment, are hidden. Ver. 116. Thus have I also—behold, I have seen into, namely, into the base abuse with which you have treated my house. God's insight prepares the way for His action, Ex. iii. 7. Ver. 12 is a weighty testimony to the fact, that according even to the prophet's view the sanctuary at Shiloh was the equal and forerunner of the temple of Jerusalem. The name of the Lord dwells ever but at one place in Israel; but this place may vary. Deuteronomic regulations like xii. 11, xiv. 23, therefore, do not apply exclusively to Jerusalem. There was a central sanctuary previously at Shiloh, where the Mosaic tabernacle was set up, which as matter of course was changed