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Jeremiah 7 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

II. Oracles Primarily from the Days of Jehoiakim

Chapter 7

The Temple Sermon.[a] The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Stand at the gate of the house of the Lord and proclaim this message there: Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord! Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Reform your ways and your deeds so that I may dwell with you in this place. Do not put your trust in these deceptive words: “The temple of the Lord! The temple of the Lord! The temple of the Lord!” Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with your neighbor; if you no longer oppress the alien,[b] the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place or follow after other gods to your own harm, only then will I let you continue to dwell in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors long ago and forever.

But look at you! You put your trust in deceptive words to your own loss! Do you think you can steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, sacrifice to Baal, follow other gods that you do not know, 10 and then come and stand in my presence in this house, which bears my name, and say: “We are safe! We can commit all these abominations again!”? 11 Has this house which bears my name become in your eyes a den of thieves? I have seen it for myself!—oracle of the Lord. 12 Go to my place at Shiloh,[c] where I made my name dwell in the beginning. See what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have committed all these deeds—oracle of the Lord—because you did not listen, though I spoke to you untiringly, and because you did not answer, though I called you, 14 I will do to this house, which bears my name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your ancestors, exactly what I did to Shiloh. 15 I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast away all your kindred, all the offspring of Ephraim.

Abuses in Worship. 16 You, now, must not intercede for this people! Do not raise a cry or prayer in their behalf! Do not press me, for I will not listen to you! 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, their fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the Queen of Heaven,[d] while libations are poured out to other gods—all to offend me! 19 Are they really offending me—oracle of the Lord—or rather themselves, to their own disgrace? 20 Therefore, thus says the Lord God: my anger and my wrath will pour out upon this place, upon human being and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruits of the earth; it will burn and not be quenched.

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Heap your burnt offerings upon your sacrifices; eat up the meat! 22 In speaking to your ancestors on the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I gave them no command[e] concerning burnt offering or sacrifice. 23 This rather is what I commanded them: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk exactly in the way I command you, so that you may prosper.

24 But they did not listen to me, nor did they pay attention. They walked in the stubbornness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me. 25 From the day that your ancestors left the land of Egypt even to this day, I kept on sending all my servants the prophets to you. 26 Yet they have not listened to me nor have they paid attention; they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their ancestors. 27 When you speak all these words to them, they will not listen to you either. When you call to them, they will not answer you. 28 Say to them: This is the nation which does not listen to the voice of the Lord, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.

29 Cut off your hair[f] and throw it away!
    on the heights raise a lament;
The Lord has indeed rejected and cast off
    the generation that draws down his wrath.

30 The people of Judah have done what is evil in my eyes—oracle of the Lord. They have set up their detestable things in the house which bears my name, thereby defiling it. 31 In the Valley of Ben-hinnom[g] they go on building the high places of Topheth to sacrifice their sons and daughters by fire, something I never commanded or considered. 32 Be assured! Days are coming—oracle of the Lord—when they will no longer say “Topheth” or “Valley of Ben-hinnom” but “Valley of Slaughter.” For want of space, Topheth will become burial ground. 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and beasts of the earth, which no one will drive away. 34 I will silence the cry of joy, the cry of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for the land will be turned to rubble.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:1–15 The Temple of the Lord will not guarantee safety against enemy invasion or any other misfortune.
  2. 7:6 The alien: specially protected within Israelite society; cf. Ex 22:20; Nm 9:14; 15:14; Dt 5:14; 28:43.
  3. 7:12 Shiloh: an important sanctuary where the ark of the covenant was kept, according to the Books of Joshua, Judges, and 1 Samuel. In response to the corrupt behavior of the priests serving there, God allows the Philistines to destroy Shiloh and take the ark of the covenant. Cf. 1 Sm 1:9; 4:3–4; Ps 78:60, 68–69.
  4. 7:18 Queen of Heaven: probably Astarte, goddess of fertility (cf. 1 Sm 31:10; 1 Kgs 11:5), worshiped particularly by women (cf. Jer 44:15–19). Such worship was evidently reinforced during the reign of King Manasseh (2 Kgs 21:3–7) and was revived after Josiah’s death.
  5. 7:22 I gave them no command: right conduct rather than formal ritual was God’s will concerning his people (v. 23).
  6. 7:29 Hair: the unshorn hair of the nazirite, regarded as sacred because of a vow, temporary or permanent, to abstain from cutting or shaving the hair; nazirites also avoided contact with a corpse and with all products of the vine; cf. Nm 6:4–8. The cutting of this hair was a sign of extreme mourning.
  7. 7:31 Valley of Ben-hinnom: this valley was probably south of Jerusalem. Topheth: perhaps, “fire pit.”
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Jeremiah 7 New International Version (NIV)

False Religion Worthless

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message:

“‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!” If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.

“‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury,[a] burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? 11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord.

12 “‘Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 While you were doing all these things, declares the Lord, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer. 14 Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors. 15 I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.’

16 “So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to arouse my anger. 19 But am I the one they are provoking? declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?

20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.

21 “‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! 22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. 25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’

27 “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. 28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.

29 “‘Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.

The Valley of Slaughter

30 “‘The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind. 32 So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 33 Then the carcasses of this people will become food for the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 34 I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, for the land will become desolate.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 7:9 Or and swear by false gods
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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