Jeremiah 8
If we do not hear it

Jeremiah 7:1-15
Matthew 21:12-13
‡T In the times of Jehoiakim

The work of Jeremiah that continued for 19 years which was begun with "the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in the thirteenth year of the king Josiah" (Chapter 1); it entered in the times of Jehoiakim after death of the king Josiah. From Chapter 7 to Chapter 20, these are what was talked about in the times of Jehoiakim. The death of the king Josiah was summer of BC 609 years. There is it, "In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. And King Josiah went to meet him, and when Pharaoh Neco saw him he killed him at Megiddo." (‡U Kings 23:29). In Mesopotamia, association of Babylonia / Media gained power on behalf of conqueror Assyria, and Nineveh had been fallen (612); and Assyria had been kicked out also from Haran which had maintained a government-in-exile barely (610). When it comes to this, Egypt which made Assyria and an alliance did not remain silent to rule Palestine in his hand. To counter Babylonia, Egypt advances the army to Carchemish of the Euphrates. This was to join the Assyria forces which submitted a wish to the last fight to recapture Haran. In the V‹€“―–σ, it is written like Neco has attacked Assyria; but, it will be good to say it was for Assyria reinforcement like V‰ό–σ. This fight became the defeat of the Egyptian military, but the king Josiah went to Megiddo of Esdraelon plains (valley of Jezreel) to meet Neco. It once was a dependent territory of the Assyria, but it is unified again and it is a part of Israel now. And there, Judah was defeated, and the king Josiah was killed in action. Afterwards, the people of Judah made Jehoahaz king, but Neco caught him and moved him to Egypt three months later, and he put Jehoiakim, a son of King Josiah, to the king of south Judah kingdom. The south Judah kingdom became dependent territory of Egypt. There is it, "So Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh, but he taxed the land in order to give the money at the command of Pharaoh. He exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land." (2 Kings 23:35).

In the strong pressure of Egypt (11 years), the reform of the king Josiah was broken in no time. ‡UKings writes it down, "and he (Jehoiakim) did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done." (24:9). People of Judah are similar, too. By reform of the king Josiah, the prestige of the shrine was restored temporarily, but they have run to Baal and other gods again (9). They cling to faith that the shrine would be never infringed; it was a thing born from reform of the king Josiah, but, in the critical situation which has attacked them, they demand their personal security from the shrine. However, Jeremiah goes there and talks words of God.


‡U Under the control of the gods

"The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying," (1) "Stand in the gate of the Lord's house and proclaim there this word, and say, 'Hear the word of the Lord, all of you of Judah, who enter by these gates to worship the Lord!' Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place." (2-3) The Iwanami translation is paraphrasing thus, "Stand in the gate of the house of the Yahweh, hear words of the Yahweh, all the people of Judah, and worship the Yahweh.". "All the people" of Judah gathered in the shrine. This will show that its day was a holiday. Probably, it is thought that it was Thanksgiving Day of Queen of the sky of Old Babylonia (autumn harvest festival) based on fertile faith (Ishtar goddess 18) guessed that it has begun on the times of Manasseh. It was cut off at one time; however it revived at the time of Jehoiakim; and probably, people of Israel would put it on a holiday of Israel (a certain commentary person guesses it as a contract festival - expiation day). The "worship" is the offering to the Lord originally; however this worship would be the thing to pagan gods. At that worship, Jeremiah talked as follows. "Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, 'This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.' For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. Behold, you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail." (3-8)

There is it, "The God of Israel". This way of speaking was used in the cultus theology; Israel made a contract with God and they have kept up it. Because, Jeremiah would have the consciousness that all Israel shared it. The recited words were things about its basics. "If you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever."; these are what have been talked about repeatedly from the times of Moses. Jeremiah would repeat it in this short message while being conscious of it. It may resemble a curse of Ishtar goddess of Babylonia; it repeated three times that "This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord". Because the shrine they escaped into is the place which is never violated by foreigners, people insisted on its inviolability, by crying in this way. To whom? It will be to Jeremiah and to themselves. It was repeated twice, "in deceptive words" (4, 8), and not only God but also Jeremiah understood it. They hold on to insubstantial empty hope and are going to come through a crisis. No, it is insubstantial, but rather, they are going to put themselves under the control of the evil spirits..


‡V If we do not hear it

"Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known, then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered!' -that you may do all these abomination? Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den to robbers in your sight? Behold, I, have seen it,' declares the Lord." (9-11) "You steal, murder, and commit adultery..."; these are words of Moses' Ten Commandments. It was basics in the basics that Israel must protect. The Israeli basic theology is a cultus and law. The relation with God is asked in it, too. Therefore, here, it was said to be "a den of robbers". Though it is not a way of life before God, but they escape into the shrine and say, "we are saved". But as if, they seem to want to say that they are different from other people. They have wrested a salvation. What it is not the act of robbery. Jesus said the same thing, too (Matthew 21:12 -).

"But go to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel." (12) Sanctuary of Shiloh, it is the predecessor of Jerusalem / the central sanctuary of 12 tribes Union; but it is said, "Behold its state of being the ruins.". Circumstances of the destruction of Shiloh, although it has only been implied at Psalms 78:60; thoughtful people (such as the Jeremiah, and prophet who sang this Psalm) would not have been able to be indifferent to that ruins. Jerusalem becomes same as Shiloh. This would be a strong message. "'And now, because you have done all these things,' declares the Lord, 'and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim.'" (13-15) They who were said to be "a den of robbers" would have heard that Jeremiah desecrated a shrine. "Go now to My place which was in Shiloh", it is a message that punishment of God amounts to not only Shiloh but also Jerusalem. No, it is not only against Jerusalem. Modern we will have to hear it, too. If we do not hear it, our town and our country will trace on the same way as Judah.


The genealogy of prophets