Jeremiah Chapter 7 to 8 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Jeremiah’s Temple Sermon

7 This is the Lord’s message to Jeremiah: 2Jeremiah, stand at the gate of the Lord’s house. Preach this message at the gate: “Hear the message from the Lord, all you people of the nation of Judah. All you people that come through these gates to worship the Lord, hear this message. 3The Lord is the God of the people of Israel. This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: ‘Change your lives and do good things. If you do this, I will let you live in this place.* 4Don’t trust the lies that some people say. They say, “This is the temple* of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord*!” 5If you change your lives and do good things, I will let you live in this place. You must be fair to each other. 6You must be fair to strangers. You must do the right things for widows and orphans.* Don’t kill innocent people! Don’t follow other gods! Why? Because they will ruin your lives. 7If you obey me, I will let you live in this place. I gave this land to your ancestors* for them to keep forever. 8“‘But you are trusting lies. And those lies are worthless. 9Will you steal and murder? Will you do the sin of adultery*? Will you falsely accuse other people? Will you worship the false god Baal* and follow other gods that you have not known? 10If you do those sins, do you think that you can stand before me in this house that is called by my name? Do you think you can stand before me and say, “We are safe,” just so you can do all these terrible things? 11This temple* is called by my name! Is this temple nothing more to you than a hideout for robbers? I have been watching you.’” This message is from the Lord. 12“You people of Judah, go now to the town of Shiloh. Go to the place where I first made a house for my name. The people of Israel also did evil things. Go and see what I did to that place because of the evil things they did.* 13You people of Israel were doing all these evil things”—This message is from the Lord!—“I spoke to you again and again, but you refused to listen to me. I called to you, but you did not answer. 14So I will destroy the house called by my name in Jerusalem. I will destroy that temple* like I destroyed Shiloh. And that house in Jerusalem that is called by my name is the temple that you trust in. I gave that place to you and to your ancestors. 15I will throw you away from me just like I threw away all your brothers from Ephraim.* 16“As for you, Jeremiah, don’t pray for these people of Judah. Don’t beg for them or pray for them. Don’t beg for me to help them. I will not listen to your prayer for them. 17I know you see what those people are doing in the towns of Judah. You can see what they are doing in the streets of the city of Jerusalem. 18This is what the people of Judah are doing: The children gather wood. The fathers use the wood to make a fire. The women make the dough and make cakes of bread to offer to the Queen of Heaven.* Those people of Judah pour out drink offerings to worship other gods. They do this to make me angry. 19But I am not the one the people of Judah are really hurting.” This message is from the Lord. “They are only hurting themselves. They are bringing shame on themselves.” 20So the Lord says this: “I will show my anger against this place. I will punish people and animals. I will punish the trees in the field and the crops that grow in the ground. My anger will be like a hot fire—and no person will be able to stop it.”

The Lord Wants Obedience More than Sacrifice

21The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says these things: “Go and offer as many burnt offerings and sacrifices as you want. Eat the meat of those sacrifices yourselves. 22I brought your ancestors* out of Egypt. I spoke to them, but I did not give them any commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23I only gave them this command: ‘Obey me and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do all that I command, and good things will happen to you. 24“But your ancestors* did not listen to me. They did not pay attention to me. They were stubborn and did the things they wanted to do. They did not become good. They became even more evil—they went backward, not forward. 25From the day that your ancestors left Egypt to this day, I have sent my servants to you. My servants are the prophets. I sent them to you again and again. 26But your ancestors did not listen to me. They did not pay attention to me. They were very stubborn and did evil worse than their fathers. 27“Jeremiah, you will tell these things to the people of Judah. But they won’t listen to you! You call to them, but they won’t answer you. 28So you must tell them these things: This is the nation that did not obey the Lord its God. These people did not listen to God’s teachings. These people don’t know the true teachings.

The Valley of Slaughter

29“Jeremiah, cut off your hair and throw it away.* Go up to the bare hilltop and cry. Why? Because the Lord has rejected this generation of people. The Lord has turned his back on these people. And in anger, he will punish them. 30Do this because I have seen the people of Judah doing evil things.” This message is from the Lord. “They have set up their idols. And I hate those idols! They have set up idols in the temple that is called by my name. They have made my house ‘dirty’! 31The people of Judah have built the high places* of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. In those places the people killed their own sons and daughters—they burned them as sacrifices. This is something I never commanded. Something like this never even entered my mind! 32So, I warn you. The days are coming,” this message is from the Lord, “when people won’t call this place Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom anymore. No, they will call it the Valley of Slaughter.* They will give it this name because they will bury the dead people in Topheth until there is no more room to bury anyone else. 33Then the bodies of the dead people will {lie on top of the ground and} become food for the birds of the sky. Wild animals will eat the bodies of those people. There will be no person left alive to chase the birds or animals away. 34I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and happiness in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. There will be no more sounds of the bride and bridegroom in Judah or Jerusalem. The land will become an empty desert.”

I will … place This can also mean, “I will live with you.” temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. This is … Lord Many people in Jerusalem thought that the Lord would always protect Jerusalem because his temple was there. They thought God would protect Jerusalem, no matter how evil the people where. widows and orphans Widows are women whose husbands have died, and orphans are children whose parents have died. Often these people have no one to care for them. ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. adultery Breaking the marriage promise by sexual sin. Baal The Canaanite people believed that this false god brought the rain and storms. They also thought that he made the land produce good crops. Go … they did Shiloh was probably destroyed by the Philistines in the time of Eli and Samuel. See 1 Sam. 4. Queen of Heaven Probably the false god Astarte. She was the goddess of sex and war. People in Mesopotamia worshiped her. They thought she was the planet Venus, which looks like a star in the sky. cut … away This showed Jeremiah was sad. high places Special places where the people worshiped false gods. These places were often on hilltops, but not always. Some high places were in valleys. Ephraim This is the northern kingdom of Israel.  Slaughter Usually, this word means to kill an animal and cut it into pieces of meat. But it often means to kill people like they are animals.

8 This message is from the Lord: “At that time, men will take the bones of the kings and important rulers of Judah from their tombs.* They will take the bones of the priests and prophets from their tombs. They will take the bones of all the people of Jerusalem from their tombs. 2Those men will spread those bones on the ground under the sun, the moon, and the stars. The people of Jerusalem love to worship the sun, the moon, and the stars. No person will gather those bones and bury them again. So, the bones of those people will be like dung thrown on the ground. 3“I will force the people of Judah to leave their homes and their land. The people will be taken away to foreign lands. Some of the people of Judah that were not killed in the war will wish that they had been killed.” This message is from the Lord.

Sin and Punishment

4Jeremiah, say this to the people of Judah: The Lord says these things: “You know if a man falls down, he gets up again. And if a man goes the wrong way, he turns around and comes back. 5The people of Judah went (lived) the wrong way. But why do those people of Jerusalem continue going the wrong way? They believe their own lies. They refuse to turn around and come back. 6I have listened to them very carefully. But they don’t say what is right. The people are not sorry for their sins. The people don’t think about the bad things they have done. The people do things without thinking. They are like horses running into a battle. 7Even the birds in the sky know the right time to do things. The storks, doves, swifts, and thrushes know when it is time to fly to a new home. But my people don’t know what the Lord wants them to do. 8“You keep saying, ‘We have the Lord’s teachings! So we are wise!’ But that is not true. Why? Because the scribes* have lied with their pens. 9Those ‘wise people’ refused to listen to the Lord’s teachings. So they are not really wise people at all. Those ‘wise people’ were trapped. They became shocked and ashamed. 10So I will give their wives to other men. I will give their fields to new owners. All the people of Israel want more and more money. All the people, from the least important to most important people, are like that. All the people, from prophets to priests, tell lies. 11My people have been hurt very badly. The prophets and priests should bandage those wounds. But they treat those wounds like they are only a small scratch. They say, ‘It is all right, everything is fine!’ But it is not all right! 12They should be ashamed of the bad things they do. But they are not ashamed at all. They don’t know enough to be embarrassed of their sins. So they will be punished with everyone else. They will be thrown to the ground when I punish the people.” The Lord said those things. 13“I will take away their fruit and crops, so that there will be no harvest.” This message is from the Lord. “There will not be any grapes on the vine. There will not be any figs on the fig tree. Even the leaves will become dry and die. I will take away the things I gave them.* 14“Why are we just sitting here? Come, let’s run to the strong cities. If the Lord our God is going to make us die, then let’s die there. We have sinned against the Lord, so God gave us poisoned water to drink. 15We hoped to have peace, but nothing good has come. We hoped that he would forgive us, but only disaster has come. 16From the land of the family group of Dan, we hear the snorting* of the enemy’s horses. The ground shakes from the pounding of their hooves.* They have come to destroy the land and everything in it. They have come to destroy the city and all the people that live there. 17“People of Judah, I am sending poisonous snakes* to attack you. Those snakes can’t be controlled. Those snakes will bite you.” This message is from the Lord. 18God, I am very sad and afraid. 19Listen to my people. Everywhere in this country people are crying for help. They say, “Is the Lord still at Zion*? Is Zion’s King still there?” {But God says,} “The people of Judah worshiped their worthless foreign idols. That made me very angry! Why did they do that? 20{And the people say,} “Harvest time is over. Summer is gone. And still we have not been saved.” 21My people are hurt, so I am hurt. I am too sad to speak. 22Surely there is some medicine in Gilead. Surely there is a doctor in Gilead. So why are the hurts of my people not healed?

tomb(s) A grave dug in a wall of rock. scribes Men that wrote down and copied different writings. Some of those writings included the books that later became the Old Testament. Those men spent so much time with those writings, that they often became experts at knowing what those scriptures (writings) meant. I will take away … gave them The Hebrew of this line is hard to understand. snorting The sound that comes from breathing very hard through the nose. hooves The hard part of the feet of certain animals. poisonous snakes This probably means one of Judah’s enemies. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem.

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