Jeremiah 7:8
Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
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(8) Lying words.—With special reference to those already cited in Jeremiah 7:4.

Jeremiah 7:8-11. Behold, ye trust in lying words — Uttered by your false prophets, who promise you peace, and sooth you up in your impenitence. Will ye steal, murder, &c. — Jeremiah does not charge them with the transgression of the ritual law of Moses, but with the breach of the weightier matters of the moral law. Thus the prophets showed the Jews a more excellent way of serving God than by relying upon external ceremonies of their worship, which might have prepared their minds for the reception of the gospel. And come and stand before me, &c. — Will ye be guilty of the vilest immoralities, even such as the common interest, as well as the common sense, of mankind must reprobate? Will ye swear falsely? — A crime which all nations have always held in abhorrence? Will ye burn incense to Baal? — A dunghill deity, that sets up as a rival with the great Jehovah; and, not content with that, will you walk after other gods too, whom ye know not — And by all these crimes put a daring affront upon the Lord of hosts? Will you exchange a God, of whose power and goodness you have had such long experience, for gods of whose ability and willingness to help you know nothing? And when you have thus done the most you can to affront and insult the infinite and eternal Jehovah, your creator and preserver, your governor and judge, will you have the effrontery and impudence to come and stand before him in this house, which is called by his name, and in which his name is called upon, under a pretence of worshipping and serving him — stand before him as servants, waiting his commands, as suppliants, expecting his favour? Will you act in open rebellion against him, and yet rank yourselves among his subjects, among the best of them? By this it would seem you think that either he doth not discover, or doth not dislike your wicked practices; to imagine either of which is to put the highest indignity possible upon him. It is as if you should say, We are delivered to do all these abominations — If they had not the face to say this in so many words, yet their actions spoke it aloud. God had many times delivered them, as they could not but acknowledge, and had been a present help to them when otherwise they must have perished. By these means he designed to bring them to himself; by his goodness to lead them to repentance; but they, resolving notwithstanding to persist in their abominations, said, in effect, in direct contradiction to God’s true intent, in showing them this kindness, that he had delivered them to put them again into a capacity of rebelling against him. Will ye, says the prophet, interpret the deliverances God hath formerly vouchsafed you, as so many licenses to commit new crimes? Or, do you think, when you offer your propitiatory sacrifices, that they will wipe away the guilt of all your past offences, and that you may securely return to your former wicked practices, having such a certain and easy method of obtaining pardon? Is this house, &c., become a den of robbers in your eyes? — Do you think it was built, not only to be a rendezvous of, but a place of shelter to, the vilest malefactors; who perform an outward service to me there, that they may continue the more securely in their sins? Mark well, reader, those that think to excuse themselves in unchristian practices, with the Christian name, and sin the more boldly and securely, because there is a sin-offering provided, do in effect make God’s house of prayer a den of thieves; as the priests did in Christ’s time, Matthew 21:13. But could they thus impose upon God? no, Behold, I have seen it, saith the Lord — Have seen the real iniquity through the counterfeit and dissembled piety. Though men may deceive one another with the show of devotion, yet they cannot deceive God.

7:1-16 No observances, professions, or supposed revelations, will profit, if men do not amend their ways and their doings. None can claim an interest in free salvation, who allow themselves in the practice of known sin, or live in the neglect of known duty. They thought that the temple they profaned would be their protection. But all who continue in sin because grace has abounded, or that grace may abound, make Christ the minister of sin; and the cross of Christ, rightly understood, forms the most effectual remedy to such poisonous sentiments. The Son of God gave himself for our transgressions, to show the excellence of the Divine law, and the evil of sin. Never let us think we may do wickedness without suffering for it.Why then do not the Jews still possess a land thus eternally given them? Because God never bestows anything unconditionally. The land was bestowed upon them by virtue of a covenant Genesis 17:7; the Jews had broken the conditions of this covenant Jeremiah 7:5-6, and the gift reverted to the original donor. 8. that cannot profit—Maurer translates, "so that you profit nothing" (see Jer 7:4; Jer 5:31). Behold; take notice of it, and think of it seriously.

Ye trust in lying words; either flattering yourselves with your own conceits, whereby, in your discourses, you strengthen one another; or depending upon the delusions of your false prophets, Jeremiah 5:31 23:26,27; or rather, bolstering yourselves up upon your privileges or bare ceremonies, which you so much boast of, as Jeremiah 7:4; all which he tells them will profit them nothing.

Behold, ye trust in lying words,.... What they are dissuaded from, Jeremiah 7:4, is here affirmed they did, and which is introduced with a note of asseveration, attention, and admiration; it being a certain thing that they did so; and was what was worthy of their consideration and serious reflection upon; and it was astonishing that they should, since so to do was of no advantage to them, but the contrary:

that cannot profit; temple worship and service, legal sacrifices and ceremonies, could not take away sin, and expiate the guilt of it; or justify men, and render them acceptable to God; these, without faith in the blood and sacrifice of Christ, were of no avail; and especially could never be thought to be of any use and profit, when such gross abominations were indulged by them as are next mentioned.

Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
8. that cannot profit] Or perhaps, so that ye profit not.

8–11. See introd. note on the section.

Verses 8-15. The formalism of Jewish religion exposed. The lesson of Shiloh. Verse 8. - Lying words; such as those quoted in ver. 4. Jeremiah 7:8In Jeremiah 7:8 there is a recurrence to the warning of Jeremiah 7:4, under the form of a statement of fact; and in Jeremiah 7:9-11 it is expanded to this effect: The affirmation that the temple of the Lord affords protection is a sheer delusion, so long as all God's commandments are being audaciously broken. לבלתּי הועיל, lit., to no profiting: ye rely on lying words, without there being any possibility that they should profit you.
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