The role of the Temple (Jer 7:3-7:4)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

Amend your ways!

Amend your doings!

Let me dwell with you

In this place.

Do not trust

In these deceptive words.

‘This is the temple of Yahweh!

The temple of Yahweh!

The temple of Yahweh.’”

The first part of this pericope sounds like the many other times that Yahweh had spoken to his people. He was the God of Israel with his hosts. The Temple visitors were to amend their ways and what they were doing. Yahweh wanted to dwell with them in his Temple. However, the second verse is a little strange. Yahweh told Jeremiah not to trust the deceptive words about the Temple of Yahweh. In fact, the statement is mentioned 3 times, “Temple of Yahweh”. Was this a reminder to enter the Temple 3 times a day? Was this against the false prophets who told them not to worry, since as long as they had the Temple everything would be fine? Is it a rebuke to those who just loved the majesty and beauty of the Temple? This triple cry about the Temple of Yahweh as deceptive words is not really clear.

The wicked (Isa 26:10-26:11)

“If favor is shown

To the wicked,

They still do not learn righteousness.

In the land of uprightness,

They deal perversely.

They do not see

The majesty of Yahweh.

O Yahweh!

Your hand is lifted up.

But they do not see it.

Let them see your zeal

For your people!

Let them be ashamed!

Let the fire

For your adversaries

Consume them!”

Isaiah says that you cannot favor the wicked because they never learned righteousness. They are the perverse ones in the land of the upright people, since they do not see the majesty of Yahweh. Turning directly to Yahweh, Isaiah says that Yahweh’s hand is lifted up in judgment. However, the wicked ones do not even see it. They should see the zeal that Yahweh has for his people and be ashamed. These wicked adversaries should be consumed with God’s fire.

Praise for the triumph of Yahweh (Isa 24:14-24:16)

“They lift up their voices.

They sing for joy.

They shout from the west.

Over the majesty of Yahweh.

Therefore in the east,

Give glory to Yahweh!

In the coastlands of the sea,

Glorify the name of Yahweh,

The God of Israel.

From the ends of the earth,

We hear songs of praise.

We hear songs of glory

To the Righteous One.”

Suddenly, Isaiah has everyone praising Yahweh. They would all lift up their voices singing for joy from the west, the east, and along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. They would proclaim the majesty of Yahweh. They would glorify and praise his name, Yahweh, from the ends of the earth. You could hear songs of praise and glory to the Righteous God of Israel, Yahweh.

The responsibility of humans (Sir 17:8-17:14)

“The Lord put the fear of him

Into human hearts.

He showed them

The majesty of his works.

They will praise

His holy name.

They will proclaim

The grandeur of his works.

He bestowed knowledge

Upon them.

He allotted to them

The law of life.

He established with them

An eternal covenant.

He revealed to them

His decrees.

Their eyes saw

His glorious majesty.

Their ears heard

The glory of his voice.

He said to them.

‘Beware of all evil.’

He gave commandments

To each of them

Concerning their neighbor.”

Sirach believed that the Lord put the fear of hin into human hearts. He showed humans the majesty of his works. However, they had to praise his holy name and proclaim the grandeur of his works because they had knowledge about it. The Lord gave these humans the law of life by an eternal covenant with them. He revealed his decrees to them. Their human eyes saw his glorious majesty. Their ears heard the glory of his voice. They were able to see and hear God. He told them to watch out for evil. He gave them commandments on how they were to treat their neighbors.