Chapters 7 and 26 of Jeremiah may or may not be about the very same day at the Temple. Jeremiah prophesied and pleaded with the people of Judah for 23 years from the time the Lord told him to speak to the people, withholding nothing from the people that He showed him. In 23 years, it is likely that he spoke from the temple many times, whether invited or not. As Jesus spoke from the temple and was thrown out, so this could have been Jeremiah’s plight on different occasions as well.
However, it is common for the very same event to be repeated many times within a book in the Bible, thus reinforcing and affirming the messages of God. Throughout Chapters 1-7 and 25-59, the theme of the sins of the people is the same. The theme is as follows: • If you obey Me and follow My commands, You are my people. • You have turned from me and taken up the practices of idolatry, worship of other gods(who do not exist), human sacrifice (which I have never commanded), temple prostitution, and hypocrisy. • If you turn to Me now, I will forgive you of these sins, and you are once again My People and under my protection.
However, during the first grouping of chapters, the focus is on the fact that ‘it is still not too late to amend your ways,’ and ‘this is what will happen if you continue in these ways. ’ The second grouping of chapters, 25-29, still referring to the sins in question, instead focuses on the fact that ‘because you did not repent of these very same sins, you are in fact suffering from the very self-same atrocities I foretold you through Jeremiah.
’ Chapter 7 and 26 have different focuses as well. In chapter 1, the Lord tells Jeremiah that he is not to withhold any of the grisly details from the people of Judah because he fears for his own safety. The Lord assures him, “I am with you, and you will be safe. ”(paraphrased). However, chapter 7 does not focus on Jeremiah as the deliverer of the message, but rather the message of Judah’s upcoming destruction and captivity unless she turns from the adulterous ways.
Chapter 26, however, not only focuses on Jeremiah as the deliverer of the bad news, but also hones in on his prediction of the destruction of the temple itself, and how Judah responds to Jeremiah on these accounts. The priests were allowing, and participating in, the adulterous ways of pagan gods. The safety they proclaimed, however, was the temple itself. In other words, ‘God will not strike us in His temple. He will not destroy the building that carries His name,’ even if we are doing these forbidden things, i. e. , sorcery, fortune telling, human sacrifice, temple prostitutes, etc.
The priests immediately wanted to kill Jeremiah, because he said the temple in Jerusalem would suffer the same fate as that in Shiloh. The officials, elders, and the people felt differently about what Jeremiah said. One of the elders spoke up and said, in essence, ‘didn’t Hezekiah’s prophet, Micah, not speak the same words? Hezekiah was a righteous man and changed his ways; he also didn’t kill his prophet. ’ The people and officials recognized that Jeremiah was a man of God, but the priests were the ones who wanted to kill him.
So it was with Jesus as well. Judah does not change her ways, but Jeremiah remains unharmed. It may appear that this is solely because of the elder’s wise words, but in fact it is because of God’s promise of safety to Jeremiah in speaking his Word in its entirety. It is remarkable, also, in Chapter 26, that Uriah, another prophet of the Lord, ran when he declared the same things Jeremiah did. Uriah was hunted down, returned to the king, and killed. Jeremiah, following the Lord’s direction, did not fear and remained under the Lord’s protective wings.