deceptive words This is the temple of the LORD the temple of the LORD the

Deceptive words this is the temple of the lord the

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deceptive words: "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 doings, if you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever. Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, "We are safe!"-- only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the LORD. Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, says the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently, you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your ancestors, just what I did to Shiloh. (Jeremiah 7:1-14) Such teachings landed Jeremiah in jail and he was nearly executed, for such ideas were considered apostate blasphemy in his days: And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of [Jeremiah], saying, ―You shall die!...‖ Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, ―This man deserves the sentence of death bec ause he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.‖ (Jeremiah 26:8, 11) 32 In addition to placing their trust in the physical presence of the temple or in the rituals of the temple, some ancient Judeans also put their trust and safety in the worship and ritual of other gods and religious traditions. See Susan Akerman, Under Every Green Tree: Popular Religion in Sixth-Century Judah (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992); John Day (ed.), Temple and Worship in Biblical Israel: Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar (London: T&T Clark International, 2005). Jeremiah specifically inveighed against these practices in Jeremiah 44:15- 19, 25. The following quote is suggestive that former inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem (now exiles in Egypt) thought that ritual was enough to save them: ―Then all the men who were aware that their wives had been making offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, ans wered Jeremiah: ‗As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we are not going to listen to you. Instead, we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of

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