Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Jeremiah 7:29

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Cut off thine hair - נזרך גזי gozzi nizrech, shear thy nazarite. The Nazarite was one who took upon him a particular vow, and separated himself from all worldly connections for a certain time, that he might devote himself without interruption to the service of God; and during all this time no razor was to pass on his head, for none of his hair was to be taken off. After the vow was over, he shaved his head and beard, and returned to society. See Numbers 6:2; (note), etc., and the notes there. Jerusalem is here considered under the notion of a Nazarite, by profession devoted to the service of God: but that profession was empty; it was not accompanied with any suitable practice. God tells them here to cut off their hair; to make no vain pretensions to holiness or religion; to throw off the mask, and attempt no longer to impose upon themselves and others by their hypocritical pretensions. On the same ground he orders them, Jeremiah 7:21, to devote to common use the animals destined for sacrifice; and to make no more vain shows of religion while their hearts were not right with him. Dr. Blayney thinks the address is to the prophet, who was a Nazarite by virtue of his office, and who was called to cut off his hair as a token of mourning for the desolations which were coming upon his people. That cutting off the hair was a sign of distress and mourning may be seen, Ezra 9:3; Isaiah 15:2; Jeremiah 41:5, etc. But I think the other the more natural construction.

On high places - That the lamentation may be heard to the greater distance.

The generation of his wrath - Persons exposed to punishment: used here as children of wrath, Ephesians 2:3.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 29-33

Jeremiah summons the people to lament over the miserable consequences of their rejection of God. In the valley of Hinnom, where lately they offered their innocents, they shall themselves fall before the enemy in such multitudes that burial shall be impossible, and the beasts of the field unmolested shall prey upon their remains.

Jeremiah 7:29

The daughter of Zion, defiled by the presence of enemies in her sanctuary, and rejected of God, must shear off the diadem of her hair, the symbol of her consecration to God, just as the Nazarite, when defiled by contact with a corpse, was to shave his crowned head.

Take up a lamentation … - Or, lift up a “lamentation on the bare hill-sides” Jeremiah 3:2.

Jeremiah 7:30

They have set their abominations … - Probably a reference to the reign of the fanatic Manasseh, in whose time the worship of Astarte and of the heavenly bodies was the established religion of the land 2 Kings 21:3-5, and even the temple was used for idolatrous services. The people had never heartily accepted Josiah‘s reformation.

Jeremiah 7:31

The high places - Here, probably, not natural hills, but artificial mounts, on which the altars were erected.

Tophet (marginal reference note) is not here a proper name; as applied to Baal-worship the term is not an ordinary one, but almost unique to Jeremiah. Comparing this verse with Jeremiah 19:5; Jeremiah 32:35, it will be found that Baal is in those passages substituted for Tophet. Just as it is the practice of the prophets to substitute “Bosheth, shame,” for Baal (see Jeremiah 3:24), so here Jeremiah uses “Tophet, an object of abhorrence” (compare Job 17:6 note), in just the same way.

Valley of the son of Hinnom - See Joshua 15:8 note.

To burn … - The children were not burned alive, but slain first Ezekiel 16:21.

Jeremiah 7:32

The valley of slaughter - Where they killed their helpless children, there shall they be slaughtered helplessly by their enemies.

Till there be no place - Rather, for want of room elsewhere.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
In token both of sorrow and of slavery, Jerusalem must be degraded, and separated from God, as she had been separated to him. The heart is the place in which God has chosen to put his name; but if sin has the innermost and uppermost place there, we pollute the temple of the Lord. The destruction of Jerusalem appears here very terrible. The slain shall be many; they having made it the place of their sin. Evil pursues sinners, even after death. Those who will not, by the grace of God, be cured of vain mirth, shall, by the justice of God, be deprived of all mirth. How many ruin their health and property without complaining, when engaged in Satan's service! May we learn to relish holy joys, and to sit loose to all others though lawful.