Jeremiah 19:4
Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;
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(4) Have estranged this place.i.e., have alienated it from Jehovah its true Lord, and given it to a strange god. The words refer specially to the guilt of Manasseh (2Chronicles 33:4).

The blood of innocents.—The words seem at first to refer to the Molech sacrifices, which had made the valley of Hinnom infamous. These, however, are mentioned separately in the next verse, and the prophet probably spoke rather here, as in Jeremiah 2:34; Jeremiah 7:6, of the “innocent blood” with which Manasseh had filled Jerusalem (2Kings 21:16; 2Kings 24:4, where the same word is used).

19:1-9 The prophet must give notice of ruin coming upon Judah and Jerusalem. Both rulers and ruled must attend to it. That place which holiness made the joy of the whole earth, sin made the reproach and shame of the whole earth. There is no fleeing from God's justice, but by fleeing to his mercy.Have estranged this place - They have not recognized the sanctity of this place, but have treated it as a strange place, by worshipping in it strange gods.

Innocents - i. e., guiltless persons.

4. (Isa 65:11).

estranged this place—devoted it to the worship of strange gods: alienating a portion of the sacred city from God, the rightful Lord of the temple, city, and whole land.

nor their fathers—namely, the godly among them; their ungodly fathers God makes no account of.

blood of innocents—slain in honor of Molech (Jer 7:31; Ps 106:37).

Because they have forsaken me; the laws, statutes, and ordinances which God had given them, to direct them both in their religious behaviour towards him, and in their civil conversations.

Have estranged this place; either this city, or this temple, (which stood very nigh to this valley,) or this particular valley, which they had turned to a use quite contrary to the end for which God gave it them; for in it they had paid a religious homage to idols, strange idols, which their fathers knew not, and had filled that place with the blood of such as had not deserved death, either innocent men, or children, that they had there sacrificed to idols; of which he afterward speaketh more particularly.

Because they have forsaken me,.... My worship, as the Targum; they had apostatized from God, relinquished his service, neglected and despised his word and ordinances, and left the religion they had been brought up in, and was agreeable to the will of God. This, with what follows, contain reasons of the Lord's threatening them to bring evil upon them, as before:

and have estranged this place; or made a strange place of it, so that it could scarcely be known to be the same, nor would the Lord own it as his; meaning either the city of Jerusalem, to which the prophet was near, and could point to it; or the temple, which was in sight, and which they had strangely abused, by offering strange sacrifices to strange gods; or the valley of Hinnom, the spot he was upon, and which they had alienated from its original use:

and have burnt incense in it unto other gods; to strange gods, the gods of the Gentiles; and this they did both in the city of Jerusalem and in the temple, and very probably in the valley of Hinnom, where they sacrificed their children: gods

whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah; of whose wisdom, power, and goodness, neither they nor their fathers before them, nor any of their kings, had had any instance; and whose help and assistance, in times of danger and difficulty, they had had no experience of; and, till now, neither they nor their ancestors had ever owned them, or acknowledged them; nor scarce had heard of their names; nor any of their pious kings, as David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah:

and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; young children that were sacrificed here to idols, as they were in the valley of Hinnom, which seems to be the place principally intended; so that they were not only guilty of idolatry, but of murder; and of the murder of innocent creatures, and even, of their own babes; which was shocking and unheard of cruelty!

Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;
4. have estranged] have refused to recognise its claims.

they and their fathers and the kings of Judah] rather, as LXX, they and their fathers; and the kings of Judah have filled, etc., generalizing from Manasseh’s acts (2 Kings 21:16; 2 Kings 24:4).

innocents] not children, the sacrifice of whom is first mentioned in the next verse, but in general innocent persons slain in persecution or by malversation of justice.

Verse 4. - Have estranged this place; rather, have treated this place as strange; i.e. as one that did not belong to their God, that was unholy (comp. Jeremiah 16:18, "They have defiled ray land"). With the blood of innocents; comp." Innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters" (Psalm 106:38) - the children sacrificed in Hinnom to Moloch. Jeremiah 19:4In Jeremiah 19:3-5 the threatening is summarily set forth. Horrible evil will the Lord bring on this place, i.e., Jerusalem. The ears of every one that hears it will tingle, so utterly stunning will the news of it turn out to be; cf. 2 Kings 21:12 and 1 Samuel 3:11, where we find תּצלּינה; cf. Ew. 197, a. This they have brought on themselves by their dreadful sins. They have forsaken Jahveh, disowned this place; נכּר , prop. find strange, Deuteronomy 32:27, then treat as strange, deny, Job 21:29. In substance: they have not treated Jerusalem as the city of the sanctuary of their God, but, as it mentioned after, they have burnt incense in it to other (strange) gods. The words: they and their fathers, and the kings of Judah, are not the subject to "knew not," as is "they and their," etc., in Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 16:13, but to the preceding verb of the principal clause. "And have filled the city with the blood of innocents." This Grot. and others understand by the blood of the children slain for Moloch; and for this, appeal is made to Psalm 106:37., where the pouring out of innocent blood is explained to be that of sons and daughters offered to idols. But this passage cannot be the standard for the present one, neither can the statement that here we have to deal with idolatry alone. This latter is petitio principii. If shedding the blood of innocents had been said of offerings to Moloch, then Jeremiah 19:5 must be taken as epexegesis. But in opposition to this we have not only the parallelism of the clauses, but also and especially the circumstance, that not till Jeremiah 19:5 is mention made of altars on which to offer children of Moloch. We therefore understand the filling of Jerusalem with the blood of innocents, according to Jeremiah 7:6, cf. Jeremiah 2:34 and Jeremiah 22:3, Jeremiah 22:17, of judicial murder or of bloody persecution of the godly; and on two grounds: 1. because alongside of idolatry we always find mentioned as the chief sin the perversion of justice to the shedding of innocent blood (cf. the passages cited), so that this sin would not likely be omitted here, as one cause of the dreadful judgment about to pass on Jerusalem; 2. because our passage recalls the very wording of 2 Kings 21:16, where, after mentioning his idolatry, it is said of Manasseh: Also innocent blood hath he shed, until he made Jerusalem full (מלּא) to the brink.

The climax in the enumeration of sins in these verses is accordingly this: 1. The disowning of the holiness of Jerusalem as the abode of the Lord by the public practice of idolatry; 2. the shedding of innocent blood as extremity of injustice and godless judicial practices; 3. as worst of all abominations, the building of altars for burning their own children to Moloch. That the Moloch-sacrifices are mentioned last, as being worst of all, is shown by the three relative clauses: which I have not commanded, etc., which by an impassioned gradation of phrases mark God's abomination of these horrors. On this subject cf. Jeremiah 7:31 and Jeremiah 32:35.

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