Thus said the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build to me?…
[These great words] are a declaration, spoken probably in view of the approaching restoration of the temple (which, in itself, the prophet entirely approves, Isaiah 44:28, and expects, Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 55:7; Isaiah 62:9), reminding the Jews of the truth which a visible temple might readily lead them to forget, that no earthly habitation could be really adequate to Jehovah's majesty, and that Jehovah's regard was not to be won by the magnificence of a material temple, but by humility and the devotion of the heart. How needful the warning was history shows. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:1-15) argues at length against those who pointed, with a proud sense of assurance, to the massive pile of buildings that crowned the height of Zion, heedless of the moral duties which loyalty to the King, whose residence it was, implied. And at a yet more critical moment in their history, attachment to the temple, as such, was one of the causes which incapacitated the Jews from appropriating the more spiritual teaching of Christ: the charge brought against Stephen (Acts 6:13, 14)is that he ceased not "to speak words against this holy place and the law;" and, the argument of Stephen's defence (Acts 7.) is just to show that in the past God's favour had not been limited to the period during which the temple of Zion existed. Here, then, the prophet seizes the occasion to insist upon the necessity of a spiritual service, passing on (vers. 3-5) to denounce, in particular, certain superstitious usages which had apparently, at the time, infected the worship of Jehovah.
(Prof. S. R. Driver, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?