The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Jeremiah 44

Jer 44:4

DO NOT DO THIS DETESTABLE THING THAT I HATE!: The particular sin, of which the prophet was speaking, was that of idolatry. These Jews would make gods in some form or other, and then they would bow down before them, and neglect the worship of the one invisible Yahweh. The Almighty calls their idolatry a detestable, or abominable, thing -- and rightly so, for it is detestable ingratitude. That a man should not worship his Maker, that he should refuse obedience to his Creator, that he should say to Him who made the heavens and the earth, and who also made him, and sustains his being, 'I will not worship you; I refuse to bow down before you. I choose to adore another god -- Baal, Ashtaroth, Venus, Bacchus, anything but the one true God -- and I will not worship you'... this is the most shameful ingratitude.

It is also an abominable thing, because it is so degrading and debasing. Everybody ought to be able to see that, for a man with intellect and mind to bow himself down before a carved image, is most degrading. That he should worship that which is made of wood, or stone, or metal, is practically to make himself inferior to the dead thing which he worships. There is practically no act in which a man seems to bring himself lower than when he prostrates himself before any material object, and says, 'This is my god!' This is indeed loathsome; it is insulting to God, and provoking Him to the last degree.

Jer 44:17

THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN: Semiramis, worshiped as the first "virgin mother" (2Bab 77). Prob related Venus, Ishtar, Asherah.

Jer 44:19

DID NOT OUR HUSBANDS KNOW...?: Their excuse: they had the approval of their husbands.
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