Author Topic: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?  (Read 1241 times)

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Tim B

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How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« on: September 19, 2009, 05:40:39 AM »
I think we've brought this up before, but I'd like to know what you guys think:

Jeremiah 19:4-5 (Young's Literal Translation)

 4because that they have forsaken Me, and make known this place, and make perfume in it to other gods, that they knew not, they and their fathers, and the kings of Judah, and they have filled this place [with] innocent blood,

 5and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons with fire, burnt-offerings to Baal, that I commanded not, nor spake of, nor did it come up on My heart.

So, we know God didn't tell kings of Judah to sacrifice their sons, nor did he speak of it to them, and it also says it didn't come up in his heart.

How do we understand this with God's absolute will? Wouldn't it seem that God did have it in his heart, or in his thoughts, for these people to sacrifice their children?

I mean, the Bible doesn't really leave room for God's will not being done. So, if God didn't really will this to happen, then how did it not come up in his heart?

(Link to verse that show God's will is absolute):

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Chron%2020:6;Job%2023:13;42:2;Psalms%20115:3;135:6;Prov%2019:21;Jer%2010:23;Dan%204:35;Eph%201:11;Phil%202:13&version=YLT

Gab

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2009, 06:13:36 AM »
I think this question ultimately centers around just what is meant here by "heart".  The Hebrew word translated into "heart" there is leb.  Most versions of the Bible actually translate it into "mind" instead.  I think both translations are valid if must replace the Hebrew word with only a single English word, but as usual something is always lost in translation.  The word may be more precisely translated as "soul; heart; mind; conscience; moral character".  It refers not so much to one's desire or will, but rather to one's most inner character or being in a moral sense.

Effectively, what this is saying is that when those who followed Baal did these terrible things, their actions did not stem in any way from God - they were acting purely out of their own accord.  There exists a vast multitude of things people do today that are clearly not in accordance with what God ultimately wants, really.  As we are told, "small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:14)

None of this means that they're causing God's will not to be done.  Rather, it is simply the case that God's will includes allowing that which is against his moral character to be done (for now, at least).  Why God allows such things to happen is, of course, a different and also good question, but one beyond the scope of this topic.

Offline Beloved Servant

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2009, 06:23:44 AM »

 God's will includes allowing that which is against his moral character to be done (for now, at least). 

I totally disagree.
God's will be done. Period!
Not sometimes, not now and then. Always.
MY GOD IS MY LORD ALWAYS AND FOREVER
Creation is His Will.

Gab

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2009, 07:52:28 AM »

 God's will includes allowing that which is against his moral character to be done (for now, at least). 

I totally disagree.
God's will be done. Period!
Not sometimes, not now and then. Always.
MY GOD IS MY LORD ALWAYS AND FOREVER
Creation is His Will.

Eh?  When did I say that God's will not be done?

Unless you're asserting that acts such as murder, theft, bearing false witness, and such like are not against God's moral character, I'm not really sure where your disagreement lies.  I even explicitly said that none of this meant that God's will is in some way being frustrated.  Everything that happens may only happen if God has allowed it to happen.  God is, as always, in complete control - the view of God as being in some sort of battle against evil whose outcome is not assured is one that has decidedly pagan roots (confer with, for example, Greek mythology, in which such things are seen all the time).
« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 08:00:20 AM by Gab »

Offline claypot

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2009, 03:58:09 PM »
I think we've brought this up before, but I'd like to know what you guys think:

Jeremiah 19:4-5 (Young's Literal Translation)

 4because that they have forsaken Me, and make known this place, and make perfume in it to other gods, that they knew not, they and their fathers, and the kings of Judah, and they have filled this place [with] innocent blood,

 5and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons with fire, burnt-offerings to Baal, that I commanded not, nor spake of, nor did it come up on My heart.

So, we know God didn't tell kings of Judah to sacrifice their sons, nor did he speak of it to them, and it also says it didn't come up in his heart.

How do we understand this with God's absolute will? Wouldn't it seem that God did have it in his heart, or in his thoughts, for these people to sacrifice their children?

I mean, the Bible doesn't really leave room for God's will not being done. So, if God didn't really will this to happen, then how did it not come up in his heart?

(Link to verse that show God's will is absolute):

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Chron%2020:6;Job%2023:13;42:2;Psalms%20115:3;135:6;Prov%2019:21;Jer%2010:23;Dan%204:35;Eph%201:11;Phil%202:13&version=YLT

I see God as life, all life. Like an ocean wave, only this wave (life) encompasses everything.

Within this life, death and evil emerge. Death and evil are not life thus not God. They are a by-product of creation. Whenever we create something there is always a by-product. A sculptor has left over shavings, a house builder has left over pieces of all kinds of materials and so on. These are inevitable realities of the creation process.

You ask how do we understand that God didn't have certain things come up in His heart or thoughts, yet they happened.

A sculptor really gives no thought to the chips that fly. God (Life) is not focused on evil, He is focused on, well, life. He is focused on the finished product.

Of course the sculptor knows there will be by-product and may even see a use for it but his main focus will be on the object of his heart.

This passage, to me, is talking about what God is focused on.

cp
For it is God who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2009, 04:13:36 PM »
I think this question ultimately centers around just what is meant here by "heart".  The Hebrew word translated into "heart" there is leb.  Most versions of the Bible actually translate it into "mind" instead.  I think both translations are valid if must replace the Hebrew word with only a single English word, but as usual something is always lost in translation..
Very true.

Quote
The word may be more precisely translated as "soul; heart; mind; conscience; moral character".  It refers not so much to one's desire or will, but rather to one's most inner character or being in a moral sense.
Many words have several meanings. But quite often people only know the primary meaning. I'm no KJV fan but in defense of the KJV I have to say that we can only claim a wrong transaltion if we know what the word meant in 1611.

A few relavant meanings:
- as seat of appetites
-  Intention/Desire
- Inclination -> means Charater at the time of KJV

I also think that 'comes to mind' as in "I didn't think of it" is (almost) blasphemy because it means God was not capeble of considering every situation. Meaning He's not almighty.
I did a search on leb in the whole OT and KJV seems to use heart most frequently.

But heart is a complex word. It is used for many things. And oddly enough least for the organ itself...
PERSONALITY, DISPOSITION  *a cold heart*  b obsolete   : INTELLECT
4 : the emotional or moral as distinguished from the intellectual nature: as  a : generous disposition  : COMPASSION  *a leader with heart*  b : LOVE, AFFECTIONS  *won her heart*  c : COURAGE, ARDOR  *never lost heart*
5 : one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations  *knew it in his heart*  *a man after my own heart*
6 a : the central or innermost part  : CENTER  b : the essential or most vital part of something  c : the younger central compact part of a leafy rosette (as a head of lettuce)
  –at heart : in essence  : BASICALLY, ESSENTIALLY
  –by heart : by rote or from memory
  –to heart : with deep concern

Tenderness, grace, compassion, personality are the words that I want to link to heart from a Biblical view.
To end this long winded post; I think the verse should be understood as:

WWJeremiah 19:5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, it's against my personality.

OR

WWJeremiah 19:5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor was it ever my desire

But strictly speaking desire is 'made out of' personality so I stick with the red version.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline Molly

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2009, 05:26:14 PM »
Good stuff, ww.
There have been recent discoveries about the heart that show why the ancients often interchanged 'heart' and 'mind.'   This is not a great link but it gives a little introduction to this new discovery.  Our hearts have brain tissue.


"Your heart has a brain"

Neuroscientists have recently discovered exciting new information about the heart that makes us realize it's far more complex than we'd ever imagined. Instead of simply pumping blood, it may actually direct and align many systems in the body so that they can function in harmony with one another.

These scientists have found that the heart has its own independent nervous system – a complex system referred to as "the brain in the heart." There are at least forty thousand neurons (nerve cells) in the heart – as many as are found in various subcortical centers of the brain.

The heart communicates with the brain and the rest of the body in three ways documented by solid scientific evidence: neurologically (through transmissions of nerve impulses), biochemically (through hormones and neurotransmitters), and biophysically (through pressure waves). In addition, growing scientific evidence suggests that the heart may communicate with the brain and body in a fourth way – energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). Through these biological communication systems, the heart has a significant influence on the function of our brains and all our Systems.

This new scientific evidence shows that the heart uses these methods to send our brain extensive emotional and intuitive signals. Along with this understanding that the heart is in constant communication with the brain, scientists are discovering that our hearts may actually be the "intelligent force" behind the intuitive thoughts and feelings we all experience.

http://www.therealessentials.com/followyourheart.html

Offline Dallas

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2009, 07:21:31 PM »
When raising children a man shows his child how to do something and then instructs the child. That child needs to attemp to walk so to speak. That child will ultimatley fall, but that is part of the process. No dad want their child to fall and skin thier knee, it however is part of the process if the child is ever going to walk.

God could carry us for ever, us staying as infants for ever, But God's will is that we grow and mature so that we likewise as a mature son are in good and right standing in order to inherit the father's good things. For one does not hand the kingdom over to infants but instead hands it over to grown mature sons.

Offline Molly

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2009, 07:51:26 PM »
Quote
4because that they have forsaken Me, and make known this place, and make perfume in it to other gods, that they knew not, they and their fathers, and the kings of Judah, and they have filled this place [with] innocent blood,

 5and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons with fire, burnt-offerings to Baal, that I commanded not, nor spake of, nor did it come up on My heart.

This is pretty clear.  They are doing it on their own.  They are doing it in rebellion to God.  They want to be god themselves. They worship another god.  They want us to bow down and worship them.  They want us to worship their god.  It's been going on for 4000 years and it's still going on today.  How come everyone knows this except Christians?

2 Thessalonians 2:7
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.


"mystery"

G3466
μυστήριον
mustērion
moos-tay'-ree-on
From a derivative of μύω muō (to shut the mouth); a secret or "mystery" (through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites): - mystery.


[of] "iniquity"

G458
ἀνομία
anomia
an-om-ee'-ah
From G459; illegality, that is, violation of law or (generally) wickedness: - iniquity, X transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.









Offline peacemaker

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2009, 05:52:18 AM »
This is pretty clear.  They are doing it on their own.  They are doing it in rebellion to God.  They want to be god themselves. They worship another god.  They want us to bow down and worship them.  They want us to worship their god.  It's been going on for 4000 years and it's still going on today.  How come everyone knows this except Christians?

A very good question, Molly! And it appears that it was answered, just before the question.


They have built the high places of worship; to burn their children with the false fires of Hell.
Which I did not command, nor speak of, neither did it once come into my mind or heart.

peacemaker

Tim B

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2009, 06:34:48 AM »
Thanks everybody for your input! Good thoughts!

Offline Molly

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2009, 06:57:09 AM »
Look at this word--


for "burnt offerings" [unto Baal]

H5930
עולה    עלה
‛ôlâh  ‛ôlâh
o-law', o-law'
Feminine active participle of H5927; a step or (collectively stairs, as ascending); usually a holocaust (as going up in smoke): - ascent, burnt offering (sacrifice), go up to. See also H5766.


Who would pick that word for the Jews who perished in WW2?  Burnt offerings?  Unto what god?

Offline rosered

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2009, 07:08:09 AM »
  the weeping prophet  Jeremiah
 
 
   there isa some really good flow/conversation   going on here ,
 
  this shocked me the first time I read it ... Therefore will I do unto [this] house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 


 Jer 7:15   And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, [even] the whole seed of Ephraim. 


 Jer 7:16  Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. 

 Jer 7:17   Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem


 Jer 7:18   The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead [their] dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. 

Jer 7:19   Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: [do they] not [provoke] themselves to the confusion of their own faces? 


 Jer 7:20   Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
 
  :sigh:

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: How Should We Understand Jeremiah 19:4-5?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2009, 10:15:04 AM »
Molly,

Below a quote from Merriam-Webster. I says date 13th century but it's clear parts have added much later.
Many Jews where killed by Zyklon B; that sorta fits with the definition marked in blue.


noun
Etymology:Middle English, from Late Latin holocaustum, from Greek holokauston, from neuter of holokaustos burnt whole, from hol- + kaustos burnt, from kaiein to burn — more at CAUSTIC
Date:13th century

1 : a sacrifice consumed by fire
2 : a thorough destruction involving extensive loss of life especially through fire  *a nuclear holocaust*
3 a often capitalized   : the mass slaughter of European civilians and especially Jews by the Nazis during World War II —  usually used with the  b : a mass slaughter of people;  especially   : GENOCIDE

CAUSTIC
capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action : CORROSIVE
2 : marked by incisive sarcasm
3 : relating to or being the surface or curve of a caustic
  –caus£ti£cal£ly \-ti-k(*-)l*\  adverb 
  –caus£tic£i£ty \k*-*sti-s*-t*\  noun 
synonyms CAUSTIC, MORDANT, ACRID, SCATHING mean stingingly incisive. CAUSTIC suggests a biting wit  *caustic comments*. MORDANT suggests a wit that is used with deadly effectiveness  *mordant reviews of the play*. ACRID implies bitterness and often malevolence  *acrid invective*. SCATHING implies indignant attacks delivered with fierce severity  *a scathing satire*.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...