Jeremiah 9 – Message of the Temple Gate & The Israel Town and Home

Talk about crowded and smelly, but at least they had a roof over their head.  

There are so many people in the world today that have no shelter and what do the rich folks do?

Billionaires like:

Church at Capernaum built over the ancient house of St. Peter in Galilee, Israel
Capernaum or Kfar Nahum, Nahums village was a settlement on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

The site is a ruin today, but was inhabited from 150 BC to about AD 750.The town is mentioned in the New Testament: in the Gospel of Luke it was reported to have been the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew.

In Matt 4:13 the town was reported to have been the home of Jesus himself. According to Luke 4:31-44, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on the sabbath days. In Capernaum also, Jesus allegedly healed a man who had the spirit of an unclean devil and healed a fever in Simon Peter’s mother-in-law.

According to Matthew 8:5-13, it is also the place where a Roman Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant. A building which may have been a synagogue of that period has been found beneath the remains of a later synagogue.

  • Bill Gates (Microsoft) – $96.3 Billion – 2019,
  • The Waltons (Wal-Mart)) – $136.1 Billion – 2019,
  • Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway) – $83.4 Billion – 2019, 
  • Larry Ellison (Oracle) -$60.4 Billion – 2019,
  • Michael Dell (Dell Computers) – $28.6 Billion – 2019,
  • Oprah Winfrey – $2.6 Billion – 2019.

What they do is throw a few crumbs to the poor so they can take it off their taxes, and smile at the camera telling the world that they’ve done a good deed.  

I know You aren’t happy with people like that, are these types of people saved?  Will I have to spend eternity in heaven with them?

“And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.

And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hat cast in more than they all:

For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had” (Lk 21:1-4).

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt 19:23-25).

I just don’t understand why they let the money sit in the bank instead of creating more businesses so people can work and/or build houses for people.

I know Satan is behind all of this, with all of his glitter and charm, but don’t these rich folks know that hanging onto their money for dear life will only destroy their souls?

“And he spake a parable unto the them saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, becuase I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

And he said, THis will I do: I will pull down my barns and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of three: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

Capernaum
This village is on the northern side of Sea of Galilee, and was the center of the activities of Jesus and his town during that time. A grand 4th century Ad Synagogue was excavated, which stood over the Synagogue from the time of Jesus.

So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God” (Lk12:16-21).

“For the love of money is the root of all evil...” (1 Tim 6:10).

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

Jeremiah 9
Message of the Temple Gate

1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!

9:1-2 – Jeremiah’s frustration is highlighted as he speaks of his countrymen with tender sympathy in v. 1 and with indignant disgust in v. 2.

Jeremiah is often called the “weeping prophet” – a well-observed title (see v. 10; the book of Lamentations; cf. 2 Sam 18:33; Matt 23:37; Rom 9:2-4; 10:1).

2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.

Jeremiah wants to get as far away from his wicked countrymen as possible.

3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.

City of David
The area between the City of David and the Temple Mount has been known as the Ophel (meaning “a high place to climb to”) since the First Temple period. In the Bible, King Jotham “did much building on the wall of the Ophel” (11 Chronicles 27:3) in the mid-8th century B.C.E., and the site’s history stretches back well before this construction.

4 Take ye heed every one of his neighbor, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor will walk with slanders.

5 And they will deceive everyone his neighbor, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.

6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD.

7 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold; I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?

8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.

9 Shall I not visit them for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

10 For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone.

11 And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.

12 Who is the wise man that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?

The Ophel
The Ophel is part of the Eastern Hill that sits between the City of David and the Temple Mount. The word “ophel” means “swell or rise” and refers to a higher part of the landscape. The Jebusites built their citadel there, as did David, who also added a lot more fortification to this northern part of his city.

The Ophel is mentioned in:
“Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple of the Lord and did extensive work on the wall at the hill of Ophel” (2 Chro 27:3).

“Afterward he (Manasseh) rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon spring in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate and encircling the hill of Ophel; he also made it much higher” (2 Chro 33:14).

This part of the city was always heavily fortified, as seen in Neh 3:26, Is 32:14 and Micah 4:8. Extensive building took place in this area from the days of David right up to the modern excavation of the Ophel just south of the Temple Mount.

13 And the LORD saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein;

14 But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:

15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

“Feed them…with wormwood…water of gall”: – centuries earlier, Moses had warned the Israelites concerning just such a fate (Deut 29:18).

16 I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.

“I will scatter them” – this warning was given in Deut 28:64 as one of the covenant curses.

17 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come:

18 And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.

The purpose for the professional mourners was to arouse the bereaved to weep and lament.

19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we spoiled! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out.

20 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor lamentation.

21 For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.

“Death” – Canaanite mythology included a deity named Mot (a word related to the Hebrew word for “death”), the god of infertility and the netherworld.

22 Speak, Thus saith the LORD, Even the carcasses of men shall fall as dung upon the open field, and as the handful after the harvestman, and none shall gather them.

Jerusalem: History, Archaeology and Apologetic Proof of Scripture
This book is an incredible journey through the history of Jerusalem, progressing from the earliest days of man’s history through the past 2,000 years of Gentile dominance and into the prophecies yet to be fulfilled.

The guide includes more than 500 photos, diagrams and maps to document each age and show what the people of the city were like during that time. The images are all connected to important, historical information – all of which is presented in a simple, chronological manner.

23 Thus saith the LORD; Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:

“Let not…the rich man glory in his riches” – an almost exact parallel occurs in the Aramaic Words of Ahiqar, written about a century after Jeremiah’s time: “Let not the rich man say, ‘In my riches I am glorious’”

24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

1 Cor 1:31 summarizes: “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

25 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised;

26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.

“In the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness” – Arab tribes later to be attacked by the Babylonian’s under Nebuchadnezzar.

The Israel Town and Home

The typical Israelites town followed the same basic design throughout the Iron Age (1200-600 B.C.).  Examining its layout, a Westerner might feel bewildered by an evidently unorganized array of walls and streets.

But this was no labyrinth; the paths and walls first joined together families and only secondarily connected all the family units into a single community.

Each home probably housed a nuclear family but was also part of an extended family compound.  This family structure, a patriarchal social unit based upon patrilineal descent, was based on the concept of a “father’s house” (Hebrew bet av).

An Olive Press at Hazor, an ancient Canaanite and then Israelite town (1 Kgs 9:15 and 2 Kgs 15:29).
A reconstructed oil press was found in a 8th century BC four-roomed house above the palace in Tell Hazor.  This is a typical lever-based oil press which was in use in the Biblical periods. Later the oil press evolved into other types of machines.

In this oil press, a stone weight was tied to the edge of the wooden lever, pushing the lever down. The use of a lever exerts a large force over a small distance. The force of the lever pushed a flat stone down on a basket, which contained the olives.

The stone squeezed the basket, extracting the precious olive oil unto the round grooves of a basin stone. The juice flowed down along these grooves, out through an outlet in the basin, and down into a collecting vat. The olive juice contained water and oil. After a few days, the lighter oil in the juice floats above the water, and it is then collected and stored in jars.

The larger family unit consisted of the paternal head, along with his wife, his sons and their wives, the grandchildren and finally the slaves.  When David was a youth his grown brothers were still part of the bet av of Jesse of Bethlehem (1 Sam 16).  Similarly, in Gen 12:1, God commanded the already aging Abram to leave his bet av.

The four-room house was the most common type of Israelites residence.  Most were two-story, rectangular structures, but the distinctive feature was the layout of the rooms.

The main floor was entered through a door at the center of the (short) front wall, which led into a long hallway flanked on both sides by the other corridor-like rooms.  Across the back of the house was the fourth room.

Actually, the four rooms could be subdivided into a number of different configurations.  Even so, this basic design, along with a modified version called the three-room house, set the standard for Israelites architecture.

Such houses often had internal pillars of stone or wood.  Walls were composed of sundried mud bricks (with plaster on the outer walls) and were built up on a few courses of foundation stones.  Wooden beams served as the base for the second story, as well as the ceiling for the ground level.

The roof consisted of compressed, mud-caked twigs placed over wooden beams and topped with plaster, a combination in constant need of maintenance.  Windows were probably slits in the walls necessary for ventilation, since chimneys were not used, but still kept small for security purposes.

The annexes or subdivisions located by archaeologists within some of these houses may have been “windows quarters” for grandmothers.  Servants shared the family compound.

The function of the four-room house within Israelites culture remains debated, but it was well suited to the agricultural nature of Israelite society.  The three parallel rooms may have been inspired by the need to accommodate stalls for domestic animals.

In the coldest months livestock would have remained in these stalls, providing some warmth not only for the animals but also for the family upstairs.  The cross-room at the back probably functioned as a storage compartment (a house excavated at Shechem included a storage pit in this area).

The flat roof served as a kind of summer patio (cf. Acts 10:9), as well as a place to bath (2 Sam 11:2).

Most towns were surrounded by a wall for security.  Many had a double or casemate wall, often with homes integrated into it.  Sometimes the backs of houses served as the outer defensive wall of the city, an arrangement especially common during the Iron II period.

Ancient olive tree in Hilazon creek
Olive oil is produced by growing olive trees, harvesting the olives (at around September timeframe), crushing them with an oil press, and collecting the golden juice. This process started about 5000 year ago, and its popularity and worth increased ever since.

Olive oil was used as a cooking oil, food, lighting fuel, soap making, religious ceremonies and medicinal use.  Its production was one of the major sources of income in the Holy Land over thousands of years, including modern times when the olive oil is an essential ingredient in the Middle East cuisine.

The main gate in the outer wall was not just the place through which people could exit and enter but also the primary meeting place.  In habitants would continuously see one another going and coming and would meet there after a day in the fields.

Traveling merchants encountered the townspeople at the gate, which became the site for the city market.  Legal issues were discussed there as well.  There are countless references in the Bible to “the gate” as the social, commercial and judicial hub of a city (e.g., Ruth 4:1; 2 Kgs 7:1; Ps 127:5).

The design of Israelite towns and houses in many ways mirrored Israel’s social values and customs.  These traditional structures endured through many historical changes. 

Tragically, the remains of these cities often attest to violent destruction and to chaotic upheavals that brought recurrent disruption and turmoil to a settled, agrarian society.  Jeremiah 9 anticipates such a scenario.

Don’t people understand that You control everything, even money?

“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it he that giveth thee power to get wealth…” (Deut 8:18).

I don’t know if all of these rich folks believe in Jesus, but I know some of them do, or they say they do.  But how can they say they do and then hoard their money instead of helping others? 

I wonder if they go to church and if so do they go to one of Your churches or one of Anton LaVey’s churches?