Shiloh should have been a sobering reminder for Judah. Once the center of Israel’s religious life and the site of the tabernacle (1 Samuel 1.3), it lay in ruins in Jeremiah’s day and its people carried off into captivity by the Assyrians. Why? Because the northern kingdom had turned away from the LORD to worship and serve idols. Jeremiah warned that the same fate awaited the people of Jerusalem – and for the same reason (Jeremiah 7.8-11).
Jeremiah’s message of judgment must have sounded incredible. After all, Jerusalem was the site of the Temple, the magnificent house of worship that David envisioned and Solomon built. How could God allow His Temple and its city to be destroyed? Yet if anyone doubted the legitimacy of Jeremiah’s warning, all they had to do was take about a 20-mile trip north – to Shiloh.