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THUS saith the Lord: Go, and take a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests:

Ver. 1.  Priests.  They were to furnish the vessel, and accompany the prophets.  v. 10.  Sept. "and thou shalt take some of," &c.  H.

 

--- Words and actions together instruct most powerfully.  S. Jer.  W.


2 And go forth into the valley of the son of Ennom, which is by the entry of the earthen gate: and there thou shalt proclaim the words that I shall tell thee.

Ver. 2.  Gate, which must have been to the south-east of Jerusalem, leading to the valley.  C.

 

--- Sept. "Charseith gate."  H.

 

--- Here the common people were buried, after the reign of Josias, who contaminated the place where the idol Moloc had been adored.




3 And thou shalt say: Hear the word of the Lord, O ye kings of Juda, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring an affliction upon this place: so that whoever shall hear it, his ears shall tingle:

Ver. 3.  Tingle, as if he had heard a sudden noise or clap of thunder.  C.




4 Because they have forsaken me, and have profaned this place: and have sacrificed therein to strange gods, whom neither they nor their fathers knew, nor the kings of Juda: and they have filled this place with the blood of innocents.

Ver. 4.  Profaned.  Lit. "rendered strange."  H.

 

--- I have no farther regard for it.

 

--- Innocents: their own children.  v. 5.  C. vii. 31.




5 And they have built the high places of Baalim, to burn their children with fire for a holocaust to Baalim: which I did not command, nor speak of, neither did it once come into my mind.

Ver. 5.  Mind.  Perhaps the people stupidly thought thus to honour him; but God pointedly condemns such sacrifices.


6 Therefore behold the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Topheth, nor the valley of the son of Ennom, but the valley of slaughter.

Ver. 6.  Valley.  Sept. "burial-place of slaughter."  v. 2.  Here the Chaldees slew many.




7 And I will defeat the counsel of Juda and of Jerusalem in this place: and I will destroy them with the sword in the sight of their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and I will give their carcasses to be meat for the fowls of the air, and for the beasts of the earth.


8 And I will make this city an astonishent, and a hissing: every one that shall pass by it, shall be astonished, and shall hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

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9 And I will feed them with the flesh of their sons, and with the flesh of their daughters: and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege, and in the distress wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives shall straiten them.

Ver. 9.  Sons, to punish them for their cruel sacrifices.  S. Jer.

 

--- This was verified under Sedecias.  Lam. ii. 10. and iv. 10.  Ezec. v. 10.


10 And thou shalt break the bottle in the sight of the men that shall go with thee. 11 And thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord of hosts: even so will I break this people, and this city, as the potter's vessel is broken, which cannot be made whole again: and they shall be buried in Topheth, because there is no other place to bury in.

Ver. 11.  Again.  The captives indeed returned, so that this must not be urged too much.  C.

 

--- Yet the Romans strictly fulfilled this prophecy, (S. Jer.  Sanctius) and the city was built in another place, and styled Ælia.  H.

 

--- God can perform what is impossible to man.  C. xviii. 3.  Mat. xix.  W.




12 Thus will I do to this place, saith the Lord, and to the inhabitants thereof: and I will make this city as Topheth.


13 And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of Juda shall be unclean as the place of Topheth: all the houses upon whose roots they have sacrificed to all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings to strange gods.

Ver. 13.  Topheth.  This sentence was not in S. Jerom's Hebrew copy, but in the Sept. (C.) with some variations: (H.) "All the houses of the kings of Juda, like the place of Topheth," is added by the Sept.  S. Jer.

 

--- In Grabe they agree with the present Heb. and Chal. only rendering, "shall be as a place in ruin, for the defilements in all," &c.  H.

 

--- Of heaven: the  moon, &c.  4 K. xxiii. 12.  Josias could not entirely root out this impiety.  C. xxxii. 29.  His wicked son Joachaz or Sellum, was probably now on the throne, when the prophet went to the potter, &c.  C. xviii. to xxi.




14 Then Jeremias came from Topheth, whither the Lord had sent him to prophecy, and he stood in the court of the house of the Lord, and said to all people:

Ver. 14.  People.  Many still resorted to the temple.  C.




15 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring in upon this city, and upon all the cities thereof all the evils that I have spoken against it: because they have hardened their necks, and they might not hear my words.
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