Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 19

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-15

Chapter 19

Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle ( Jeremiah 19:1 ),

Take one of the bottles that the potter has made. Clay bottles.

and take the old men of the people, and of the priests; And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee ( Jeremiah 19:1-2 ):

Now the valley of Hinnom runs along the south side of the city of Jerusalem and joins the Kidron valley right down at the base of the hill of Ophel, which was the city of David. And as you're standing on Mount Zion, as you look down into the valley to the south, you're looking down into the valley of Hinnom. And this is where the children of Israel had done so much of their pagan worship of the gods of the Canaanites and the people who inhabited the land before they came in. And so he is to go into this valley where all of these pagan rites were done by the people with this clay jar from the potter's house. "So call the ancient priests and the old men and gather them into the valley and I'll give you My word there. I'll tell you what to speak."

And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever hears it, his ears shall tingle. Because they have forsaken me ( Jeremiah 19:3-4 ),

The reason why the judgment's coming, "They've forsaken Me."

and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and they have filled this place with the blood of innocents; They have built also the high places of Baal [altars to Baal], to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings ( Jeremiah 19:4-5 ),

Now if you go over to Israel in the Museum of Natural History, they have a collection in there of these little representations of the god Baal. And they are many of them made of iron; some of them are made of stone. And as you look at them, their hands are always pointed upwards with their palms in. And they are little figurines that look somewhat human with little arms out like this and hands pointed up. Now what they would do there in the valley of Hinnom is that they would set these little irons representations of the god Baal in the fire until they were glowing red hot and then they would take their live little babies and place them in the glowing red hot arms of the little god Baal and burn them to death, as they would dance around and worship Baal.

Now this is the thing God is crying out against. These are the horrible things that God's people were doing. These were the horrible sacrileges that they were guilty of. And so God says, "They built also the high places to Baal to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal."

which I commanded not, nor spoke, neither came it into my mind ( Jeremiah 19:5 ):

Now, God would never think of having a person make a live sacrifice of a child unto Him.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter. For I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them [here in this valley] to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcasses will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city desolate, and a hissing; every one that passes thereby shall be astonished and hiss, because of all the plagues. And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege because of the straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them. Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with you ( Jeremiah 19:6-10 ),

After you pronounce this, just break that clay bottle in their sight.

And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, until there is no place to bury. Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet: And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods. So Jeremiah came from Tophet, whither the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD'S house; and said to all the people, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words ( Jeremiah 19:11-15 ).

And so the people were just refusing to listen to the warnings of God.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Jeremiah 19". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/jeremiah-19.html. 2014.
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