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Under the type of breaking a potter's vessel, is foreshewed the desolation of the Jews for their sins.
Before Christ 605.
Jeremiah 19:1. Go, and get a potter's earthen bottle— The meaning of this significative emblem is fully explained in the subsequent verses; and indeed the whole chapter requires very little comment.
Jeremiah 19:2. By the entry of the east gate— According to others, The entry of the potter's gate; which seems to be the best reading, as it denotes that gate, through which the potters who made the vessels for the use of the temple, in its neighbourhood, carried out the fragments of their broken vessels. The context, Jeremiah 19:10; Jeremiah 19:14. Jer 18:2 and Zec 11:13 confirm this conjecture; besides which, we may add, that the valley of Hinnom and the brook Cedron were near the temple; that the potters lived, within that gate which led thither, and that they carried their rubbish out of that gate. See Grotius, and Houbigant.
Jeremiah 19:4. And have estranged this place— And have turned this place to improper uses. Houbigant.
Jeremiah 19:7. And I will make void, &c.— And I will dissipate, &c. Houbigant.
Jeremiah 19:9. I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons— See 2 Kings 6:29.
REFLECTIONS.—1st, To awaken conviction in the hearts of a stupid people, every method is tried, that they may be left at last utterly inexcusable.
1. Jeremiah is ordered down to the valley of the son of Hinnom, the place where their most shocking idolatries were committed, and the destined spot of their terrible execution. He is commanded to take an earthen pitcher, and, as witnesses of what he was about to do and say, to bring with him some of the ancients of the priests and people; for when God speaks by the meanest of his prophets, the greatest should not think themselves above attending their ministry.
2. God will there tell him his message, which he must proclaim aloud as a herald; and the purport of it is most tremendous, which all are summoned to attend, from the greatest to the least; and enough it is to make the ears of every one that heareth it to tingle, as thunderstruck with the dreadful sound. The sins charged upon them are most shocking and aggravated; apostacy from God, profanation of his temple, foul idolatry, barbarous cruelty, the inhuman sacrifice of infants to their abominable deities, yea, even the burning their sons with fire, for burnt-offerings unto Baal; sacrifices abhorred of God, and such as he never thought of, nor expected from his worshippers. For these abominations judgment is threatened proportionate to such atrocious guilt: on that very spot the wrath of God should be executed upon them, and the valley acquire a new name: no more called Tophet, from the drums which were to drown the cries of infants burning alive in sacrifice to Moloch, but the valley of Slaughter, from the multitudes who should there be massacred by the Chaldeans. Their counsels then should be made vain, which in that place they had taken to oppose their invaders, or to fly to their idols for relief in the day of their calamity. There they must fall by the sword of their merciless enemies, thirsting for their blood; their carcases ignominiously exposed, and unburied; a prey to the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth. Such plagues, and desolations shall come upon their city and country, that astonishment at the greatness of the calamity shall mix with indignation against their sins in every passer-by: yea, to such straits should they be reduced in the siege, that famine should compel them to feed upon their dearest friends, and even their children, on their dead corpses, or murdered, to satisfy their raging hunger; a scene of wretchedness which makes us shudder but to relate! O sin! sin! what hast thou done!
2nd. The judgment denounced is,
1. Confirmed by a significant sign. The earthen bottle in his hand is dashed in pieces on the ground, and the explication of it given, that so utter and irreparable should be their destruction. The city and people should be broken like this vessel, and the spot whereon they stood be the place of execution, where so many should be slain, that graves should be wanting to bury them; yea, the city of Jerusalem should be as Tophet, and every house defiled with the corpses of the slain, and rendered filthy and abominable as that detested place, because of the idolatries which had been practised therein, and the incense which on their roofs they had offered to the host of heaven.
2. What he now spoke in the presence of the ancients, in the valley of the son of Hinnom, he repeats solemnly in the court of the Lord's house before all the people, that if they continue impenitent, they may be at least inexcusable. All the denunciations of wrath which God had spoken by Jeremiah were now ready to be executed on Jerusalem and on all her towns, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words; obstinately persisting in their iniquities, and deaf to all admonition. Note; (1.) Ministers must deliver their own souls, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear. (2.) They who harden their hearts against God's warnings, must perish without remedy. (3.) In the day of judgment the damned will only have themselves to blame, and the sense of their wilfulness, will aggravate their misery.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 19". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
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