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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Jeremiah 19

 

 

Verse 1

Jeremiah 19:1 Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter’s earthen bottle, and [take] of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests;

Ver. 1. Thus saith the Lord.] By the former type of a potter and his vessel, God had showed the Jews what he could do to them - viz., break them at his pleasure, and remake them upon their repentance. Here, by a like prophetic paradigm, is set forth what the Lord now will do to them - viz., break them so for their obstinace, as that they should never be repaired, and restored to their ancient lustre and flourish. And this the prophet Jeremiah ( fortissimus ille Dei athleta, as one calleth him) that valiant champion of the Lord, telleth them freely, though he kissed the stocks and was well beaten for his boldness. [Jeremiah 20:2] Where it is worthy our observation, that as the prophet’s task was more and more increased, so was his strength and courage. Deus gratiam multiplicat onere ingravescente. So it was with Athanasius, Luther, Latimer, Calvin, &c.

Go and get a potter’s earthen bottle.] Called in Hebrew Bakbuk, (a) either from the emptiness and hollowness of it, or else from the guggling sound that it made when it was either filled or emptied. By a like figure it is said of the vulturine eagle, [Job 39:30] that they do glutglut blood. (b)

And take of the ancients.] Of both sorts for witnesses.


Verse 2

Jeremiah 19:2 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,

Ver. 2. And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom.] See Jeremiah 7:3, that where the Jews had sinned, there they might be sentenced.

Which is by the entry of the east gate.] Or, as others render it, Portam fictilem seu testaceam, the gate of clay or brick, the potters’ gate (because the potters dwelt near to it, and thereby carried forth their potsherds), called also the dung gate, saith the Chaldee paraphrase; an allusion being hereby made both to the pot he carried and to the pieces of it when broken, which should be cast to the dunghill. Inde ad gehennam via erat. This was the way to Tophet, and thither Jeremiah led them, said an expositor, that (a) considering their graves in that valley, according to Jeremiah 7:32, and that their bodies, those earthen vessels, should soon after be broken and carried out as dung into Tophet by the Chaldeans, and their souls into hell by the devils, they might repent, and so prevent such a mischief.

And proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee.] God took his own times to tell his prophets what they should tell the people. The privilege of infallibility, saith a divine, was perpetual to the apostles: Prophetis vero saepius intervallatum, et fere non extra ipsos prophetandi paroxysmos durans; not so to the prophets, but while they were prophesying only for the most part; neither knew they many times what they should prophesy, till the very instant.


Verse 3

Jeremiah 19:3 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 heareth, his ears shall tingle.

Ver. 3. Hear the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah,] i.e., O king and thy counsellors, who are so many little kings, as King James was wont to say of the parliament men.

Behold, I bring evil upon this place.] This he spake to all, and with all authority; catholicam et miserabilem perniciem proclamans. It is credible that he spake it with as good a courage (or better), as Bishop Ridley, martyr, did those comminatory words of his to Queen Mary and her servants, when they refused to hear him preach. He uttered them with such vehemence, saith mine author, that some of the hearers afterwards confessed the hairs to stand upright on their heads. (a)

His ears shall tingle.] For grief and fear, as if he had been stonied with a thunder clap, or were ready to swoon.


Verse 4

Jeremiah 19:4 Because they have 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 have filled this place with the blood of innocents;

Ver. 4. Because they have forsaken me.] Jeremiah 16:11.

And estranged this place.] Or, Strangely abused it, so as I scarce know it, or can find in my heart to own it.

Whom neither they, nor their fathers,] scil., Quamdiu probi fuerunt et pii; so long as they had any goodness in them, saith Jerome. Those afterwards that worshipped, they knew not what (as those Samaritans did, John 4:22), are not worthy to be reckoned on, much less to be imitated. Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. [Ezekiel 20:18]

And have filled this place with the blood of innocents.] Especially of infants sacrificed to Moloch in Tophet, so filling up the measure of your sins.


Verse 5

Jeremiah 19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire [for] burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake [it], neither came [it] into my mind:

Ver. 5. Which I commanded not.] Reprobatur voluntarius cultus, et factitiae religiones. See Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 32:35, 2 Kings 23:10.


Verse 6

Jeremiah 19:6 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.

Ver. 6. This place shall no more.] See Jeremiah 7:32. Things are repeated, that they may be the better observed.


Verse 7

Jeremiah 19:7 And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

Ver. 7. And I will make void the counsel of Judah.] As vain and empty as this earthen bottle now is. See on Jeremiah 19:1, and take notice of an elegant alliteration in the original.

And their carcases will I give.] See Jeremiah 7:33; Jeremiah 16:4.


Verse 8

Jeremiah 19:8 And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

Ver. 8. And I will make this city desolate.] See Jeremiah 18:10.


Verse 9

Jeremiah 19:9 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 and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.

Ver. 9. And I will cause them to eat the flesh.] This, as it was threatened, [Leviticus 26:29 Deuteronomy 28:23] so accordingly accomplished. [Lamentations 2:20; Lamentations 4:10] Ptolemy Lathurus, king of Egypt, barbarously slew thirty thousand Jews, and forced the rest to feed upon the flesh of those that were slain.


Verse 10

Jeremiah 19:10 Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee,

Ver. 10. Then shalt thou break the bottle.] That the eyes of the bystanders and beholders may affect their hearts. Non alia ratio Sacramentorum est.


Verse 11

Jeremiah 19:11 And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as [one] breaketh a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury [them] in Tophet, till [there be] no place to bury.

Ver. 11. That cannot be made whole again.] Heb., Cured. No more was the Jewish state ever restored to its ancient dignity and lustre, after the captivity; neither was Tophet ever repaired at all, but served for a mortuary chapel, a place to lay dead men’s bones in.


Verse 12

Jeremiah 19:12 Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof, and [even] make this city as Tophet:

Ver. 12. And even make their city as Tophet.] Every whit as abominable and horrid; a very hell above ground.


Verse 13

Jeremiah 19:13 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.

Ver. 13. And the houses of Jerusalem.] Wherein they had their "chambers of imagery," and their private chapels for idolatrous uses, as Papists also have. [Ezekiel 8:12 Zephaniah 1:1-18]

Because all the houses upon whose roofs.] See on Zephaniah 1:4.


Verse 14

Jeremiah 19:14 Then came Jeremiah 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,

Ver. 14. And he stood in the court of the Lord’s house.] A place of greatest concourse of people; and where he might meet with many hearers. Here he spread his net, that he might catch some souls; dilated his discourse at Tophet, whereof we have here but the short notes; minding them of their sin and punishment. And surely this prophet should be so much the more regarded by us, for that he so freely and fully delivered the divine messages, omitting no part thereof, either for fear or favour. Ambrose bade Augustine read the prophet Isaiah diligently, for the confirmation of his faith. We may all very profitably read the prophet Jeremiah, who is full of incitation to repentance and new obedience.


Verse 15

Jeremiah 19:15 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.

Ver. 15. Because they have hardened their necks.] Which may seem possessed with an iron sinew, so stiff they are and sturdy, having manum in aure, aurem in cervice, cervicem in corde, cor in obstinatione, (a) their hand on their ear, their ear in their neck, their neck in their heart, and their heart in obstinace, &c.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 19:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-19.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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