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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Jeremiah 19

 

 

Verse 1

THE BROKEN PITCHER AND ITS LESSON, Jeremiah 19:1-13.

1. Potter — Literally, shaper of earthenware.

Bottle — A jar with a narrow neck, whose Hebrew name — bakkuk — comes from the noise made by liquids in flowing out.

Get — Literally, buy. By a bold construction, not unusual in Hebrew, the word is carried over upon the incongruous nouns people and priests. The Septuagint and Syriac versions, as well as our own, insert the verb take.

Ancients — Rather, elders, representing the commonwealth in both its civil and ecclesiastical aspects, and, as it would seem, those most ready to hear the word of God.


Verse 2

2. Valley of the son of Hinnom — See on Jeremiah 7:31. This designation of locality is the same with that of the previous chapter, but more specific.

East gate — Margin, sun gate. Both renderings are wrong. It should be sherd gate, an appellation which probably came from the broken fragments of earthenware scattered there. It is uncertain which of the two gates leading from the city into the valley of Hinnom is here meant — the Fountain gate, at the southwest corner, or the Dung gate, at the southeast corner, of Zion.


Verse 3

3. Kings of Judah — The plural is used, because the message of the prophet referred to more than the reigning king.

Ears… tingle — See 2 Kings 21:12; 1 Samuel 3:21.


Verse 4

4. Estranged this place — Rather, disowned this place. The same verb occurs in Job 21:29. The meaning is, they have treated it as a strange place, perhaps by worshipping strange gods. Neither they nor, etc. — The exact construction of the original is: Other gods which they knew not: they and their fathers and the kings of Judah; these nouns being subjects, not of have known, but of the verbs of the principal clause.

Innocents — Not, as some have hastily concluded, children slain to Moloch, but guiltless persons who were victims of persecution and judicial murder. See 2 Kings 21:16, and Jeremiah 7:6; Jeremiah 22:3; Jeremiah 22:17.


Verse 5-6

5, 6. Compare Jeremiah 7:31-32.


Verse 7

7. Make void — The root of this word is the same with that of the word for “bottle.” It would be better to translate, I will pour out; that is, bring to nothing.


Verse 9

9. Eat the flesh, etc. — Mainly from Deuteronomy 28:53, and Leviticus 26:29. Famine is added to complete the terrible picture. For the fulfilment, see Lamentations 2:20; Lamentations 4:10.


Verse 10

10. Then shall thou break the bottle — The coming calamity is set forth by this vivid symbol. Jeremiah does this in the sight of the elders, in order to arrest their attention and open their ears to his words.


Verse 11

11. Cannot be made whole again — In this it differed from the symbol of the preceding chapter. That set forth the one unfailing, invincible purpose of God in crushing the vessel for its more perfect moulding, and so bringing a fuller victory out of apparent defeat; here we have the judgment of God dashing into fragments a worthless vessel. The innumerable fragments fitly represent the countless slain.


Verse 12

12. As Tophet — See 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 7:31.


Verse 13

13. Defiled, etc. — Literally, as Tophet the defiled. The article, with the word “defiled,” seems to fix this construction, though “defiled” is plural, while Tophet, its subject, is singular. This is to be explained as a case of attraction to the leading subject, houses. Upon whose roofs, etc. — On the worship of the stars from the housetops, see Zephaniah 1:5; 2 Kings 21:3; 2 Kings 23:12.

JEREMIAH’S MESSAGE IN THE TEMPLE, 14, 15.


Verse 14-15

14, 15. These verses belong with the following chapter.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 19:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-19.html. 1874-1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, September 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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