Jeremiah 19

Listen to Jeremiah 19

The Broken Flask

1 Thus says the LORD, "Go, buy 1a potter's earthenware 2flask, and take some of 3the elders of the people and some of 4the elders of the priests,
2 and go out 5to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you.
3 You shall say, 6'Hear the word of the LORD, 7O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that 8the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.
4 9Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; 10and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents,
5 11and have built the high places of Baal 12to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, 13which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind--
6 therefore, 14behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or 15the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.
7 And in this place 16I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, 17and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. 18I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth.
8 And I will make this city 19a horror, 20a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds.
9 21And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor 22in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.'
10 "Then 23you shall break 24the flask in the sight of the men who go with you,
11 and shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, 25as one breaks a potter's vessel, 26so that it can never be mended. 27Men shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury.
12 Thus will I do to this place, declares the LORD, and to its inhabitants, making this city 28like Topheth.
13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah--29all the houses on whose 30roofs offerings have been offered 31to all the host of heaven, and 32drink offerings have been poured out to other gods--shall be defiled 33like the place of Topheth.'"
14 Then Jeremiah came from 34Topheth, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy, 35and he stood in the court of the LORD's house and said to all the people:
15 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, behold, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, 36because they have stiffened their neck, 37refusing to hear my words."

Jeremiah 19 Commentary

Chapter 19

By the type of breaking an earthen vessel, Jeremiah is to predict the destruction of Judah.

Verses 1-9 The prophet must give notice of ruin coming upon Judah and Jerusalem. Both rulers and ruled must attend to it. That place which holiness made the joy of the whole earth, sin made the reproach and shame of the whole earth. There is no fleeing from God's justice, but by fleeing to his mercy.

Verses 10-15 The potter's vessel, after it is hardened, can never be pieced again when it is broken. And as the bottle was broken, so shall Judah and Jerusalem be broken by the Chaldeans. No human hand can repair it; but if they return to the Lord he will heal. As they filled Tophet with the slain sacrificed to their idols, so will God fill the whole city with the slain that shall fall as sacrifices to his justice. Whatever men may think, God will appear as terrible against sin and sinners as the Scriptures state; nor shall the unbelief of men make his promise or his threatenings of no effect. The obstinacy of sinners in sinful ways, is their own fault; if they are deaf to the word of God, it is because they have stopped their ears. We have need to pray that God, by his grace, would deliver us from hardness of heart, and contempt of his word and commandments.

Cross References 37

  • 1. See Jeremiah 18:2
  • 2. ver. 10
  • 3. 2 Kings 19:2; 2 Kings 23:1; Ezekiel 8:1
  • 4. 2 Kings 19:2; 2 Kings 23:1; Ezekiel 8:1
  • 5. See Joshua 15:8
  • 6. Jeremiah 17:20
  • 7. See Jeremiah 13:13
  • 8. 1 Samuel 3:11; 2 Kings 21:12
  • 9. See Jeremiah 1:16
  • 10. 2 Kings 21:16; See Jeremiah 2:34
  • 11. Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 32:35; Leviticus 18:21
  • 12. Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 32:35; Leviticus 18:21
  • 13. Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 32:35; Deuteronomy 17:3
  • 14. Jeremiah 7:32
  • 15. ver. 2
  • 16. [Isaiah 19:3]
  • 17. [Leviticus 26:17]
  • 18. See Jeremiah 7:33
  • 19. See Jeremiah 18:16
  • 20. See Jeremiah 18:16
  • 21. Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:53; Isaiah 9:20; Lamentations 2:20; Lamentations 4:10; Ezekiel 5:10
  • 22. Deut. 28:53, 55, 57
  • 23. [Jeremiah 51:63, 64]
  • 24. ver. 1
  • 25. Psalms 2:9; Isaiah 30:14; Lamentations 4:2
  • 26. [Proverbs 6:15]
  • 27. Jeremiah 7:32
  • 28. [2 Kings 23:10]
  • 29. Jeremiah 32:29; Jeremiah 44:18; 2 Kings 23:12; Zephaniah 1:5
  • 30. 2 Samuel 11:2
  • 31. Deuteronomy 4:19; Acts 7:42
  • 32. Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:18
  • 33. [See ver. 12 above]
  • 34. ver. 2, 3
  • 35. Jeremiah 26:2; [2 Chronicles 20:5]
  • 36. Jeremiah 7:26; 2 Chronicles 30:8
  • 37. Jeremiah 25:3

Chapter Summary


In this chapter is foreshadowed, represented, and confirmed, the destruction of Jerusalem, by the breaking of a potter's vessel the prophet had in his hand; and by the place where he was bid to do this, and did it. The order for it, and the witnesses of it, and the place where it was done, are declared in Jer 19:1,2; the proclamation there of Jerusalem's ruin is made, Jer 19:3; the cause of it, their apostasy, idolatry, and shedding of innocent blood, Jer 19:4,5; the great slaughter of them by the sword and famine, Jer 19:6-9; and how easy, and irresistible, and irrecoverable, their destruction would be, are signified by the breaking of the bottle, Jer 19:10,11, when Jerusalem for its idolatry would become as defiled a place as Tophet, where the prophet was, Jer 19:12,13; from whence he came to the temple, and there repeated the proclamation of the evil that should come upon that city, and all the towns around it, Jer 19:14,15.

Jeremiah 19 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.