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.
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.