Jeremiah 19

1 This is what the LORD says: “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. Take along some of the elders of the people and of the priests
2 and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you,
3 and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.
4 For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.
5 They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.
6 So beware, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when people will no longer call this place Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.
7 “ ‘In this place I will ruin[a] the plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses as food to the birds and the wild animals.
8 I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds.
9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’
10 “Then break the jar while those who go with you are watching,
11 and say to them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. They will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room.
12 This is what I will do to this place and to those who live here, declares the LORD. I will make this city like Topheth.
13 The houses in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be defiled like this place, Topheth—all the houses where they burned incense on the roofs to all the starry hosts and poured out drink offerings to other gods.’ ”
14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the LORD’s temple and said to all the people,
15 “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to 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 36

  • 1. Jeremiah 18:2
  • 2. S Numbers 11:17; 1 Kings 8:1
  • 3. S Joshua 15:8
  • 4. Jeremiah 17:20
  • 5. S Jeremiah 6:19
  • 6. S 1 Samuel 3:11
  • 7. S Deuteronomy 31:16; Deuteronomy 28:20; S Isaiah 65:11
  • 8. S Exodus 20:3; S Jeremiah 1:16
  • 9. S Leviticus 18:21
  • 10. S 2 Kings 21:16; Jeremiah 2:34
  • 11. S Leviticus 18:21; S 2 Kings 3:27; Psalms 106:37-38
  • 12. S Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 32:35; Ezekiel 16:36
  • 13. S 2 Kings 23:10
  • 14. S Joshua 15:8
  • 15. Jeremiah 7:32
  • 16. Psalms 33:10-11
  • 17. S ver 9; S Leviticus 26:17; S Deuteronomy 28:25
  • 18. S Jeremiah 16:4; Jeremiah 34:20
  • 19. S Deuteronomy 28:26; Psalms 79:2
  • 20. S Deuteronomy 28:37; S Jeremiah 18:16; Jeremiah 25:9
  • 21. S Leviticus 26:32; Lamentations 2:15-16
  • 22. S Deuteronomy 29:22
  • 23. S Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:49-57; Lamentations 4:10
  • 24. S ver 7; Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 34:20; Isaiah 9:20
  • 25. ver 1; S Psalms 2:9; Jeremiah 13:14
  • 26. Psalms 2:9; Isaiah 30:14
  • 27. Jeremiah 7:32
  • 28. Jeremiah 32:29; Jeremiah 52:13; Ezekiel 16:41
  • 29. Psalms 74:7
  • 30. S 2 Kings 23:12
  • 31. Deuteronomy 4:19; S 2 Kings 17:16; S Job 38:32; Jeremiah 8:2; Acts 7:42
  • 32. S Isaiah 57:6; Jeremiah 7:18; Ezekiel 20:28
  • 33. 2 Chronicles 20:5; S Jeremiah 7:2; Jeremiah 26:2
  • 34. ver 3; Jeremiah 11:11
  • 35. S Nehemiah 9:16; Jeremiah 7:26; Jeremiah 17:23; Acts 7:51
  • 36. Jeremiah 22:21

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The Hebrew for "ruin" sounds like the Hebrew for "jar" (see verses 1 and 10).

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

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