The Broken Jar

1 Thus says the LORD, "Go and buy a 1potter's earthenware 2jar, and take some of the 3elders of the people and some of the 4senior priests.
2 "Then go out to the 5valley of Ben-hinnom *, which is by the entrance of the potsherd gate, and 6proclaim there the words that I tell you,
3 and say, 'Hear the word of the LORD, O 7kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Behold I am about to bring a 8calamity upon this place, at which the 9ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle.
4 "Because * they have 10forsaken Me and have 11made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to 12other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the 13blood of the innocent
5 and have built the 14high places of Baal to burn their 15sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind;
7 "I will 19make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and 20I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will give over their 21carcasses as food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth.
8 "I will also make this city a 22desolation and an object of hissing; 23everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its disasters.
9 "I will make them 24eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life will distress them."'
10 "Then you are to break the 25jar in the sight of the men who accompany * you
11 and say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Just so will I 26break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter's vessel, which cannot * again be repaired; and they will 27bury in Topheth because there is no other place for burial.
12 "This is how I will treat this place and its inhabitants," declares the LORD, "so as to make this city like Topheth.
13 "The 28houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be 29defiled like the place Topheth, because of all the 30houses on whose rooftops they burned sacrifices to 31all the heavenly host and 32poured out drink offerings to other gods.""'
14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where * the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the 33court 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 about to bring on this city and all its towns the entire calamity that I have declared against it, because they have 34stiffened their necks so 35as not to heed My words.' "