|<< Jeremiah 19 >>|
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
By the significant type of breaking a potter's vessel, Jeremiah is directed to predict the utter desolation of Judah and Jerusalem, Jeremiah 19:1-15. The prophets taught frequently by symbolic actions as well as by words.
1Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests;
Go and get a potter's earthen bottle - This discourse was also delivered some time in the reign of Jehoiakim. Under the type of breaking a potter's earthen bottle or jug, Jeremiah shows his enemies that the word of the Lord should stand, that Jerusalem should be taken and sacked, and they all carried into captivity.
Ancients of the priests - The chiefs of the twenty-four classes which David had established. See 1 Chronicles 24:4.
2And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee,
3And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.
4Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;
Estranged this place - Ye have devoted my temple to a widely different purpose from that for which it was erected.
5They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
Offerings unto Baal - A general name for all the popular idols; Baal, Moloch, Ashtaroth, etc.
6Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.
7And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.
I will make void the counsel of Judah - Probably this refers to some determination made to proclaim themselves independent, and pay no more tribute to the Chaldeans.
To be meat for the fowls - See on Jeremiah 7:33 (note).
8And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.
9And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.
I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons - This was literally fulfilled when Jerusalem was besieged by the Romans. This also the prophet might have had in view.
10Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee,
11And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury.
Even so will I break this people and this city - The breaking of the bottle was the symbolical representation of the destruction of the city and of the state.
That cannot be made whole again - This seems to refer rather to the final destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, than to what was done by the Chaldeans. Jerusalem was healed after 70 years: but nearly 1800 years have elapsed since Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by the Romans; and it was then so broken, that it could not be made whole again.
12Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet:
And even make this city as Tophet - A place of slaughter and destruction.
13And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods.
14Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD'S house; and said to all the people,
Then came Jeremiah from Tophet - He had probably gone to the valley of Hinnom, and there repeated the discourse which he had a little before delivered to the chief priests and elders.
15Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.
Because they have hardened their necks - A metaphor taken from unruly and unbroken oxen, who resist the yoke, break and run away with their gears. So this people had broken and destroyed the yoke of the law.