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19 1-2 The Lord said, Buy a clay jar and take it out into the valley of Ben-hinnom by the east gate of the city. Take some of the elders of the people and some of the older priests with you, and speak to them whatever words I give you.

Then the Lord spoke to them and said: Listen to the word of the Lord, kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will bring terrible evil upon this place, so terrible that the ears of those who hear it will prickle. For Israel has forsaken me and turned this valley into a place of shame and wickedness. The people burn incense to idols—idols that neither this generation nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah have worshiped before—and they have filled this place with the blood of innocent children. They have built high altars to Baal, and there they burn their sons in sacrifice—a thing I never commanded them nor even thought of !

The day is coming, says the Lord, when this valley shall no longer be called Topheth or Ben-hinnom Valley, but the Valley of Slaughter. For I will upset the battle plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and I will let invading armies kill you here and leave your dead bodies for vultures and wild animals to feed upon. And I will wipe Jerusalem off the earth, so that everyone going by will gasp with astonishment at all that I have done to her. I will see to it that your enemies lay siege to the city until all food is gone and those trapped inside begin to eat their own children and friends.

10 And now, Jeremiah, as these men watch, smash the jar you brought with you, 11 and say to them, This is the message to you from the Lord Almighty: As this jar lies shattered, so I will shatter the people of Jerusalem; and as this jar cannot be mended, neither can they. The slaughter shall be so great that there won’t be room enough for decent burial anywhere, and their bodies shall be heaped in this valley. 12 And as it will be in this valley, so it will be in Jerusalem. For I will fill Jerusalem with dead bodies too. 13 And I will defile all the homes in Jerusalem, including the palace of the kings of Judah—wherever incense has been burned upon the roofs to your star gods, and libations poured out to them.

14 As Jeremiah returned from Topheth where he had delivered this message, he stopped in front of the Temple of the Lord and said to all the people, 15 The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will bring upon this city and her surrounding towns all the evil I have promised because you have stubbornly refused to listen to the Lord.

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

19 This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter.(A) Take along some of the elders(B) of the people and of the priests and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom,(C) near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings(D) 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(E) on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.(F) For they have forsaken(G) me and made this a place of foreign gods(H); they have burned incense(I) 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.(J) They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children(K) in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.(L) So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place Topheth(M) or the Valley of Ben Hinnom,(N) but the Valley of Slaughter.(O)

“‘In this place I will ruin[a] the plans(P) of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies,(Q) at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses(R) as food(S) to the birds and the wild animals. I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn;(T) all who pass by will be appalled(U) and will scoff because of all its wounds.(V) I will make them eat(W) the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies(X) will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’

10 “Then break the jar(Y) while those who go with you are watching, 11 and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I will smash(Z) this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. They will bury(AA) 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(AB) in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be defiled(AC) like this place, Topheth—all the houses where they burned incense on the roofs(AD) to all the starry hosts(AE) and poured out drink offerings(AF) to other gods.’”

14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court(AG) 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(AH) I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked(AI) and would not listen(AJ) to my words.’”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 19:7 The Hebrew for ruin sounds like the Hebrew for jar (see verses 1 and 10).
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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