Jeremiah – Chapter 19

More Pottery

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

G-d told Jeremiah to buy a jug from a potter (specifically a clay jug, as opposed to one made of metal or some other material). He was to take leaders of the people and the priests with him. He was then to go to the Dung Gate, where broken pottery was disposed of. There, Jeremiah was to announce to them to listen to the word of G-d, Who says that He is bringing evil upon that place because they forsook him in favor of idols and filled the place with the blood of innocents. They served the Baal, whose service is counter to G-d’s instructions.

Days are coming, G-d says, when the place where Jeremiah was speaking would no longer be called “Tofes” or “Beis Hinnom,” but “The Valley of Slaughter.” G-d will upset the plans of Judah and Jerusalem from that place and hand them over to their enemies, allowing their carcasses to be food for animals and birds. The city will become a waste, amazing all who see it. As punishment for the children sacrificed to Baal, people will come to eat their own children. After relating this dire prophecy, Jeremiah was to smash the jug in front of the leaders of the people, who accompanied him. He would then say, “Just as one breaks a clay jug and it cannot be repaired, so G-d will do to this nation and its people. Here, in Tofes, they will bury corpses until they run out of room. The whole city will be just like Tofes, all the houses will be like the ones where they worshipped idols.

Jeremiah returned from Tofes and stood in the courtyard of the Temple and announced, “G-d says He is bringing evil on this city and all the cities of the land, because the people are too stubborn to listen to Him!”

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