JEREMIAH LESSON 20
We will begin this lesson in Jeremiah 19:1 "Thus 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;" Jeremiah 19:2 "And 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,"
In the last lesson, God sent Jeremiah to a potter's house, and
showed him what the potter did with the clay in his hands. Now,
Jeremiah is told to take the bottle made from clay to the east gate,
and have the ancients and the priests to gather there with him for a
message from God. The "east gate" is the same as the potsherd gate. It
appears, the valley of Hinnom was mentioned, because it was the
boundry between Benjamin and Judah. This message is for both of them.
Jeremiah 19:3 "And 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."
The tingling of the ears, was a confirmation that the message was
from God and not from Jeremiah, even though it came from Jeremiah's
mouth. This is a proclamation from God, that judgement has been spoken
on them for their evil false worship. God will bring great pain to
Jeremiah 19:4 "Because 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;"
The word "estranged" means disregarded, or rejected. These people
of God have forsaken Him. They have not regarded the holy city of God
as anything either. In the burning of incense to other gods, they have
put their trust in them, instead of in the LORD. Their fathers and
they had been taught to believe in the LORD. They had never been a
people to worship false gods before. They had gone so far, that they
had sacrificed their children to these false gods. This is the
innocent blood mentioned.
Jeremiah 19:5 "They 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:"
This is very similar to devil worship in our day. This worship of
the false god Baal was popular, because it involved prostitution with
both males and females. Many times the worship was carried on in the
high places. This was a very evil false worship, which went directly
against the teaching of holiness. God never mentioned this, because it
was an abomination to Him.
Jeremiah 19:6 "Therefore, 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."
"Tophet" means drum. It is believed the valley was named that to
drown out the screams of children, when they were burned walking
through the fire in worship of false gods. God is so angry with them
for their false worship, He will call this the valley of slaughter.
Jeremiah 19:7 "And 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."
The priesthood had spoken to the people for God in times past.
Now, God will take this away from them. They have been totally
unfaithful to Him. Their counsel had gone bad. He would no longer let
them represent Him on the earth. The punishment, spoken of here, is
repeated from a previous lesson. God will not only let the enemy kill
them with the sword, but they will not be buried, and the vultures and
the beasts will eat their carcases. Carcases means dead bodies.
Jeremiah 19:8 "And 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."
Not only, will the people be killed, God will destroy His city as
well. When the passerby sees the destruction from the plagues God has
sent, they will be astonished.
Jeremiah 19:9 "And 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."
Look at the following Scripture with me. Deuteronomy 28:53 "And
thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and
of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the
siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress
thee:" Both of these Scriptures are saying, that the famine will be so
great, they will eat their own children.
Jeremiah 19:10 "Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of
the men that go with thee."
Jeremiah has just spoken horrible doom on these people. Now, God
says, break the bottle you brought with you. The "breaking of the
bottle" symbolizes the fact that God has thrown them away.
Jeremiah 19:11 "And 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."
God has given them a visual example of what will happen to them.
This place, where they had caused there children to walk through the
fire to a false god, now will be a place of death. There will be so
many dead, they will run out of room to bury them. This is speaking of
the wrath of God coming on His unrepentant people.
Jeremiah 19:12 "Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD,
and to the inhabitants thereof, and [even] make this city as Tophet:"
Now, God says the whole city will be destroyed, just as this area
is. Tophet, you remember was a place where the cults had carried on
their false religious practices. Of course, this is just at the edge
of Jerusalem and is speaking of Jerusalem, as well.
Jeremiah 19:13 "And 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
It mattered not whether you were a king, or just a citizen, the
punishment was the same. They had all worshipped false gods, and they
would all die together. The "host of heaven" means the sun, moon, and
stars. Everything that is going to happen to them, is because of their
worship of false gods.
Jeremiah 19:14 "Then 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,"
It seems when Jeremiah had finished telling the priests and high
officials of the coming doom, God sent him into the court of the
LORD's house to speak of the certainty of the prophecy. This just
confirms what Jeremiah had said at Tophet. All of the early part of
the book of Jeremiah has been warnings, over and over, to the people.
God was allowing them plenty of time to repent, and turn from their
worship of false gods, but they do not heed the warning.
Jeremiah 19:15 "Thus 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."
They are too proud to repent and turn from the false gods, so God
will surely do these terrible things mentioned in this chapter. He
loves His people, but they have been unfaithful to Him. They do not
want to hear God's Word.
Jeremiah 20 Questions
1. What was Jeremiah to go and get?
2. Where was Jeremiah to take it?
3. Who was to go with Jeremiah?
4. What was Jeremiah to do there?
5. What is the same as the "east gate"?
6. How will the people listening know the message is from God?
7. What does the word "estranged" mean?
8. To burn incense to a false god means what?
9. How far had they gone with this worship of false gods?
10. What false god is mentioned by name in verse 5?
11. Why was this particular false worship popular?
12. What will Tophet be called after God's judgement on them?
13. What does "Tophet" mean?
14. What are some of the terrible things that will happen, that are
mentioned in verse 7?
15. What will the passerby do, when they see the destruction?
16. Where do we find another Scripture that verifies Jeremiah chapter
19 verse 9?
17. After the terrible doom is spoken, what does God tell Jeremiah to
18. What does this symbolize?
19. How many will be buried in Tophet?
20. Why does God destroy the houses?
21. Who is affected by the destruction?
22. Where did God send Jeremiah next?
23. Why will God bring this terrible thing on His people?