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The Valley of the Slaughter

19 Thus said Yahweh, “Go and buy a potter’s earthenware jar, and take some of the elders of the people, and some of the leaders of the priests, and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, which is at the entrance of the Gate of the Potsherd, and proclaim there the words that I speak to you. And you shall say, ‘Hear the word of Yahweh, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel: “Look, I am about to bring disaster upon this place so that everyone who hears it,[a] his ears will ring. Because they have forsaken me, and they have defaced this place, and they have made smoke offerings in it to other gods whom they have not known, they, nor their ancestors,[b] nor the kings of Judah, and they have filled up this place with the blood of the innocent, and they have built the high places of Baal, to burn their children in the fire, burnt offerings to Baal, which I commanded not, and I ordered not, and it did not come to my mind.[c]

Therefore[d] look, days are about to come,” declares[e] Yahweh, “when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but[f] the Valley of the Slaughter. And I will lay waste the plans[g] of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will bring them to ruin by the sword before[h] their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life, and I will give their dead bodies[i] as food to the birds[j] of heaven and to the animals[k] of the earth. And I will make this city a horror, and an object of hissing, everyone who passes by it will be appalled, and will hiss because of all its wounds. And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons, and the flesh of their daughters, and each one will eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress which their enemies and those who seek their life inflict on them.”’

10 “Then you shall break the jar before the eyes of the men who go with you. 11 And you shall say to them, ‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts: “So I will break this people and this city as one breaks the vessel of the potter, so that it is not able to be repaired again. And in Topheth they will bury until there is no room to bury.[l] 12 Thus will I do to this place,” declares[m] Yahweh, “and to its inhabitants, to make this city like Topheth. 13 And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be unclean like the place of Topheth, all the houses where they made smoke offerings upon their roofs to all the host of heaven, and where they poured out libations to other gods.”’”

14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where Yahweh had sent him to prophesy, and he stood in the courtyard of the house of Yahweh and said to all the people, 15 “Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Look, I am about to bring to this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their neck to not hear my words.’”


  1. Jeremiah 19:3 Literally “all hears it”
  2. Jeremiah 19:4 Or “fathers”
  3. Jeremiah 19:5 Literally “heart”
  4. Jeremiah 19:6 Literally “To thus”
  5. Jeremiah 19:6 Literally “a declaration of”
  6. Jeremiah 19:6 Literally “surely if”
  7. Jeremiah 19:7 Hebrew “plan”
  8. Jeremiah 19:7 Literally “to the face of”
  9. Jeremiah 19:7 Hebrew “dead body”
  10. Jeremiah 19:7 Hebrew “bird”
  11. Jeremiah 19:7 Hebrew “animal”
  12. Jeremiah 19:11 Literally “from there is no place to bury”
  13. Jeremiah 19:12 Literally “a declaration of”