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The Broken Jar

19 Thus says the Lord: Go and buy a potter’s earthen bottle, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests. Then go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, which is by the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I will tell you, and say: Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: I will bring such disaster upon this place, at which whoever hears of it, his ears shall tingle. Because they have forsaken Me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocent, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into My mind— therefore, surely the days are coming, says the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.

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 those who seek their lives. And their corpses I will give to be food for the fowl of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. I will make this city desolate and a hissing. Everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss because of all the wounds. I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and everyone will eat the flesh of his friend in the siege and distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their lives will distress them.

10 Then you will break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with you, 11 and say to them: Thus says the Lord of Hosts: Even so I will break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel that cannot be made whole again; and they will bury them in Topheth until there is no other place to bury. 12 Thus I will do to this place and to the inhabitants, says the Lord, and even make this city as Topheth. 13 And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled as the place of Topheth, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense to all the host of heaven and have poured out drink offerings to other gods.

14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy. And he stood in the court of the house of the Lord and said to all the people: 15 Thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: I am about to bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks so that they might not heed My words.