|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-9 The prophet must give notice of ruin coming upon Judah and Jerusalem. Both rulers and ruled must attend to it. That place which holiness made the joy of the whole earth, sin made the reproach and shame of the whole earth. There is no fleeing from God's justice, but by fleeing to his mercy.
Verse 2. - The valley of the son of Hinnom (see on Jeremiah 7:31). The east gate; rather the potsherd gate, i.e. the gate where potsherds were wont to be thrown. Another possible rendering is "sun gate," of which "east gate" is but a paraphrase. But there is evidently a connection between the name of the gate and the action performed by Jeremiah. The Authorized Version seems to have misled Captain Warren into identifying the valley of Hinnom with that of Kedron. He confirms his view, it is true, by the Arabic nomenclature, which speaks of the Kedron as the Wady Jehinnam - a nomenclature, however, which is by no means uniform (see Robinson, 'Biblical Researches,' 2:396, 403). The situation of the "potsherd gate" must remain uncertain.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And go forth into the valley of the son of Hinnom,.... To whom it formerly belonged, and so it was called as early as Joshua's time, Joshua 15:8; from the faith and abomination of the place, and the shocking torments here exercised, "hell", from hence, in the New Testament, is called "Gehenna": here the prophet with the elders were to go, for reasons after mentioned; because here their cruel idolatries were committed, and Jerusalem was to be made like unto it for pollution and bloodshed:
which is by the entry of the east gate; the way to it out of Jerusalem lay through the east gate of the city. The Targum calls it "the dung gate"; through which the filth of the city was carried out, and laid near it, and where lay the potter's sherds; hence some render it the "potsherd" gate (m); or rather it should be the potter's gate; for that reason, because the potter's field and house lay near it, from whence the prophet had his earthen bottle; others call it the "sun gate" (n), because it lay to the sun rising; but seeing the valley of Hinnom was to the south of Jerusalem, this seems rather to be the south gate; and a proper situation this was for the potters to dry and harden their pots. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, leave it untranslated, and call it the gate Harsith or Hadsith:
and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee; for as yet it was not made known to him what he should do with his bottle, or say to the elders, until he came to the place he was ordered to.
(m) "portae fictilis", Munster, Pagninus. (n) "Portae solaris", Montanus, Piscator, Cocceius; so Ben Melech, and Stockius, p. 389.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. valley of the son of Hinnom—or Tophet, south of Jerusalem, where human victims were offered, and children made to pass through the fire, in honor of Molech.
east gate—Margin, "sun gate," sunrise being in the east. Maurer translates, the "potter's gate." Through it lay the road to the valley of Hinnom (Jos 15:8). The potters there formed vessels for the use of the temple, which was close by (compare Jer 19:10, 14; Jer 18:2; Zec 11:13). The same as "the water gate toward the east" (Ne 3:26; 12:37); so called from the brook Kedron. Calvin translates, as English Version and Margin. "It was monstrous perversity to tread the law under foot in so conspicuous a place, over which the sun daily rising reminded them of the light of God's law."
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