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.
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(7) I will make void.—The Hebrew verb (bakak) is onomatopoetic, as representing the gurgling sound of water flowing from the mouth of a jar, and contains, as stated in the note on Jeremiah 19:1, the root of the word rendered “bottle,” and was obviously chosen with an allusive reference to it. Such a play upon the sound and sense of words is quite in accordance with the genius of Hebrew prophecy, but it is obviously in most cases impossible to reproduce it in another language. The primary meaning is “to pour out, to spill,” and so “to waste, or bring to nought.” (Comp. Isaiah 19:3.) Some interpreters have supposed that the words were accompanied by corresponding acts, and that the earthen bottle, which the prophet had brought filled with water, was now emptied in the sight of the people, with a symbolism like that of 1Samuel 7:6; 2Samuel 14:14.

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.Make void - The verb used here is that from which "bottle" Jeremiah 19:1 is derived, and as it represents the sound made by the water running out, it would be better translated, "pour out." Jeremiah perhaps carried the bottle to Tophet full of water, the symbol in the East of life Isaiah 35:6; Isaiah 41:18, and at these words emptied it before the assembled elders. 7. make void the counsel—defeat their plans for repelling the enemy (2Ch 32:1-4; Isa 19:3; 22:9, 11). Or their schemes of getting help by having recourse to idols [Calvin].

in this place—The valley of Hinnom was to be the place of the Chaldean encampment; the very place where they looked for help from idols was to be the scene of their own slaughter.

In this place, amongst others, I will make void all the counsels that the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem have taken to escape my righteous judgments; I will frustrate all their little arts and designs to avoid the dint of my judgments; I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, so as there shall be no way of escape for them.

And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place,.... The counsel which they took in this place and agreed to, in offering their sons and daughters to idols; and which they took with these idols and their priests, from whom they expected assistance and relief; and all their schemes and projects for their deliverance; these were all made to spear to be mere empty things, as empty as the earthen bottle he had in his hand, to which there is an allusion; there being an elegant paronomasia between the word (p) here used and that:

and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies: such as sallied out from the city, or attempted to make their escape:

and by the hands of them that seek their lives; and so would not spare them, when they fell into them:

and their carcasses will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth: signifying that they should have no burial, but their slain bodies should lie upon the earth, and be fed upon by fowls and beasts.

(p) &

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.
7. make void] lit. as mg. empty out. The Hebrew verb is that from which is derived the word for “bottle” in Jeremiah 19:1. It has been thought that Jeremiah here suited the action to the word, and poured out the contents on the ground, as he spoke. The latter part of the v. is taken from Jeremiah 7:33.

Verse 7. - I will make void; literally, I will pour out, alluding to the etymology of the word rendered "bottle" in ver. 1. Jeremiah 19:7In Jeremiah 19:6-13 the threatened punishment is given again at large, and that in two strophes or series of ideas, which explain the emblematical act with the pitcher. The first series, Jeremiah 19:6-9, is introduced by בּקּותי, which intimates the meaning of the pitcher; and the other, Jeremiah 19:10-13, is bound up with the breaking of the pitcher. But both series are, Jeremiah 19:6, opened by the mention of the locality of the act. As Jeremiah 19:5 was but an expansion of Jeremiah 7:31, so Jeremiah 19:6 is a literal repetition of Jeremiah 7:32. The valley of Benhinnom, with its places for abominable sacrifices (תּפת, see on Jeremiah 7:32), shall in the future be called Valley of Slaughter; i.e., at the judgment on Jerusalem it will be the place where the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah will be slain by the enemy. There God will make void (בּקּותי, playing on בּקבּק), i.e., bring to nothing; for what is poured out comes to nothing; cf. Isaiah 19:3. There they shall fall by the sword in such numbers that their corpses shall be food for the beasts of prey (cf. Jeremiah 7:33), and the city of Jerusalem shall be frightfully ravaged (Jeremiah 19:8, cf. Jeremiah 18:16; Jeremiah 25:9, etc.). מכּתה (plural form of suffix without Jod; cf. Ew. 258, a), the wounds she has received. - In Jeremiah 19:9 is added yet another item to complete the awful picture, the terrible famine during the siege, partly taken from the words of Deuteronomy 28:53. and Leviticus 26:29. That this appalling misery did actually come about during the last siege by the Chaldeans, we learn from Lamentations 4:10. - The second series, Jeremiah 19:10-13, is introduced by the act of breaking the pitcher. This happens before the eyes of the elders who have accompanied Jeremiah thither: to them the explanatory word of the Lord is addressed. As the earthen pitcher, so shall Jerusalem - people and city - be broken to pieces; and that irremediably. This is implied in: as one breaks a potter's vessel, etc. (הרפה for הרפא). The next clause: and in Tophet they shall bury, etc., is omitted by the lxx as a repetition from Jeremiah 7:32, and is object to by Ew., Hitz., and Graf, as not being in keeping with its context. Ew. proposes to insert it before "as one breaketh;" but this transposition only obscures the meaning of the clause. It connects very suitably with the idea of the incurable breaking in sunder. Because the breaking up of Jerusalem and its inhabitants shall be incurable, shall be like the breaking of a pitcher dashed into countless fragments, therefore there will be lack of room in Jerusalem to bury the dead, and the unclean places of Tophet will need to be used for that purpose. With this the further thought of Jeremiah 19:12 and Jeremiah 19:13 connects simply and suitably. Thus (as had been said at Jeremiah 19:11) will I do unto this place and its inhabitants, ולתת, and that to make the city as Tophet, i.e., not "a mass of sherds and rubbish, as Tophet now is" (Graf); for neither was Tophet then a rubbish-heap, nor did it so become by the breaking of the pitcher. But Josiah had turned all the place of Tophet in the valley of Benhinnom into an unclean region (2 Kings 23:10). All Jerusalem shall become an unclean place like Tophet. This is put in so many words in Jeremiah 19:13 : The houses of Jerusalem shall become unclean like the place Tophet, namely, all houses on whose roofs idolatry has been practised. The construction of הטּמאים causes some difficulty. The position of the word at the end disfavours our connecting it with the subject בּתּי, and so does the article, which does not countenance its being taken as predicate. To get rid of the article, J. D. Mich. and Ew. sought to change the reading into תּפתּה טמאים, after Isaiah 30:33. But תּפתּה means a Tophet-like place, not Tophet itself, and so gives no meaning to the purpose. No other course is open than to join the word with "the place Tophet:" like the place Tophet, which is unclean. The plural would then be explained less from the collective force of מקום than from regard to the plural subject. "All the houses" opens a supplementary definition of the subject: as concerning all houses; cf. Ew. 310, a. On the worship of the stars by sacrifice on the housetops, transplanted by Manasseh to Jerusalem, see the expos. of Zephaniah 1:5 and 2 Kings 21:3. 'והסּך, coinciding literally with Jeremiah 7:18; the inf. absol. being attached to the verb. finit. of the former clause (Ew. 351, c.). - Thus far the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, which he was to proclaim in the valley of Benhinnom. - The execution of the divine commission is, as being a matter of course, not expressly recounted, but is implied in Jeremiah 19:14 as having taken place.
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