Jeremiah 19:8
And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passes thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.
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(8) Desolate, and an hissing.—See Jeremiah 18:16.

Because of all the plagues thereof.—The word is used in its wider, and yet stricter, sense as including all the blows or smitings (as in Isaiah 14:6) that are thought of as coming from the hand of God.

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. 8. (See on [916]Jer 18:16). This is no more than we met with before, Jeremiah 18:16, and shall again meet with. Men’s honour and reputation is ordinarily very dear to them, it was especially to the Jews, who valued themselves much upon the reputation their city and their temple had, and the security they promised themselves from their right in the holy city and land. God tells them he will make them as much a scorn and reproach as ever they were for an honour or praise; as great a wonderment for the wrath and vengeance he would execute upon them, as they had been in their flourishing state for the mercies which he bestowed upon them. And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing,.... An hissing to its enemies; an hissing because desolate; when its walls should be broken down, its houses burnt with fire, and its inhabitants put to the sword, or carried captive:

everyone that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and hiss; surprised to see the desolations of it; that a city once so famous and flourishing should be reduced to such a miserable condition; and yet hiss by way of detestation and abhorrence of it, and for joy at its ruin:

because of all the plagues thereof: by which it was brought to desolation, as the sword, famine, burning, and captivity.

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.
Verse 8. - (Comp. Jeremiah 18:16.) The Broken Pitcher. - Jeremiah 19:1. "Thus said Jahveh: Go and buy a potter's vessel, and take of the elders of the people and of the elders of the priests, Jeremiah 19:2. And go forth into the valley of Benhinnom, which is before the gate Harsuth, and proclaim there the words which I shall speak unto thee, Jeremiah 19:3. And say: Hear the word of Jahveh, ye kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus hath said Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth his ears shall tingle. Jeremiah 19:4. Because they have forsaken me, and disowned this place, and burnt incense in it to other gods whom they knew not, they, and their fathers, and the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents, Jeremiah 19:5. And have built high places for Baal, to burn their sons in the fire as burnt-offerings to Baal, which I have neither commanded nor spoken, nor came it into my heart. Jeremiah 19:6. Therefore, behold, days come, saith Jahve, that this place shall no longer be called Tophet and Valley of Benhinnom, but Valley of Slaughter. Jeremiah 19:7. And I make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of them that seek their lives, and give their carcases to be food for the fowls of the heaven and the beast of the earth. Jeremiah 19:8. And make this city a dismay and a scoffing; every one that passeth thereby shall be dismayed and hiss because of all her strokes; Jeremiah 19:9. And make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and each shall eat his neighbour's flesh in the siege and straitness wherewith their enemies and they that seek after their lives shall straiten them. - Jeremiah 19:10. And break the pitcher before the eyes of the men that go with thee, Jeremiah 19:11. And say to them: Thus hath Jahve of hosts said: Even so will I break this people and this city as one breaketh this potter's vessel, that it cannot be made whole again; and in Tophet shall they bury them, because there is no room to bury. Jeremiah 19:12. Thus will I do unto this place, saith Jahveh, and its inhabitants, to make this city as Tophet. Jeremiah 19:13. And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah shall become, as the place Tophet, unclean, all the houses upon whose roofs they have burnt incense to the whole host of heaven and poured out drink-offerings to other gods."

The purpose for which Jeremiah was to buy the earthen jar is told in Jeremiah 19:10, and the meaning of breaking it in the valley of Benhinnom is shown in Jeremiah 19:11-13. בּקבּק, from בּקק, to pour out, is a jar with a narrow neck, so called from the sound heard when liquid is poured out of it, although the vessel was used for storing honey, 1 Kings 14:3. The appellation יוצר, former of earthen vessels, i.e., potter, is given to denote the jar as one which, on being broken, would shiver into many fragments. Before "of the elders of the people" a verb seems to be awanting, for which cause many supply ולקחתּ (according to Jeremiah 41:12; Jeremiah 43:10, etc.), rightly so far as sense is concerned; but we are hardly entitled to assume a lacuna in the text. That assumption is opposed by the ו before מזּקני; for we cannot straightway presume that this ו was put in after the verb had dropped out of the text. In that case the whole word would have been restored. We have here rather, as Schnur. saw, a bold constructio praegnans, the verb "buy" being also joined in zeugma with "of the elders:" buy a jar and (take) certain of the elders; cf. similar, only less bold, zeugmatic constr. in Job 4:10; Job 10:12; Isaiah 58:5. "Elders of the priests," as in 2 Kings 19:2, probably identical with the "princes (שׂרי) of the priests," 2 Chronicles 36:14, are doubtless virtually the same as the "heads (ראשׁי) of the priests," Nehemiah 12:7, the priests highest in esteem, not merely for their age, but also in virtue of their rank; just as the "elders of the people" were a permanent representation of the people, consisting of the heads of tribes, houses or septs, and families; cf. 1 Kings 8:1-3, and my Bibl. Archol. ii. S. 218. Jeremiah was to take elders of the people and of the priesthood, because it was most readily to be expected of them that the word of God to be proclaimed would find a hearing amongst them. As to the valley of Benhinnom, see on Jeremiah 7:31. שׁער החרסוּת, not Sun-gate (after חרס, Job 9:7; Judges 8:13), but Pottery or Sherd-gate, from חרס equals חרשׂ, in rabbin. חרסית, potter's clay. The Chet. חרסוּת is the ancient form, not the modern (Hitz.), for the Keri is adapted to the rabbinical form. The clause, "which is before the Harsuth-gate," is not meant to describe more particularly the locality, sufficiently well known in Jerusalem, but has reference to the act to be performed there. The name, gate of חרסוּת, which nowhere else occurs, points no doubt to the breaking to shivers of the jar. Hence we are rather to translate Sherd-gate than Pottery-gate, the name having probably arisen amongst the people from the broken fragments which lay about this gate. Comm. are not at one as to which of the known city gates is meant. Hitz. and Kimchi are wrong in thinking of a gate of the court of the temple - the southern one. The context demands one of the city gates, two of which led into the Benhinnom valley: the Spring-or Fountain-gate at the south-east corner, and the Dung-gate on the south-west side of Zion; see on Nehemiah 3:13-15. One of these two must be meant, but which of them it cannot be decided. there Jeremiah is to cry aloud the words which follow, Jeremiah 19:3-8, and which bear on the kings of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. "Kings" in the plural, as in Jeremiah 13:13, because the matter concerned not the reigning king only, but his successors too, who had been guilty of the sins to be punished.

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