Jeremiah 19

1The Lord said to me: “Jeremiah, go and buy a clay jar from a potter. 2Go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the front of the Potsherd Gate. Take some of the elders ˻(leaders)˼ of the people and some priests with you. At that place, tell them the things that I tell you. 3Say to those people with you, 'King of Judah and people of Jerusalem, listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of the people of Israel, says: I will soon make a terrible thing happen to this place! Every person that hears about it will be amazed and full of fear. 4I will do these things because the people of Judah quit following me. They have made this a place for foreign gods. The people of Judah have burned sacrifices in this place to other gods. The people did not worship those gods long ago. Their ancestors did not worship those gods. These are new gods from other countries. The kings of Judah filled this place with the blood of the innocent children. 5The kings of Judah built high places for the god Baal. They use those places to burn their sons in the fire. They burned their sons as burnt offerings to the god Baal. I did not tell them to do that. I did not ask you to offer your sons as sacrifices. I never even thought of such a thing. 6Now people call this place Topheth and the Valley of Hinnom. But, I give you this warning. This message is from the Lord: The days are coming, when people will call this place the Valley of Slaughter. 7At this place, I will ruin the plans of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. The enemy will chase these people. And I will let the people of Judah be killed with swords in this place. And I will make their dead bodies food for the birds and wild animals. 8I will completely destroy this city. People will whistle and shake their heads when they pass by Jerusalem. They will be shocked when they see how the city was destroyed. 9The enemy will bring its army around the city. That army will not let people go out to get food. So the people in the city will begin to starve. They will become so hungry that they will eat the bodies of their own sons and daughters. And then they will begin to eat each other.’ 10“Jeremiah, you will tell those things to the people. And while they are watching, you will break that jar. 11At that time, say these things: 'The Lord All-Powerful says, I will break the nation of Judah and the city of Jerusalem just like someone breaking a clay jar! This jar can’t be put back together again. It will be the same for the nation of Judah. The dead people will be buried here in Topheth until there is no more room. 12I will do this to these people and to this place. I will make this city like Topheth.’ This message is from the Lord. 13'The houses in Jerusalem will become as “dirty” as this place, Topheth. The kings’ palaces will be ruined like this place, Topheth. Why? Because the people worshiped false gods on the roofs of those houses. They worshiped the stars and burned sacrifices to honor them. They gave drink offerings to false gods.’” 14Then Jeremiah left Topheth where the Lord had told him to preach. Jeremiah went to the Lord’s temple and stood in the courtyard of the temple. Jeremiah said to all the people: 15“This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel says: 'I said I would bring many disasters to Jerusalem and the villages around it. I will soon make those things happen. Why? Because the people are very stubborn—they refused to listen and obey me.’”

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