Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
DESOLATION OF THE
FORETOLD IN THE
Referred by MAURER, &c., to the beginning of
1. bottle--Hebrew, bakuk, so called from the gurgling sound which
it makes when being emptied.
ancients--elders. As witnesses of the symbolic action
Isa 8:1, 2),
that the Jews might not afterwards plead ignorance of the prophecy. The
seventy-two elders, composing the Sanhedrim, or Great Council, were
taken partly from "the priests," partly from the other tribes, that is,
"the people," the former presiding over spiritual matters, the latter
over civil; the seventy-two represented the whole people.
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
The potters there formed vessels for the use of the temple, which was
close by (compare
Jer 19:10, 14;
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
3. The scene of their guilt is chosen as the scene of the denunciation
kings--the king and queen
or including the king's counsellors and governors under him.
tingle--as if struck by a thunder peal
estranged this place--devoted it to the worship of strange gods:
alienating a portion of the sacred city from God, the rightful Lord of
the temple, city, and whole land.
nor their fathers--namely, the godly among them; their ungodly fathers God makes no account of.
blood of innocents--slain in honor of Molech
5. commanded not--nay, more, I commanded the opposite
Jer 7:31, 32).
6. no more . . . Tophet--from Hebrew, toph,
"drum"; for in sacrificing children to Molech drums were beaten to
drown their cries. Thus the name indicated the joy of the people at
the fancied propitiation of the god by this sacrifice; in
antithesis to its joyless name subsequently.
valley of slaughter--It should be the scene of slaughter, no longer
of children, but of men; not of "innocents"
but of those who richly deserved their fate. The city could not be
assailed without first occupying the valley of Hinnom, in which was the
only fountain: hence arose the violent battle there.
7. make void the counsel--defeat their plans for repelling the enemy
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.
8. (See on
10. break . . . bottle--a symbolical action, explained in
the men--the elders of the people and of the priests
Jer 51:63, 64).
11. as one breaketh a potter's vessel--expressing God's absolute
Ro 9:20, 21).
cannot be made whole again--A broken potter's vessel cannot be
restored, but a new one may be made of the same material. So God raised
a new Jewish seed, not identical with the destroyed rebels, but by
substituting another generation in their stead
no place to bury--
12. make this city as Tophet--that is, as defiled with dead bodies
13. shall be defiled--with dead bodies
because of all the houses--Rather, (explanatory of the previous "the
houses . . . and . . . houses"), "even all the houses," &c.
roofs--being flat, they were used as high places for sacrifices to
the sun and planets
2Ki 23:11, 12;
The Nabateans, south and east of the Dead Sea, a nation most friendly
to the Jews, according to STRABO, had the same
14. court of the Lord's house--near Tophet; the largest court, under
the open air, where was the greatest crowd
15. her towns--the suburban villages and towns near Jerusalem, such