1 Thus said Hashem: Go buy a jug of potter’s ware. And [take] some of the elders of the people and the Kohanim,
א כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הָלוֹךְ וְקָנִיתָ בַקְבֻּק יוֹצֵר חָרֶשׂ וּמִזִּקְנֵי הָעָם וּמִזִּקְנֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים׃
2 and go out to the Valley of Ben-hinnom—at the entrance of the Harsith Gate—and proclaim there the words which I will speak to you.
v’-ya-TZA-ta el GAY ven hi-NOM a-SHER PE-takh SHA-ar ha-khar-SEET v’-ka-RA-ta SHAM et ha-d’-va-REEM a-SHER a-da-BAYR ay-LE-kha
ב וְיָצָאתָ אֶל־גֵּיא בֶן־הִנֹּם אֲשֶׁר פֶּתַח שַׁעַר החרסות [הַחַרְסִית] וְקָרָאתָ שָּׁם אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר־אֲדַבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ׃
19:2 Go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom
Yirmiyahu is told to rebuke the people for abandoning Hashem and worshipping idols, and to warn them of the harsh punishments that they will suffer as a result. In order to demonstrate to the Israelites the severity of the retribution awaiting them, he is to break a clay flask in front of the elders, their leaders (verse 10). This display was to take place in the valley of Ben-hinnom, outside the gate of Harsith. Since this valley is where the sinful Israelites worship the false god Baal and offer their children to the fire god Molech (see also Jeremiah 7:31 and 32:35), it is an appropriate place for Yirmiyahu to deliver this message. The valley is located just below the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.Comment
3 Say: “Hear the word of Hashem, O kings of Yehuda and inhabitants of Yerushalayim! Thus said the lord of Hosts, the God of Yisrael: I am going to bring such disaster upon this place that the ears of all who hear about it will tingle.
4 For they and their fathers and the kings of Yehuda have forsaken Me, and have made this place alien [to Me]; they have sacrificed in it to other gods whom they have not experienced, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.
ד יַעַן אֲשֶׁר עֲזָבֻנִי וַיְנַכְּרוּ אֶת־הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וַיְקַטְּרוּ־בוֹ לֵאלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יְדָעוּם הֵמָּה וַאֲבוֹתֵיהֶם וּמַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה וּמָלְאוּ אֶת־הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה דַּם נְקִיִּם׃
7 “And I will frustrate the plans of Yehuda and Yerushalayim in this place. I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, by the hand of those who seek their lives; and I will give their carcasses as food to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth.
ז וּבַקֹּתִי אֶת־עֲצַת יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלַ ִם בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וְהִפַּלְתִּים בַּחֶרֶב לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֵיהֶם וּבְיַד מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשָׁם וְנָתַתִּי אֶת־נִבְלָתָם לְמַאֲכָל לְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְבֶהֱמַת הָאָרֶץ׃
8 And I will make this city an object of horror and hissing; everyone who passes by it will be appalled and will hiss over all its wounds.
ח וְשַׂמְתִּי אֶת־הָעִיר הַזֹּאת לְשַׁמָּה וְלִשְׁרֵקָה כֹּל עֹבֵר עָלֶיהָ יִשֹּׁם וְיִשְׁרֹק עַל־כָּל־מַכֹּתֶהָ׃
9 And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall devour one another’s flesh—because of the desperate straits to which they will be reduced by their enemies, who seek their life.”
ט וְהַאֲכַלְתִּים אֶת־בְּשַׂר בְּנֵיהֶם וְאֵת בְּשַׂר בְּנֹתֵיהֶם וְאִישׁ בְּשַׂר־רֵעֵהוּ יֹאכֵלוּ בְּמָצוֹר וּבְמָצוֹק אֲשֶׁר יָצִיקוּ לָהֶם אֹיְבֵיהֶם וּמְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשָׁם׃
10 Then you shall smash the jug in the sight of the men who go with you,
י וְשָׁבַרְתָּ הַבַּקְבֻּק לְעֵינֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים הַהֹלְכִים אוֹתָךְ׃
11 and say to them: “Thus said the lord of Hosts: So will I smash this people and this city, as one smashes a potter’s vessel, which can never be mended. And they shall bury in Topheth until no room is left for burying.
יא וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת כָּכָה אֶשְׁבֹּר אֶת־הָעָם הַזֶּה וְאֶת־הָעִיר הַזֹּאת כַּאֲשֶׁר יִשְׁבֹּר אֶת־כְּלִי הַיּוֹצֵר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יוּכַל לְהֵרָפֵה עוֹד וּבְתֹפֶת יִקְבְּרוּ מֵאֵין מָקוֹם לִקְבּוֹר׃
12 That is what I will do to this place and its inhabitants—declares Hashem. I will make this city like Topheth:
יב כֵּן־אֶעֱשֶׂה לַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה וּלְיוֹשְׁבָיו וְלָתֵת אֶת־הָעִיר הַזֹּאת כְּתֹפֶת׃
13 the houses of Yerushalayim and the houses of the kings of Yehuda shall be unclean, like that place Topheth—all the houses on the roofs of which offerings were made to the whole host of heaven and libations were poured out to other gods.”
15 “Thus said the lord of Hosts, the God of Yisrael: I am going to bring upon this city and upon all its villages all the disaster which I have decreed against it, for they have stiffened their necks and refused to heed My words.”