Jerusalem shall be like Topheth (Jer 19:11-19:13)

“‘In Topheth,

They shall bury

Until there is no more room

To bury people.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Thus will I do to this place,

As well as to its inhabitants.

I will make this city

Like Topheth.

The houses of Jerusalem

Shall be defiled.

The houses of the kings of Judah

Shall be defiled

Like the place of Topheth.

All the houses

Upon whose roofs

Offerings have been made

To the whole host of heaven

Shall be defiled.

Where libations have been poured out

To other gods,

They shall be defiled

Like the place of Topheth.’”

Yahweh says that they will bury people in Topheth until there is no more room there. Then Jerusalem would be like Topheth, mentioned in chapter 7 and earlier in this chapter, a place in Jerusalem where the ancient Canaanites had worshipped and sacrificed children in the valley of Hinnom. Thus this Topheth would not exist any longer, because it would become known just for dead bodies. Now both the house of Judah and Jerusalem would be defiled like Topheth, because there would be so many unclean dead people all around. Further, those places that had roof top offerings and libations to the various heavenly bodies or gods would also be defiled like Topheth.

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The problem of Topheth (Jer 19:6-19:7)

“Says Yahweh.

‘Therefore the days are surely coming,

When this place shall

No more be called Topheth,

Or the valley of the son of Hinnom,

But the valley of Slaughter.

In this place

I will make void

The plans of Judah,

The plans of Jerusalem.

I will make them fall

By the sword

Before their enemies.

I will make them fall

By the hand of those

Who seek their life.

I will give their dead bodies

For food

To the birds of the air,

To the wild animals of the earth.”

This section is very similar to what is in chapter 7 about Topheth, almost word for word, a place in Jerusalem where the ancient Canaanites worshipped. It was in this valley of Hinnom that there may have been a place for sacrificing and burning children. Thus this Topheth would not exist any longer, because it would become known for dead bodies after slaughters. The people of Judah and Jerusalem would die by the sword there, while the birds and the wild animals would feed on their dead bodies.

The day of confusion (Isa 22:5-22:8)

Yahweh,

The God of hosts,

Has a day Of tumult,

Of trampling,

Of confusion

In the valley of Hinnom.

There is

A battering down of walls.

There is

A cry for help in the mountains.

Elam bore the quiver

With chariots,

With cavalry.

Kir uncovered the shield.

Your choicest valleys

Were full of chariots.

The cavalry

Took their stand

At the gates.

He has taken away

The covering of Judah.”

A lot of the action took place in the valley of Hinnom, outside the walls of Jerusalem on this invasion day, where there was tumult, trampling, and confusion. The walls of Jerusalem came tumbling down. There was a cry for help that went out from the mountains, but it was not good enough. Elam, the Assyrians, used their bows and arrows. They had chariots and cavalry, while the Moabite mercenary men from Kir had shields. The beautiful valleys of Judah were full of these foreign chariots. Meanwhile, the Assyrian cavalry stood at the gates as Judah was no longer protecting Jerusalem.