Jeremiah 19:13 MEANING

Jeremiah 19:13
(13) Defiled as the place of Tophet.--A difficulty affecting the construction, but not the sense, of the passage, makes the rendering as the place of Tophet the defiled preferable.

Upon whose roofs they have burned incense.--The flat roofs of Eastern houses were used, as for exercise (2 Samuel 11:2) so also, as in Peter's vision at Joppa (Acts 10:9), for prayer and meditation, and seem from Zephaniah 1:5 to have been specially chosen, as was natural, for worship addressed to the host of heaven. The two altars "on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz" (2 Kings 23:12) were probably so situated. Where men had been wont to keep the holy days of the Feast of Tabernacles (Nehemiah 8:16) they had celebrated their idolatrous rites. (See Jeremiah 32:29.) So Strabo (xvi. p. 1, 131) describes the Nabath?ans as worshipping the sun, and offering incense on an altar on the roof of their houses.

Verse 13. - The houses of the kings of Judah; i.e. the palaces and other buildings which together made up the king's house (Jeremiah 22:6). Shall he defiled as the place of Tophet. This is one of the few places in which the Authorized Version has allowed itself to interfere with the received text; for the Hebrew has "which are defiled," etc. The common reading, in fact, seems untranslatable. Because of all the houses; rather, even all the houses.

19:10-15 The potter's vessel, after it is hardened, can never be pieced again when it is broken. And as the bottle was broken, so shall Judah and Jerusalem be broken by the Chaldeans. No human hand can repair it; but if they return to the Lord he will heal. As they filled Tophet with the slain sacrificed to their idols, so will God fill the whole city with the slain that shall fall as sacrifices to his justice. Whatever men may think, God will appear as terrible against sin and sinners as the Scriptures state; nor shall the unbelief of men make his promise or his threatenings of no effect. The obstinacy of sinners in sinful ways, is their own fault; if they are deaf to the word of God, it is because they have stopped their ears. We have need to pray that God, by his grace, would deliver us from hardness of heart, and contempt of his word and commandments.And the houses of Jerusalem,.... Where the common people dwelt:

and the houses of the kings of Judah; the palaces of the king, princes, and nobles of Judah, one as well as another:

shall be defiled os Tophet; as that was defiled with the bodies and bones of the slain, and with the faith of the city brought unto it; so the houses of great and small, high and low, should be defiled with the carcasses of the slain that should lie unburied there; their houses should be their graves, and they buried in the ruins of them: or, "the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, which are defiled" (s), with the idolatries after mentioned, shall be as Tophet, places of slaughter:

because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burnt incense to all the host of heaven; the roofs of houses with the Jews were built flat; and, as they sometimes used them for prayer to the God of heaven, as Peter did, Acts 10:9; idolaters used them to burn incense on to the sun, moon, and stars; to which they were nearer, and of which they could have a clearer view upon the house tops, and therefore chose them for this purpose; and so common was this sort of idolatry, that it was practised upon most, if not all, the houses in Jerusalem; see Zephaniah 1:5;

and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods; besides the God of Israel; to Baal, and other Heathen deities.

(s) "quae pollutae sunt", Gataker.

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