Under the type of breaking a potter's vessel, the prophet foresheweth the desolation of the Jews for their sins.
HUS saith the Lord: Go, and take a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests:
And go forth into the valley of the son of Ennom, which is by the entry of the earthen gate: and there thou shalt proclaim the words that I shall tell thee.
And thou shalt say: Hear the word of the Lord, O ye kings of Juda, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring an affliction upon this place: so that whosoever shall hear it, his ears shall tingle:
Because they have forsaken me, and have profaned this place : and have sacrificed therein to strange gods, whom neither they nor their fathers knew, nor the kings of Juda: and they have filled this place with the blood of innocents.
And they have built the high places of Baalim, to burn their children with fire for a holocaust to Baalim: which I did not command, nor speak of, neither did it once come into my mind.
Therefore behold the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Topheth, nor the valley of the son of Ennom, but the valley of slaughter.
And I will defeat the counsel of Juda and of Jerusalem in this place: and I will destroy them with the sword in the sight of their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and I will give their carcasses to be meat for the fowls of the air, and for the beasts of the earth.
And I will make this city an astonishment, and a hissing: every one that shall pass by it, shall be astonished, and shall hiss because of all the plagues thereof.
And I will feed them with the flesh of their sons, and with the flesh of their daughters: and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege, and in the distress wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.
And thou shalt break the bottle in the sight of the men that shall go with thee.
And thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Even so will I break this people, and this city, as the potter's vessel is broken, which cannot be made whole again: and they shall be buried in Topheth, because there is no other place to bury in.
Thus will I do to this place, saith the Lord, and to the inhabitants thereof: and I will make this city as Topheth.
And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Juda shall be unclean as the place of Topheth: all the houses upon whose roofs they have sacrificed to all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings to strange gods.
Then Jeremias came from Topheth, whither the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and he stood in the court of the house of the Lord, and said to all the people:
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring in upon this city, and upon all the cities thereof all the evils that I have spoken against it: because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.