11. And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Even so will I break this people, and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury.
11. Et dices ad eos, Sic dicit Jehova exercituum, Ita confringam populum hunc et urbem hanc, sicut quis confringit vas figuli, (hoc est, vas testaceum; vel, vas fragile, figulinum,) quod non poterit reparari amplius: et in Thopheth sepelientur; quia non erit locus ad sepeliendum (ad verbum, a non loco ad sepeliendum.)
The Prophet again confirms what he had shewn by the external symbol, and he does this by a new coremtrod from God. We know that signs are wholly useless when the word of God does not shine forth, as we see that superstitious men always practice many ceremonies, but they are only histrionic acts. But God never commanded his prophets to shew any sign without adding doctrine to it. This is what we see was done on this occasion; for Jeremiah spoke against impious superstitions, and as a celestial herald denounced punishment; he then sealed the prophecy by breaking the bottle, and a repetition of the doctrine follows again, Thus shalt thou say to them. This is not said of the Prophet's companions, the pronoun is without an antecedent, but the whole reople are the persons referred to.
Thus saith Jehovah, I will so break this people and this city. He mentions the city, in which they thought they had an impregnable fortress, because the temple of God was there. But as they had profaned the temple and polluted the city with their crimes, Jeremiah reminded them that no confidence or hope was to be placed in the city. Then he says, As one breaks a vessel which cannot be repaired, etc. Here again he shows that they were wholly to perish, so as no more to rise again. We indeed know that sometimes those who are most grievously afflicted retain some remnants of strength, and are at length restored to their former vigor; but the Prophet shews that the approaching calamity would be wholly irremediable. It is no objection to say, that God a. fterwards restored the people, and that the city and the temple were rebuilt, for all this was nothing to the ungodly men of that age, as their memory wholly perished. A curse and God's vengeance remained on the heads of those who thus continued obstinate in their wickedness; and hence those who returned from exile are said in Psalm 102:19, to have been a people created again, as though they rose up as new men,
"A people, who shall be created, shall praise the Lord."
He then says, Buried shall they be, in Tophet, for there will be no place elsewhere.1 They had chosen that place at a time when they thought that they had some evidence of God's favor, and a cause for joy; but he declares that that place would be filled with dead bodies, for they would flee in great numbers into the city, which afterwards would become so full of dead bodies that no room for burial could be found except in Topher. It follows --