The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
Up, the Lord said to me, and get thee a jar of earthenware;
take it to the valley of Ben-Ennom, close to the Earthenware Gate, with elders of the people and some of the older priests for thy company; there prophesy as I bid thee.
To the dynasty of Juda, to all the citizens of Jerusalem, give this message from the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I mean to bring such calamity on this place, as shall ring in the ears of all that hear it.
The place that once was mine, now alienated by the rebels that dwell there; to alien gods they never knew, no fathers of theirs, no kings of Juda ever knew, they have done sacrifice in this place, drenching it with the blood of the innocent.
Here the gods of the country-side must have their hill-shrines, and children must be burnt as a sacrifice in their honour; a rite not of my prescribing, or enjoining, or imagining.
And now, the Lord says, a time is coming when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of Ben-Ennom; it will be called the Valley of the Slain.
In this valley all the hopes of Juda and Jerusalem shall be poured away; at the sword’s point they shall meet their enemy and fall into pitiless hands, and I will give leave to bird in air, beast on earth, to prey on the carrion of them.
A thing of horror and scorn this city shall be; no passer-by but will shudder at it, or hiss derision at the memory of its sufferings.
Nay, a pitiless enemy shall beleaguer them with so hard a siege, that I will leave them no food save the flesh of son and daughter; man shall eat man.
Then break that jar of thine, for all thy company to see,
and give them this message from the Lord of hosts: Broken to pieces you shall be, nation and city, like yonder thing of clay that is past all repairing; men will be finding room for their dead in Topheth, because other burying-ground is none.
Such, the Lord says, is the doom I have pronounced on city and citizens; Jerusalem itself shall be a Topheth,
all the houses in it, and yonder palace where the kings of Juda reigned, as Topheth unclean; it was there, on the roof-tops, they sacrificed to all the host of heaven, and made offering to alien gods.
His errand at Topheth done, Jeremias took his stand in the temple courts, and gave the people this message from the Lord God of Israel:
All these threats against Jerusalem and her daughter cities I mean to perform; the punishment of a yoke refused, a call unheeded.
The Holy Bible