In chapter 19 Jeremiah went to the valley of the son of Hinnom, a place the Jews had dedicated to the worship of idols. Some of the worst sins in Jewish history were committed there. The name "son of Hinnom" was written "Ge-Hinnom," and eventually became "Gehenna" in the Greek language, which is the New Testament word for "hell.".
As Jeremiah went to this valley he took with him a finished vase and held it up before the elders of the land as he preached his sermon on judgment. He told them that they had forsaken God and worshiped idols; that they had sinned against God's Word; but that the day would come when the valley would not be called Tophet, but would be known as The Valley of Slaughter. He told them that judgment was coming to Judah; then he broke the vase and it could never be repaired (verses 10 and 11).
In chapters 21-24 we again see Jeremiah at his task of preaching. Notice that he went from his vase-breaking rendezvous in Hinnom to the Temple, and began to proclaim the same message there to the people. He was put in prison, but was later released.
Chapter 21 belongs to the last days of Jeremiah's life. King Zedekiah, frightened at the approach of the Babylonian army, appeals to Jeremiah to intercede with God. Jeremiah advises Zedekiah to yield the city to the Babylonians, in order to save the people from death.
In chapter 22 Jeremiah gives a warning to Jehoiakim, a cruel and wicked king. "Shallum" in verse 11 was Jehoahaz, who was carried to Egypt and died there (II Kings 23:31-34). Jehoiakim's miserable death (verses 18 and 19) is hinted in II Kings 24:6.
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