I received the following question:

Is Jeremiah 7:32-8:3 talking about the the day of Lord/parousia?

Hmmm. Well, that’s a good question. Let’s look at the passage.

32. “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room.

The place called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, was a beautiful valley not far from the walls of Jerusalem. At some point, this favorable location was chosen by idolaters as the ideal location to carry on their religion. Its easy access from Jerusalem and the beauty of the place probably were significant factors in bringing this about.

When exactly this great burial will take place in Tophet is hard to say. It could be that it happens in the Day of the Lord, after the yet-to-come tribulation. Yet if so, this statement reaches far into the future compared with the rest of the passage, as we can see in the following verses.

33. The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be desolate.

At least the latter part of this definitely refers to the time immediately future to Jeremiah. This was the desolation of the land of Judah after the final invasion of the land by Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar. Enraged by their repeated rebellions, he wiped out the city of Jerusalem, and removed the few who remained of its inhabitants far away to his own country and the regions around it. After this event, the land sat desolate, as is described here.

I see no indication that anything like this will happen in the time of the tribulation. The faithful people of Judah and Jerusalem must flee to the mountains when they see the abomination of desolation set up in the temple. However, they are not out of the land, but just in the mountainous regions of Israel. Moreover, they soon return to their places after the victorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, this description of the land sitting desolate definitely describes conditions after the Babylonian invasion, not at any time in the future.

1. “At that time,” says the LORD, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves. 2. They shall spread them before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served and after which they have walked, which they have sought and which they have worshiped. They shall not be gathered nor buried; they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. 3. Then death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of those who remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them,” says the LORD of hosts.

This again describes something done by Babylon when they destroyed Jerusalem. They removed all its kings and honored men from their graves and spread them out on the ground to dishonor them. Yet ultimately the Lord reveals that this is with His approval, as these men worshipped the sun, moon, and all the host of heaven, and now their bodies lie on the ground dishonored in view of these things they worshipped. This also does not fit the tribulation, which takes place after the graves are emptied in resurrection.

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