It Has Never Entered ​t​he Lord’s Mind ​t​o Torment Anyone in Literal Flames ​o​f Fire

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It Has Never Entered ​t​he Lord’s Mind ​to Torment Anyone in Literal Flames ​o​f Fire

[Posted April 14, 2020]

Hi G​____,

Thank you for requesting my thoughts on Jeremiah 7:31-32 and Jeremiah​ 19:5.

Jer 7:31  And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
Jer 7:32  Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.

Jer 19:5  They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
Jer 19:6  Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.

My immediate thought is, ​”​So much for the doctrine of eternal torment in literal flames of literal fire for all eternity.”​

Such a doctrine never “came into [the Lord’s] heart [or] mind”.

The Hebrew word for both “heart” in Jeremiah 7:31 and “mind​”​ in Jer​emiah​ 19:5 is the same Hebrew word, H3820 ‘leb’. It appears 595 times in the Old Testament, and of those 595 times,​ it is translated as ‘heart’, or the plural ‘hearts’, 506 times. It is translated as ‘mind’ ​jus​t 12 times, and as ‘understanding’ 10 times.

Here are a couple of examples of the entries where this Hebrew word, ‘leb’ is translated as ‘mind’:

Num 16:28  And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind [leb].

Lam 3:21  This I recall to my mind [‘leb’], therefore have I hope.

Here are a couple of examples of where this word is translated as ‘understanding’:

Pro 6:32  But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding [‘leb’]: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

Jer 5:21  Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding [‘leb’]; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

It should be clear that it has never been the Lord’s ‘understanding’, ‘heart’ nor ‘mind’ to burn anyone alive with fire, much less sustain those flames for all eternity.

It should also be clear in the light of these verses that the words ‘mind’ and ‘heart’ are speaking of our ‘understanding’.

YbiC, Mike