Bible Meaning: Lamentation
Strong's Concordance #H2011
A man named Hinnom and his son lent their name to a valley near the south end of the ancient city of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the Bible is silent regarding information about Hinnom or his son, how the valley got its name, and so on. Its mention in Joshua 15:8 means its name existed c. 1067 B.C. or before.
The valley of Hinnom received an evil reputation due to countless abominable acts carried out within it by Judah's King Ahaz (735 - 715 B.C.), King Manasseh (696 - 642) and others. Not only were pagan deities worshipped in the valley, the heinous crime of sacrificing children to such false gods as Baal and Molech were carried out (2Kings 16:3, 23:10, 2Chronicles 28:1 - 3, 33:6)!
Humans sacrificed in appeasement to demonic deities was one of the reasons Israel (the northern ten tribes) was allowed to be conquered and removed out of the land by the Assyrians (2Kings 17:15 - 20). Righteous King Josiah (640 - 609 B.C.), during his reign, halted the Kingdom of Judah's practice of humans sacrifice in Hinnom as part of their idolatrous worship (2Kings 23:10).
The Old Testament sometimes uses the word Tophet or Topheth (Strong's #H8612 and #H8613, a word which means a place of fire or cremation) in relation to Hinnom (Jeremiah 7:31 - 32, 19:6, 11 - 14). Tophet was the place within the valley where humans (primarily children) were sacrificed to pagan gods.
Please see our article on the REAL Hell for more information about the valley of Hinnom.
And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite: the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward . . .
And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.
Moreover he (King Ahaz) burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
And he (King Manasseh) caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.
Jeremiah 7:31 - 32
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.
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.
Jeremiah 19:2, 6
And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee . . .
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.
And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech: which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.