Hinnom (Tophet)
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Hinnom (Tophet)
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 the valley 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.

Jerusalem's Hinnom Valley Picture

Important Verses

2Kings 23:10
And he (King Josiah of Judah) brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba . . .

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.

2Chronicles 28:1, 3
Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his father . . .

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.

2Chronicles 33:6
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.

Isaiah 30:33
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 32:32 - 33, 35
Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face . . .

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.

Additional Studies

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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).