Jeremiah 18:1–23

The Potter and the Clay

18 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the 1wheel. And the vessel that he 2made of clay was 3marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, acan I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, bas the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to cpluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, dif that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, eI will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

11 “Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. fReturn now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings ggood.” ’ ”

God’s Warning Rejected

12 And they said, h“That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one 4obey the idictates 5of his evil heart.”

13 Therefore thus says the Lord:

j“Ask now among the Gentiles,

Who has heard such things?

The virgin of Israel has done ka very horrible thing.

14 Will a man 6leave the snow water of Lebanon,

Which comes from the rock of the field?

Will the cold flowing waters be forsaken for strange waters?

15 “Because My people have forgotten lMe,

They have burned incense to worthless idols.

And they have caused themselves to stumble in their ways,

From the mancient paths,

To walk in pathways and not on a highway,

16 To make their land ndesolate and a perpetual ohissing;

Everyone who passes by it will be astonished

And shake his head.

17 pI will scatter them qas with an east wind before the enemy;

rI will 7show them the back and not the face

In the day of their calamity.”

Jeremiah Persecuted

18 Then they said, s“Come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah; tfor the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come and let us attack him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.”

19 Give heed to me, O Lord,

And listen to the voice of those who contend with me!

20 uShall evil be repaid for good?

For they have vdug a pit for my life.

Remember that I wstood before You

To speak good 8for them,

To turn away Your wrath from them.

21 Therefore xdeliver up their children to the famine,

And pour out their blood

By the force of the sword;

Let their wives become widows

And ybereaved of their children.

Let their men be put to death,

Their young men be slain

By the sword in battle.

22 Let a cry be heard from their houses,

When You bring a troop suddenly upon them;

For they have dug a pit to take me,

And hidden snares for my feet.

23 Yet, Lord, You know all their counsel

Which is against me, to slay me.

zProvide no atonement for their iniquity,

Nor blot out their sin from Your sight;

But let them be overthrown before You.

Deal thus with them

In the time of Your aanger.

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