The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2 “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” 3 So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. 4 But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.
5 Then the Lord gave me this message: 6 “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. 7 If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, 8 but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. 9 And if I announce that I will plant and build up a certain nation or kingdom, 10 but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless it as I said I would.
11 “Therefore, Jeremiah, go and warn all Judah and Jerusalem. Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am planning disaster for you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right.’ ”
“Has anyone ever heard of such a thing,
even among the pagan nations?
My virgin daughter Israel
has done something terrible!
Do the cold streams flowing from those distant mountains ever run dry?
they burn incense to worthless idols.
They have stumbled off the ancient highways
and walk in muddy paths.
a monument to their stupidity.
All who pass by will be astonished
and will shake their heads in amazement.
as the east wind scatters dust.
And in all their trouble I will turn my back on them
and refuse to notice their distress.”
18 Then the people said, “Come on, let’s plot a way to stop Jeremiah. We have plenty of priests and wise men and prophets. We don’t need him to teach the word and give us advice and prophecies. Let’s spread rumors about him and ignore what he says.”
Listen to what my enemies are saying.
They have dug a pit to kill me,
though I pleaded for them
and tried to protect them from your anger.
Let them die by the sword!
Let their wives become childless widows.
Let their old men die in a plague,
and let their young men be killed in battle!
as warriors come suddenly upon them.
For they have dug a pit for me
and have hidden traps along my path.
Don’t forgive their crimes and blot out their sins.
Let them die before you.
Deal with them in your anger.