Jeremiah 18

Parable of the Potter

1This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2“Go down at once to the potter’s house; a there I will reveal My words to you.” 3So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel.
Lit pair of stones
4But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do. c

5The word of the Lord came to me: 6 “House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?” – this is the Lord’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel. d 7At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down, and destroy it. e 8However, if that nation I have made an announcement about turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it. f 9At another time I announce that I will build and plant a nation or a kingdom. g 10However, if it does what is evil in My sight by not listening to My voice, I will relent concerning the good I had said I would do to it. h 11So now, say to the men of Judah and to the residents of Jerusalem: This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring harm to you and make plans against you. Turn now, each from your evil way, and correct your ways and your deeds. i 12But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless. j We will continue to follow our plans, and each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’”

Deluded Israel

13 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:

Ask among the nations,
Who has heard things like these?
Virgin Israel has done a most terrible thing. k
14 Does the snow of Lebanon ever leave the highland crags?
Or does cold water flowing from a distance ever fail?
15 Yet My people have forgotten Me. l
They burn incense to false idols
that make them stumble in their ways
on the ancient roads m
and walk on new paths, not the highway.
16 They have made their land a horror n
a perpetual object of scorn;
Lit hissing
,
p
everyone who passes by it will be horrified q
and shake his head. r
17 I will scatter them before the enemy like the east wind. s
I will show them
LXX, Lat, Syr, Tg; MT reads will look at them
My back and not My face
on the day of their calamity.

Plot against Jeremiah

18 Then certain ones said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah, u for instruction will never be lost from the priest, v or counsel from the wise, or an
oracle: A prophetic speech of a threatening or menacing character, often against the nations
oracle from the prophet. x Come, let’s denounce him
Lit let’s strike him with the tongue
and pay no attention to all his words.”

19 Pay attention to me, Lord.
Hear what my opponents are saying! z
20 Should good be repaid with evil?
Yet they have dug a pit for me. aa
Remember how I stood before You
to speak good on their behalf,
to turn Your anger from them.
21 Therefore, hand their children over to famine ab
and pour the sword’s power on them.
Let their wives become childless and widowed,
their husbands slain by deadly disease
Lit by death

their young men struck down by the sword in battle.
22 Let a cry be heard from their houses
when You suddenly bring raiders against them,
for they have dug a pit to capture me
and have hidden snares for my feet. ad
23 But You, Lord, know
all their deadly plots against me.
Do not wipe out their
guilt/guilty: The liability to be punished for a fault, a sin, an act, or an omission unless there is forgiveness or atonement; the term normally concerns an objective fact, not a subjective feeling.
guilt; af
do not blot out their sin before You.
Let them be forced to stumble before You;
deal with them in the time of Your anger.
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