Jeremiah 18

The Potter and the Clay

1The word which came to Jeremiah from the  Lord saying, 2Arise and a  go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” 3Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the
Lit pair of stone discs
4But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.

5Then the word of the  Lord came to me saying, 6Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the  Lord. “Behold, like the c  clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 7At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to d  uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; 8 e  if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will
Lit repent of
g  relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
9Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to h  build up or to plant it; 10if it does i  evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will
Lit repent
k  think better of the good with which I had promised to
Lit do it good
bless it.
11So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says the  Lord, “Behold, I am m  fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh n  turn back, each of you from his evil way, and
Lit make good
reform your ways and your deeds.”’
12“But p  they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the q  stubbornness of his evil heart.’ 13Therefore thus says the  Lord,
r  Ask now among the nations,
Who ever heard the like of
Lit these
The t  virgin of Israel
Has done a most u  appalling thing.
14Does the snow of Lebanon forsake the rock of the open country?
Or is the cold flowing water from a foreign land ever snatched away?
15‘For v  My people have forgotten Me,
w  They burn incense
Lit to worthlessness
to worthless gods
And they
So ancient versions; Heb caused them to
have stumbled
Or in
from their ways,
Or in
From the ab  ancient paths,
To walk in bypaths,
Not on a ac  highway,
16To make their land a ad  desolation,
An object of perpetual ae  hissing;
Everyone who passes by it will be astonished
And af  shake his head.
17‘Like an ag  east wind I will ah  scatter them
Before the enemy;
I will
So ancient versions; M.T. reads look them in the back and not in the face
show them aj  My back and not My face
ak  In the day of their calamity.’”

18Then they said, “Come and let us al  devise plans against Jeremiah. Surely the am  law is not going to be lost to the priest, nor an  counsel to the sage, nor the divine ao  word to the prophet! Come on and let us ap  strike at him with our tongue, and let us aq  give no heed to any of his words.” 19Do give heed to me, O  Lord,
And listen to
Lit the voice of my opponents
what my opponents are saying!
20 as  Should good be repaid with evil?
For they have at  dug a pit for
Lit my soul
Remember how I av  stood before You
To speak good on their behalf,
So as to turn away Your wrath from them.
21Therefore aw  give their children over to famine
And deliver them up to the
Lit hands of
power of the sword;
And let their wives become ay  childless and az  widowed.
Let their men also be smitten to death,
Their ba  young men struck down by the sword in battle.
22May an bb  outcry be heard from their houses,
When You suddenly bring raiders upon them;
bc  For they have dug a pit to capture me
And bd  hidden snares for my feet.
23Yet You, O  Lord, know
All their
Lit unto death
deadly designs against me;
bf  Do not
Lit cover over, atone for
forgive their iniquity
Or blot out their sin from Your sight.
But may they be
Lit ones made to stumble
bi  overthrown before You;
Deal with them in the bj  time of Your anger!

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