1 The LORD spoke his word to Jeremiah. He said, 2 "Go to the potter's house. There I will give you my message." 3 I went to the potter's house, and he was working there at his wheel. 4 Whenever a clay pot he was working on was ruined, he would rework it into a new clay pot the way he wanted to make it. 5 The LORD spoke his word to me. The LORD asked, 6 "Nation of Israel, can't I do with you as this potter does with clay? Nation of Israel, you are like the clay in the potter's hands. 7 "At one time I may threaten to tear up, break down, and destroy a nation or a kingdom. 8 But suppose the nation that I threatened turns away from doing wrong. Then I will change my plans about the disaster I planned to do to it. 9 "At another time I may promise to build and plant a nation or a kingdom. 10 But suppose that nation does what I consider evil and doesn't obey me. Then I will change my plans about the good that I promised to do to it. 11 "Now say to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem, 'This is what the LORD says: I'm going to prepare a disaster and make plans against you. Turn from your evil ways, change your lives, and do good.' 12 "But they will answer, 'It's useless! We'll live the way we want to. We'll go our own stubborn, evil ways.' 13 "This is what the LORD says: Ask among the nations if anyone has ever heard anything like this. The people of Israel have done a very horrible thing. 14 The rocky slopes of Lebanon are never without snow. The cool mountain streams never dry up. 15 But my people have forgotten me. They burn incense as an offering to worthless idols, and they stumble along the way, on the ancient path. They go on side roads and not on major highways. 16 Their land will become desolate and something to be hissed at forever. Everyone who will pass by it will be stunned and shake his head. 17 Like the east wind I will scatter them in front of the enemy. On the day of their disaster, I will show them my back, not my face." 18 Then they said, "Let's plot against Jeremiah, because the teachings of the priests, the advice of wise people, and the word of the prophets won't disappear. Accuse him! Pay no attention to anything he says." 19 Pay attention to me, O LORD, and listen to what my accusers say. 20 Good should not be paid back with evil. They dig a pit to take my life. Remember how I stood in your presence and pleaded for them in order to turn your anger away from them. 21 Now, hand their children over to famine. Pour out their [blood] by using your sword. Then their wives will become childless widows. Their husbands will be put to death. Their young men will be struck down in battle. 22 Make them cry out from their homes when you suddenly send troops against them, because they dug a pit to catch me and hid snares for my feet. 23 But you, O LORD, know that they plan to kill me. Don't forgive their crimes. Don't wipe their sins out of your sight. Make them stumble in your presence. Deal with them when you get angry.
1 This is what the LORD says: Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. Take along some of the leaders of the people and some of the leaders of the priests. 2 Go to the valley of Ben Hinnom at the entrance to Potsherd Gate. Announce there the things I plan to do. 3 Say, "Listen to the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I'm going to bring such a disaster on this place that the ears of everyone who hears about it will ring. 4 "The people, their ancestors, and the kings of Judah have abandoned me. They have made this place unrecognizable by burning incense as an offering to other gods that they hadn't heard of. They have filled this place with the blood of innocent people. 5 They have built worship sites to burn their children as sacrifices to Baal. I didn't ask them or command them to do this. It never entered my mind. 6 "That is why the days are coming, declares the LORD, when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben Hinnom. Instead, it will be called Slaughter Valley. 7 I will smash the plans of Judah and Jerusalem in this place. I will cut them down with swords in front of their enemies and with the hands of those who want to kill them. I will give their bodies as food to birds and to animals. 8 I will devastate this city. It will become something to hiss at. Everyone who goes by it will be stunned and hiss with contempt at all the disasters that happen to it. 9 I will make the people eat the flesh of their sons and daughters. They will eat each other's flesh during blockades and hardships that their enemies impose on them when they want to kill them." 10 [The LORD says,] "Then smash the jar in front of the men who went with you. 11 Say to them, 'This is what the LORD of Armies says: I will smash these people and this city as this potter's jar was smashed beyond repair. They will bury [the dead] in Topheth until there's no other place to bury them. 12 That's what I will do to this place and to those who live in it, declares the LORD. I will make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses in Jerusalem, the houses of the kings of Judah, and all the rooftops of the houses will be unclean like this city Topheth. This is because people burned incense to the entire army of heaven and poured out wine offerings to other gods.'" 14 Then Jeremiah left Topheth, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy. He stood in the courtyard of the LORD's temple and said to all the people, 15 "This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I'm going to bring on this city and on all its towns the disasters that I threatened. They've become impossible to deal with, and they refuse to obey me."
1 Now the priest, Immer's son Pashhur, the chief officer of the LORD's temple, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. 2 Pashhur struck the prophet Jeremiah and put him in prison at Upper Benjamin Gate that was in the LORD's temple. 3 The next day when Pashhur took Jeremiah out of prison, Jeremiah said to him, "The LORD doesn't call you Pashhur, but he calls you Terror Everywhere. 4 This is what the LORD says: I'm going to make you terrify yourself and all your friends. Their enemies' swords will kill them, and you will see it with your own eyes. I will hand all of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will take the people away as captives to Babylon or kill them with swords. 5 I will hand all the riches of this city over to their enemies. This will include all its produce, all its valuables, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. Their enemies will loot them, take them away, and bring them to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all those who live in your house will go into captivity. You will go to Babylon, and you will die there. You will be buried there together with all your friends to whom you prophesied these lies." 7 O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived. You overpowered me and won. I've been made fun of all day long. Everyone mocks me. 8 Each time I speak, I have to cry out and shout, "Violence and destruction!" The word of the LORD has made me the object of insults and contempt all day long. 9 I think to myself, "I can forget the LORD and no longer speak his name." But [his word] is inside me like a burning fire shut up in my bones. I wear myself out holding it in, but I can't do it any longer. 10 I have heard many [people] whispering, "Terror is everywhere! Report him! Let's report him!" All my closest friends are waiting to see me stumble. They say, "Maybe he will be tricked. Then we can overpower him and take revenge on him." 11 But the LORD is on my side like a terrifying warrior. That is why those who persecute me will stumble. They can't win. They will be very ashamed that they can't succeed. Their eternal shame will not be forgotten. 12 But the LORD of Armies examines the righteous. He sees their motives and thoughts. I want to see you take revenge on them, because I've brought my case to you. 13 Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! He has rescued the lives of needy people from the power of wicked people. 14 Cursed is the day that I was born, the day that my mother gave birth to me. May it not be blessed. 15 Cursed is the man who made my father very happy with the news that he had just become the father of a baby boy. 16 May that man be like the cities that the LORD destroyed without pity. May he hear a cry of alarm in the morning and a battle cry at noon. 17 If only he had killed me while I was in the womb. Then my mother would have been my grave, and she would have always been pregnant. 18 Why did I come out of the womb? All I've seen is trouble and grief. I will finish my days in shame.
1 The LORD spoke his word to Jeremiah when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur, son of Malchiah, and the priest Zephaniah, son of Maaseiah, to Jeremiah. They said, 2 "Consult the LORD for us, because King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is attacking us. Maybe the LORD will perform miracles for us so that Nebuchadnezzar will retreat." 3 Jeremiah responded to them, "This is what you should say to Zedekiah, 4 'This is what the LORD God of Israel says: I'm going to take your weapons away from you. You are using these weapons to fight the king of Babylon as well as the Babylonians who are now blockading you outside the wall. I will bring the Babylonians inside this city. 5 I will fight you in anger, fury, and rage with my powerful hand and my mighty arm. 6 I will defeat those who live in this city, both people and animals. They will die from a terrible plague. 7 Afterwards, declares the LORD, I will hand over Judah's King Zedekiah, his officials, the people, and everyone else in this city who survives the plague, war, and famine. They will be handed over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. Nebuchadnezzar will kill them with swords. He won't spare them, show them compassion, or care for them.' 8 "Say to these people, 'This is what the LORD says: I am going to give you the choice of life or death. 9 Those who live in this city will die in the war, famine, or plague. Those of you who go out and surrender to the Babylonians will live. You will escape with your lives. 10 I've decided to harm this city, not to do good to it, declares the LORD. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down.' 11 "Say to the nation of the king of Judah, 'Listen to the word of the LORD, 12 descendants of David. This is what the LORD says: Judge fairly every morning. Rescue those who have been robbed from those who oppress them. Otherwise, my fury will break out and burn like fire. No one will be able to put it out because of the evil things you have done. 13 "'I'm against you, Jerusalem. You are the city that is in the valley and on the rock in the plain,'" declares the LORD. "'But you ask, "Who can attack us? Who can enter our places of refuge?" 14 "'I will punish you because of the evil things you have done,'" declares the LORD. "'I will start a fire in your forests, and it will burn up everything around you.'"
1 This is what the LORD says: Go to the palace of the king of Judah, and speak this message there: 2 "Listen to the word of the LORD, you officials, you people who come into these gates, and you, king of Judah, the one sitting on David's throne. 3 "This is what the LORD says: Judge fairly, and do what is right. Rescue those who have been robbed from those who oppress them. Don't mistreat foreigners, orphans, or widows, and don't oppress them. Don't kill innocent people in this place. 4 If you do what I say, then the kings who sit on David's throne will ride through the gates of this palace in chariots and on horses along with their officials and their people. 5 But if you don't do what I say, I will take an oath on myself," declares the LORD, "that this palace will become a pile of rubble. 6 "This is what the LORD says about the palace of the king of Judah: This palace is like Gilead to me, like the top of Lebanon. I will certainly turn it into a desert, into cities that no one lives in. 7 I will send people to destroy you. They will have their own weapons. They will cut down your finest cedar trees and throw them on a fire. 8 "People from many nations will pass by this city and ask each other, 'Why has the LORD done this to this important city?' 9 The answer will be: 'They rejected the promise of the LORD their God. They worshiped other gods and served them.'" 10 Don't cry for the dead. Don't shake your heads at them. Cry bitterly for those who are taken away, because they won't come back to see their homeland. 11 This is what the LORD says about King Josiah's son Shallum, who succeeded his father as king of Judah and left this place: He will never come back here again. 12 He will die in the place where he was taken captive, and he will never see this land again. 13 "How horrible it will be for the person who builds his house dishonestly and his upper rooms through injustice. He makes his neighbors work for nothing and doesn't pay them for their work. 14 He says, 'I will build a large house for myself with big upper rooms.' He cuts out windows in it, panels the rooms with cedar, and paints them red. 15 Do you think you're a better king than others because you use more cedar? Your father ate and drank and did what is fair and right. Everything went well for him. 16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy. Everything went well for him. Isn't this what it means to know me?" asks the LORD. 17 "But your eyes and your mind are set on nothing but dishonest profits. You kill innocent people and violently oppress your people." 18 This is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim, son of Judah's King Josiah: People won't mourn for him and say, "How horrible it is for my brother and sister!" They won't mourn for him and say, "How horrible it is for my master and his splendor!" 19 He will receive a donkey's burial. He will be dragged off and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem. 20 "Go to Lebanon and cry! Raise your voice in Bashan! Cry out from Abarim, because all your lovers are defeated." 21 I spoke to you when you were prosperous, but you said that you wouldn't listen. This is how you've been ever since you were young. You don't listen to me. 22 The wind will blow away all your shepherds, and your lovers will go into captivity. Then you will be ashamed and disgraced by all your wickedness. 23 You live in Lebanon and have your nest in the cedars. But you will groan when pain strikes you, pain like a woman giving birth to a child. 24 "As I live," declares the LORD, "even though you, Jehoiakin, son of Judah's King Jehoiakim, are the signet ring on my right hand, I will pull you off my hand. 25 I will hand you over to those who want to kill you, those you fear--King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonians. 26 I will throw you and your mother into another land. You weren't born there, but you will die there. 27 You will want to return to this land, but you won't be allowed to come home." 28 This Jehoiakin is like a rejected and broken pot that no one wants. Is that why he and his descendants will be thrown out and cast into another land they've never heard of? 29 O land, land, land! Listen to the word of the LORD. 30 This is what the LORD says: Write this about Jehoiakin: He will be childless. He won't prosper in his lifetime. None of his descendants will succeed him as king. They won't sit on David's throne and rule Judah again.