Jeremiah 18

The Potter and the Clay

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 "Arise, and go down to 1the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words."
3 So I went down to 2the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel.
4 And the vessel he was making of clay was 3spoiled in the potter's hand, and 4he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me:
6 "O house of Israel, 5can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. 6Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
7 If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will 7pluck up and break down and destroy it,
8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, 8turns from its evil, 9I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.
9 And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will 10build and plant it,
10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.
11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: 'Thus says the LORD, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. 11Return, every one from his evil way, and 12amend your ways and your deeds.'
12 "But they say, 13'That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to 14the stubbornness of his evil heart.'
13 "Therefore thus says the LORD: 15Ask among the nations, Who has heard the like of this? The virgin Israel has done 16a very horrible thing.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon leave the crags of Sirion?a Do the mountain waters run dry,b the cold flowing streams?
15 17But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to 18false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, 19in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, 20not the highway,
16 making their land 21a horror, a thing 22to be hissed at forever. 23Everyone who passes by it is horrified 24and shakes his head.
17 25Like the east wind 26I will scatter them before the enemy. 27I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity."
18 Then they said, 28"Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, 29for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. 30Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words."
19 Hear me, O LORD, and 31listen to the voice of my adversaries.
20 32Should good be repaid with evil? Yet 33they have dug a pit for my life. 34Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them, to turn away your wrath from them.
21 Therefore 35deliver up their children to famine; give them over to the power of the sword; let their wives become childless 36and widowed. May their men meet death by pestilence, their youths be struck down by the sword in battle.
22 37May a cry be heard from their houses, when you bring the plunderer suddenly upon them! For 38they have dug a pit to take me 39and laid snares for my feet.
23 Yet 40you, O LORD, know all their plotting to kill me. 41Forgive not their iniquity, nor blot out their sin from your sight. Let them be overthrown before you; deal with them in the time of your anger.
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