The Potter and the Clay

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying,
2 "Arise and 1go down to the potter's house, and there I will announce My words to you."
3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something on the wheel.
4 But 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.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me saying,
6 "Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Behold, like the 2clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.
7 "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to 3uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it;
8 4if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will 5relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
9 "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to 6build up or to plant it;
10 if it does 7evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will 8think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.
11 "So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, 'Thus says the LORD, "Behold, I am 9fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh 10turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds."'
12 "But 11they will say, 'It's hopeless! For we are going to follow * our own plans, and each of us will act according to the 12stubbornness of his evil heart.'
13 "Therefore thus says the LORD, '13Ask now among the nations, Who ever heard the like of this? The 14virgin of Israel Has done a most 15appalling thing.
14 'Does 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 16My people have forgotten Me, 17They burn incense to worthless gods And they have stumbled from their ways, From the 18ancient paths, To walk in bypaths, Not on a 19highway *,
16 To make their land a 20desolation, An object of perpetual 21hissing; Everyone who passes by it will be astonished And 22shake his head.
17 'Like an 23east wind I will 24scatter them Before the enemy; I will show them 25My back and not My face 26In the day of their calamity.' "
18 Then they said, "Come and let us 27devise plans against Jeremiah. Surely the 28law is not going to be lost to the priest, nor 29counsel to the sage, nor the divine 30word to the prophet! Come on and let us 31strike at him with our tongue, and let us 32give no heed to any of his words."
19 Do give heed to me, O LORD, And listen to what my opponents are saying!
20 33Should good be repaid with evil? For they have 34dug a pit for me. Remember how I 35stood before You To speak good on their behalf, So as to turn away Your wrath from them.
21 Therefore, 36give their children over to famine And deliver them up to the power of the sword; And let their wives become 37childless and 38widowed. Let their men also be smitten to death, Their 39young men struck down by the sword in battle.
22 May an 40outcry be heard from their houses, When You suddenly bring raiders upon them; 41For they have dug a pit to capture me And 42hidden snares for my feet.
23 Yet You, O LORD, know All their deadly designs against me; 43Do not forgive their iniquity Or blot out their sin from Your sight. But may they be 44overthrown before You; Deal with them in the 45time of Your anger!