Jeremiah 18-21New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Potter and the Clay
18 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying, 2 “Arise and go 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 [a]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 clay 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 uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; 8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will [b]relent 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 build up or to plant it; 10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will [c]think better of the good with which I had promised to [d]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 fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and [e]reform your ways and your deeds.”’ 12 But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’
13 “Therefore thus says the Lord,
18 Then they said, “Come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah. Surely the law is not going to be lost to the priest, nor counsel to the sage, nor the divine word to the prophet! Come on and let us strike at him with our tongue, and let us give no heed to any of his words.”
19 Do give heed to me, O Lord,
The Broken Jar
19 Thus says the Lord, “Go and buy a potter’s earthenware jar, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the [r]senior priests. 2 Then go out to the valley of Ben-hinnom, which is by the entrance of the potsherd gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you, 3 and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold I am about to bring a calamity upon this place, at which the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle. 4 Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned [s]sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent 5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My [t]mind; 6 therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather the valley of Slaughter. 7 I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will give over their carcasses as food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth. 8 I will also make this city a desolation and an object of hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its [u]disasters. 9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life will distress them.”’
10 “Then you are to break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you 11 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Just so will I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will bury in Topheth [v]because there is no other place for burial. 12 This is how I will treat this place and its inhabitants,” declares the Lord, “so as to make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled like the place Topheth, because of all the houses on whose rooftops they burned [w]sacrifices to all the heavenly host and poured out drink offerings to other gods.”’”
14 Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people: 15 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to bring on this city and all its towns the entire calamity that I have declared against it, because they have stiffened their necks so as not to heed My words.’”
Pashhur Persecutes Jeremiah
20 When Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, 2 Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in the stocks that were at the upper Benjamin Gate, which was by the house of the Lord. 3 On the next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “Pashhur is not the name the Lord has called you, but rather [x]Magor-missabib. 4 For thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am going to make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and while your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I will give over all Judah to the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will carry them away as exiles to Babylon and will slay them with the sword. 5 I will also give over all the wealth of this city, all its produce and all its costly things; even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give over to the hand of their enemies, and they will plunder them, take them away and bring them to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into captivity; and you will enter Babylon, and there you will die and there you will be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have falsely prophesied.’”
7 O Lord, You have deceived me and I was deceived;
14 Cursed be the day when I was born;
Jeremiah’s Message for Zedekiah
21 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchijah, and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying, 2 “Please inquire of the Lord on our behalf, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is warring against us; perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all His [ah]wonderful acts, so that the enemy will withdraw from us.”
3 Then Jeremiah said to them, “You shall say to Zedekiah as follows: 4 ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Behold, I am about to turn back the weapons of war which are in your hands, with which you are warring against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the wall; and I will gather them into the center of this city. 5 I Myself will war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, even in anger and wrath and great indignation. 6 I will also strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they will die of a great pestilence. 7 Then afterwards,” declares the Lord, “I will give over Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people, even those who survive in this city from the pestilence, the sword and the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their foes and into the hand of those who seek their lives; and he will strike them down with the edge of the sword. He will not spare them nor have pity nor compassion.”’
8 “You shall also say to this people, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. 9 He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as booty. 10 For I have set My face against this city for [ai]harm and not for good,” declares the Lord. “It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon and he will burn it with fire.”’
11 “Then say to the household of the king of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, 12 O house of David, thus says the Lord:
“Administer justice [aj]every morning;
13 “Behold, I am against you, O valley dweller,
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