Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand at the Gate of the People,[a] through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem.(A) 20 Say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah and all people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem(B) who come through these gates.(C) 21 This is what the Lord says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath(D) day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors.(E) 23 Yet they did not listen or pay attention;(F) they were stiff-necked(G) and would not listen or respond to discipline.(H) 24 But if you are careful to obey me, declares the Lord, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy(I) by not doing any work on it, 25 then kings who sit on David’s throne(J) will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever.(K) 26 People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev,(L) bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 But if you do not obey(M) me to keep the Sabbath(N) day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire(O) in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.’”(P)

At the Potter’s House

18 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay(Q) in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand,(R) Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted,(S) torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent(T) and not inflict on it the disaster(U) I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built(V) up and planted, 10 and if it does evil(W) in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider(X) the good I had intended to do for it.(Y)

11 “Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster(Z) for you and devising a plan(AA) against you. So turn(AB) from your evil ways,(AC) each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’(AD) 12 But they will reply, ‘It’s no use.(AE) We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.(AF)’”

13 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“Inquire among the nations:
    Who has ever heard anything like this?(AG)
A most horrible(AH) thing has been done
    by Virgin(AI) Israel.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon
    ever vanish from its rocky slopes?
Do its cool waters from distant sources
    ever stop flowing?[b]
15 Yet my people have forgotten(AJ) me;
    they burn incense(AK) to worthless idols,(AL)
which made them stumble(AM) in their ways,
    in the ancient paths.(AN)
They made them walk in byways,
    on roads not built up.(AO)
16 Their land will be an object of horror(AP)
    and of lasting scorn;(AQ)
all who pass by will be appalled(AR)
    and will shake their heads.(AS)
17 Like a wind(AT) from the east,
    I will scatter them before their enemies;
I will show them my back and not my face(AU)
    in the day of their disaster.”

18 They said, “Come, let’s make plans(AV) against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priest(AW) will not cease, nor will counsel from the wise,(AX) nor the word from the prophets.(AY) So come, let’s attack him with our tongues(AZ) and pay no attention to anything he says.”

19 Listen to me, Lord;
    hear what my accusers(BA) are saying!
20 Should good be repaid with evil?(BB)
    Yet they have dug a pit(BC) for me.
Remember that I stood(BD) before you
    and spoke in their behalf(BE)
    to turn your wrath away from them.
21 So give their children over to famine;(BF)
    hand them over to the power of the sword.(BG)
Let their wives be made childless and widows;(BH)
    let their men be put to death,
    their young men(BI) slain by the sword in battle.
22 Let a cry(BJ) be heard from their houses
    when you suddenly bring invaders against them,
for they have dug a pit(BK) to capture me
    and have hidden snares(BL) for my feet.
23 But you, Lord, know
    all their plots to kill(BM) me.
Do not forgive(BN) their crimes
    or blot out their sins from your sight.
Let them be overthrown before you;
    deal with them in the time of your anger.(BO)

19 This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter.(BP) Take along some of the elders(BQ) of the people and of the priests and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom,(BR) near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings(BS) of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster(BT) on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.(BU) For they have forsaken(BV) me and made this a place of foreign gods(BW); they have burned incense(BX) in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.(BY) They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children(BZ) in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.(CA) So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place Topheth(CB) or the Valley of Ben Hinnom,(CC) but the Valley of Slaughter.(CD)

“‘In this place I will ruin[c] the plans(CE) of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies,(CF) at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses(CG) as food(CH) to the birds and the wild animals. I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn;(CI) all who pass by will be appalled(CJ) and will scoff because of all its wounds.(CK) I will make them eat(CL) the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies(CM) will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’

10 “Then break the jar(CN) while those who go with you are watching, 11 and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I will smash(CO) this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. They will bury(CP) the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 12 This is what I will do to this place and to those who live here, declares the Lord. I will make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses(CQ) in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be defiled(CR) like this place, Topheth—all the houses where they burned incense on the roofs(CS) to all the starry hosts(CT) and poured out drink offerings(CU) to other gods.’”

14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court(CV) of the Lord’s temple and said to all the people, 15 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster(CW) I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked(CX) and would not listen(CY) to my words.’”

Jeremiah and Pashhur

20 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer,(CZ) the official(DA) in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten(DB) and put in the stocks(DC) at the Upper Gate of Benjamin(DD) at the Lord’s temple. The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name(DE) for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side.(DF) For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes(DG) you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give(DH) all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry(DI) them away to Babylon or put them to the sword. I will deliver all the wealth(DJ) of this city into the hands of their enemies—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away(DK) as plunder and carry it off to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied(DL) lies.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

You deceived[d](DM) me, Lord, and I was deceived[e];
    you overpowered(DN) me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed(DO) all day long;
    everyone mocks(DP) me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out
    proclaiming violence and destruction.(DQ)
So the word of the Lord has brought me
    insult and reproach(DR) all day long.
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
    or speak anymore in his name,”(DS)
his word is in my heart like a fire,(DT)
    a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;(DU)
    indeed, I cannot.
10 I hear many whispering,
    “Terror(DV) on every side!
    Denounce(DW) him! Let’s denounce him!”
All my friends(DX)
    are waiting for me to slip,(DY) saying,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
    then we will prevail(DZ) over him
    and take our revenge(EA) on him.”

11 But the Lord(EB) is with me like a mighty warrior;
    so my persecutors(EC) will stumble and not prevail.(ED)
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;(EE)
    their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
    and probe the heart and mind,(EF)
let me see your vengeance(EG) on them,
    for to you I have committed(EH) my cause.

13 Sing(EI) to the Lord!
    Give praise to the Lord!
He rescues(EJ) the life of the needy
    from the hands of the wicked.(EK)


  1. Jeremiah 17:19 Or Army
  2. Jeremiah 18:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
  3. Jeremiah 19:7 The Hebrew for ruin sounds like the Hebrew for jar (see verses 1 and 10).
  4. Jeremiah 20:7 Or persuaded
  5. Jeremiah 20:7 Or persuaded

Bible Gateway Recommends