Add parallel Print Page Options

The Potter and the Clay

18 The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh saying, “Arise and (A)go down to the potter’s house, and there I will make you hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he was making something on the [a]wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was ruined in the hand of the potter, so he turned around and made it into another vessel, according to what was right in the eyes of the potter to make.

Then the word of Yahweh came to me saying, “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares Yahweh. “Behold, like the (B)clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to (C)uproot, to tear down, or to make it perish; (D)but if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will [b](E)relent concerning the calamity I planned to do against it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to (F)build up or to plant it; 10 but if it does (G)evil in My sight by not listening to My voice, then I will [c](H)relent concerning the good which I promised, to do good to it. 11 So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “Behold, I am (I)forming calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh (J)turn back, each of you from his evil way, and do good in your ways and your deeds.”’ 12 But (K)they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the (L)stubbornness of his evil heart.’

13 “Therefore thus says Yahweh,

(M)Ask now among the nations,
Who ever heard the like of [d]this?
The (N)virgin of Israel
Has done a most (O)appalling thing.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon forsake the rock of the open country?
Or is the cold flowing water from a strange land ever uprooted?
15 For (P)My people have forgotten Me;
(Q)They burn incense [e]to worthless gods,
And they [f]have stumbled [g]from their ways,
[h]From the (R)ancient paths,
To walk in bypaths,
Not on a (S)highway,
16 To make their land an (T)object of horror,
An object of perpetual (U)hissing;
Everyone who passes by it will be [i]horrified
And (V)shake his head.
17 Like an (W)east wind I will (X)scatter them
Before the enemy;
I will [j]show them (Y)My back and not My face
(Z)In the day of their disaster.’”

18 Then they said, “Come and let us (AA)devise plans against Jeremiah. Surely the (AB)law is not going to perish from the priest, nor (AC)counsel to the wise man, nor the divine (AD)word to the prophet! Come on and let us (AE)strike at him with our tongue, and let us (AF)give no heed to any of his words.”

19 Do give heed to me, O Yahweh,
And listen to the voice of those who contend against me!
20 (AG)Should good be repaid with evil?
For they have (AH)dug a pit for [k]me.
Remember how I (AI)stood before You
To speak good on their behalf,
So as to turn away Your wrath from them.
21 Therefore, (AJ)give their children over to famine
And deliver them up to the [l]power of the sword;
And let their wives become (AK)childless and (AL)widowed.
Let their men also be [m]smitten to death,
Their (AM)young men struck down by the sword in battle.
22 May an (AN)outcry be heard from their houses,
When You suddenly bring raiders upon them;
(AO)For they have dug a pit to capture me
And (AP)hidden snares for my feet.
23 Yet You, O Yahweh, know
All their [n]deadly counsel against me;
(AQ)Do not atone for their iniquity
Or blot out their sin from before You.
But may they be [o](AR)overthrown before You;
Deal with them in the (AS)time of Your anger!


  1. Jeremiah 18:3 Lit pair of stone discs
  2. Jeremiah 18:8 Or regret, cf. 1 Sam 15:11, 29, 3
  3. Jeremiah 18:10 Lit regret
  4. Jeremiah 18:13 Lit these
  5. Jeremiah 18:15 Lit to worthlessness
  6. Jeremiah 18:15 As in ancient versions; Heb caused them to
  7. Jeremiah 18:15 Or in
  8. Jeremiah 18:15 Or in
  9. Jeremiah 18:16 Or desolate, cf. Lev 26:32
  10. Jeremiah 18:17 As in ancient versions; M.T. look them in the back and not in the face
  11. Jeremiah 18:20 Lit my soul
  12. Jeremiah 18:21 Lit hands of
  13. Jeremiah 18:21 Lit killed
  14. Jeremiah 18:23 Lit unto death
  15. Jeremiah 18:23 Lit ones made to stumble