The Broken Jar

19 This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a (A)potter’s earthenware (B)jar, and take some of the (C)elders of the people and some of the [a](D)senior priests. Then go out to the (E)Valley of Ben-hinnom, which is by the entrance of the [b]Potsherd Gate, and (F)proclaim there the words that I tell you, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you (G)kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: “Behold I am going to bring a (H)disaster upon this place, at which the (I)ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle. Since they have (J)abandoned Me and have (K)made this place foreign, and have burned [c]sacrifices in it to (L)other gods that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and since they have filled this place with the (M)blood of the innocent and have built the (N)high places of Baal to burn their (O)sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I did not command nor speak of, nor did it ever enter My [d]mind; therefore, behold, (P)days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this place will no longer be called (Q)Topheth or (R)the Valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather the Valley of Slaughter. And I will (S)frustrate the planning of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and (T)I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will make their (U)carcasses food for the birds of the sky and the animals of the earth. I will also turn this city into an object of (V)horror and [e]hissing; (W)everyone who passes by it will be appalled and [f]hiss because of all its [g]disasters. And I will make them (X)eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh during the siege and in the hardship with which their enemies and those who seek their life will torment them.”’

10 “Then you are to break the (Y)jar in the sight of the men who accompany you, 11 and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord of armies says: “To the same extent I will (Z)break this people and this city, just as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will (AA)bury their dead in Topheth, [h]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 (AB)houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be (AC)defiled like the place Topheth, because of all the (AD)houses on whose rooftops they burned [i]sacrifices to (AE)all the heavenly [j]lights and (AF)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 (AG)courtyard of the Lords house and said to all the people, 15 “This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Behold, I am going to bring on this city and all its towns the entire disaster that I have declared against it, because they have (AH)stiffened their necks so (AI)as not to listen to My words.’”

Pashhur Persecutes Jeremiah

20 When Pashhur the priest, the son of (AJ)Immer, who was (AK)chief overseer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet (AL)beaten and put him in the (AM)stocks that were at the upper (AN)Benjamin Gate, which was by the house of the Lord. Then on the next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “Pashhur is not the name the Lord has (AO)called you, but rather [k](AP)Magor-missabib. For this is what the Lord says: ‘Behold, I am going to make you a (AQ)horror to yourself and to all your friends; and while (AR)your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I will (AS)hand all Judah over to the king of Babylon, and he will take them away as (AT)exiles to Babylon and will kill them with the sword. I will also give all the (AU)wealth of this city, all its produce and all its valuable things—even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will (AV)hand over to their enemies, and they will plunder them, take them away, and bring them to Babylon. And you, (AW)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 (AX)friends to whom you have (AY)falsely prophesied.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

Lord, You persuaded me and I let myself be persuaded;
You have (AZ)overcome me and prevailed.
I have become a (BA)laughingstock all day long;
Everyone (BB)mocks me.
For each time I speak, I cry aloud;
I (BC)proclaim violence and destruction,
Because for me the (BD)word of the Lord has [l]resulted
In taunting and derision all day long.
But if I say, “I will not (BE)remember Him
Nor speak anymore in His name,”
Then in (BF)my heart it becomes like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
And I am tired of holding it in,
And (BG)I cannot endure it.
10 For (BH)I have heard the whispering of many,
(BI)Terror on every side!
(BJ)Denounce him; let’s denounce him!”
[m]All my (BK)trusted friends,
Watching for my fall, say:
“Perhaps he will be persuaded, so that we may (BL)prevail against him
And take our revenge on him.”
11 But the (BM)Lord is with me like a powerful champion;
Therefore my (BN)persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will be put to great shame because they have [n]failed,
An (BO)everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.
12 Yet, Lord of armies, who (BP)tests the righteous,
Who sees the [o]mind and the heart;
Let me (BQ)see Your vengeance on them,
For (BR)to You I have disclosed my cause.
13 (BS)Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord!
For He has (BT)saved the soul of the needy one
From the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the (BU)day when I was born;
May the day when my mother gave birth to me not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought the news
To my father, saying,
“A [p](BV)boy has been born to you!”
And made him very happy.
16 But may that man be like the cities
Which the Lord (BW)overthrew without [q]relenting,
And may he hear an (BX)outcry in the morning
And [r]an alarm for war at noon;
17 Because he did not (BY)kill me [s]before birth,
So that my mother would have been my grave,
And her womb forever pregnant.
18 Why did I ever come out of the womb
To (BZ)look at trouble and sorrow,
So that my (CA)days have been spent in (CB)shame?


  1. Jeremiah 19:1 Or elders of the
  2. Jeremiah 19:2 I.e., pottery fragment
  3. Jeremiah 19:4 Or incense
  4. Jeremiah 19:5 Lit heart
  5. Jeremiah 19:8 Or whistling
  6. Jeremiah 19:8 Or whistle
  7. Jeremiah 19:8 Lit wounds
  8. Jeremiah 19:11 Or until there is no place left to bury
  9. Jeremiah 19:13 Or incense
  10. Jeremiah 19:13 Lit host; i.e., sun, stars, etc.
  11. Jeremiah 20:3 I.e., horror on every side
  12. Jeremiah 20:8 Lit become
  13. Jeremiah 20:10 Lit Every man of my peace
  14. Jeremiah 20:11 Lit not succeeded; or not acted wisely
  15. Jeremiah 20:12 Lit kidneys
  16. Jeremiah 20:15 Lit male child
  17. Jeremiah 20:16 Lit being sorry
  18. Jeremiah 20:16 Or a trumpet blast
  19. Jeremiah 20:17 Lit from the womb