The Sign of the Broken Flask

19 Thus says the Lord: “Go and get a potter’s earthen flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests. And go out to (A)the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the Potsherd Gate; and proclaim there the words that I will tell you, (B)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 will bring such a catastrophe on this place, that whoever hears of it, his ears will (C)tingle.

“Because they (D)have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with (E)the blood of the innocents (F)(they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, (G)which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind), therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that this place shall no more be called Tophet or (H)the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, (I)and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of those who seek their lives; their (J)corpses I will give as meat for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. I will make this city (K)desolate and a hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its plagues. And I will cause them to eat the (L)flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his friend in the siege and in the desperation with which their enemies and those who seek their lives shall drive them to despair.” ’

10 (M)“Then you shall break the flask in the sight of the men who go with you, 11 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: (N)“Even so I will break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot be [a]made whole again; and they shall (O)bury them in Tophet till there is no place to bury. 12 Thus I will do to this place,” says the Lord, “and to its inhabitants, and make this city like Tophet. 13 And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah shall be defiled (P)like the place of Tophet, because of all the houses on whose (Q)roofs they have burned incense to all the host of heaven, and (R)poured out drink offerings to other gods.” ’ ”

14 Then Jeremiah came from Tophet, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in (S)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 will bring on this city and on all her towns all the doom that I have pronounced against it, because (T)they have stiffened their necks that they might not hear My words.’ ”

The Word of God to Pashhur

20 Now (U)Pashhur the son of (V)Immer, the priest who was also chief governor in the house of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high (W)gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord.

And it happened on the next day that Pashhur brought Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord has not called your name Pashhur, but [b]Magor-Missabib. For thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see it. I will (X)give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive to Babylon and slay them with the sword. Moreover I (Y)will deliver all the wealth of this city, all its produce, and all its precious things; all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give into the hand of their enemies, who will plunder them, seize them, and (Z)carry them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. You shall go to Babylon, and there you shall die, and be buried there, you and all your friends, to whom you have (AA)prophesied lies.’ ”

Jeremiah’s Unpopular Ministry

O Lord, You [c]induced me, and I was persuaded;
(AB)You are stronger than I, and have prevailed.
(AC)I am [d]in derision daily;
Everyone mocks me.
For when I spoke, I cried out;
(AD)I shouted, “Violence and plunder!”
Because the word of the Lord was made to me
A reproach and a derision daily.
Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.”
But His word was in my heart like a (AE)burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And (AF)I could not.
10 (AG)For I heard many [e]mocking:
“Fear on every side!”
“Report,” they say, “and we will report it!”
(AH)All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying,
“Perhaps he can be induced;
Then we will prevail against him,
And we will take our revenge on him.”

11 But the Lord is (AI)with me as a mighty, awesome One.
Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not (AJ)prevail.
They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper.
Their (AK)everlasting confusion will never be forgotten.
12 But, O Lord of hosts,
You who (AL)test the righteous,
And see the [f]mind and heart,
(AM)Let me see Your vengeance on them;
For I have pleaded my cause before You.

13 Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord!
For (AN)He has delivered the life of the poor
From the hand of evildoers.

14 (AO)Cursed be the day in which I was born!
Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me!
15 Let the man be cursed
Who brought news to my father, saying,
“A male child has been born to you!”
Making him very glad.
16 And let that man be like the cities
Which the Lord (AP)overthrew, and did not relent;
Let him (AQ)hear the cry in the morning
And the shouting at noon,
17 (AR)Because he did not kill me from the womb,
That my mother might have been my grave,
And her womb always enlarged with me.
18 (AS)Why did I come forth from the womb to (AT)see [g]labor and sorrow,
That my days should be consumed with shame?

Jerusalem’s Doom Is Sealed

21 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord when (AU)King Zedekiah sent to him (AV)Pashhur the son of Melchiah, and (AW)Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, saying, (AX)“Please inquire of the Lord for us, for [h]Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon makes war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all His wonderful works, that the king may go away from us.”

Then Jeremiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to Zedekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you fight against the king of Babylon and the [i]Chaldeans who besiege you outside the walls; and (AY)I will assemble them in the midst of this city. I (AZ)Myself will fight against you with an (BA)outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger and fury and great wrath. I will strike the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die of a great pestilence. And afterward,” says the Lord, (BB)“I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, his servants and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence and the sword and the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life; and he shall strike them with the edge of the sword. (BC)He shall not spare them, or have pity or mercy.” ’

“Now you shall say to this people, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, (BD)I set before you the way of life and the way of death. He who (BE)remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes out and [j]defects to the Chaldeans who besiege you, he shall (BF)live, and his life shall be as a prize to him. 10 For I have (BG)set My face against this city for adversity and not for good,” says the Lord. (BH)“It shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall (BI)burn it with fire.” ’

Message to the House of David

11 “And concerning the house of the king of Judah, say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, 12 O house of David! Thus says the Lord:

(BJ)“Execute[k] judgment (BK)in the morning;
And deliver him who is plundered
Out of the hand of the oppressor,
Lest My fury go forth like fire
And burn so that no one can quench it,
Because of the evil of your doings.

13 “Behold, (BL)I am against you, O [l]inhabitant of the valley,
And rock of the plain,” says the Lord,
“Who say, (BM)‘Who shall come down against us?
Or who shall enter our dwellings?’
14 But I will punish you according to the (BN)fruit of your [m]doings,” says the Lord;
“I will kindle a fire in its forest,
And (BO)it shall devour all things around it.” ’ ”


  1. Jeremiah 19:11 restored
  2. Jeremiah 20:3 Lit. Fear on Every Side
  3. Jeremiah 20:7 enticed or persuaded
  4. Jeremiah 20:7 Lit. a laughingstock all the day
  5. Jeremiah 20:10 slandering
  6. Jeremiah 20:12 Most secret parts, lit. kidneys
  7. Jeremiah 20:18 toil
  8. Jeremiah 21:2 Heb. Nebuchadrezzar, and so elsewhere in the book
  9. Jeremiah 21:4 Or Babylonians, and so elsewhere in the book
  10. Jeremiah 21:9 Lit. falls away to
  11. Jeremiah 21:12 Dispense justice
  12. Jeremiah 21:13 dweller
  13. Jeremiah 21:14 deeds

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