The Broken Flask

19 Thus says the Lord, “Go, buy (A)a potter's earthenware (B)flask, and take some of (C)the elders of the people and some of (D)the elders of the priests, and go out (E)to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. You shall say, (F)‘Hear the word of the Lord, (G)O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that (H)the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. (I)Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; (J)and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, (K)and have built the high places of Baal (L)to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, (M)which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— therefore, (N)behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or (O)the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And in this place (P)I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, (Q)and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. (R)I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city (S)a horror, (T)a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds. (U)And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor (V)in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.’

10 “Then (W)you shall break (X)the flask in the sight of the men who go with you, 11 and shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, (Y)as one breaks a potter's vessel, (Z)so that it can never be mended. (AA)Men shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury. 12 Thus will I do to this place, declares the Lord, and to its inhabitants, making this city (AB)like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah—(AC)all the houses on whose (AD)roofs offerings have been offered (AE)to all the host of heaven, and (AF)drink offerings have been poured out to other gods—shall be defiled (AG)like the place of Topheth.’”

14 Then Jeremiah came from (AH)Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, (AI)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 bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, (AJ)because they have stiffened their neck, (AK)refusing to hear my words.”

Jeremiah Persecuted by Pashhur

20 Now (AL)Pashhur the priest, the son of (AM)Immer, who was (AN)chief officer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. Then (AO)Pashhur beat Jeremiah the prophet, and put him (AP)in the stocks that were in the upper (AQ)Benjamin Gate of the house of the Lord. The next day, when (AR)Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord does not call your name (AS)Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side. For thus says the Lord: Behold, I will make you (AT)a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall strike them down with the sword. Moreover, (AU)I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its (AV)prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them and seize them and carry them to Babylon. And you, (AW)Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. To Babylon you shall go, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, (AX)to whom you have prophesied falsely.”

O Lord, (AY)you have deceived me,
    and I was deceived;
(AZ)you are stronger than I,
    and you have prevailed.
(BA)I have become a laughingstock all the day;
    everyone mocks me.
For whenever I speak, I cry out,
    I shout, (BB)“Violence and destruction!”
For (BC)the word of the Lord has become for me
    (BD)a reproach and (BE)derision all day long.
If I say, “I will not mention him,
    or speak any more in his name,”
(BF)there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
    shut up in my bones,
and (BG)I am weary with holding it in,
    and I cannot.
10 (BH)For I hear many whispering.
    (BI)Terror is on every side!
“Denounce him! (BJ)Let us denounce him!”
    say all my (BK)close friends,
    (BL)watching for (BM)my fall.
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
    then (BN)we can overcome him
    and take our revenge on him.”
11 But (BO)the Lord is with me as a dread warrior;
    therefore my persecutors will stumble;
    (BP)they will not overcome me.
(BQ)They will be greatly shamed,
    for they will not succeed.
Their (BR)eternal dishonor
    will never be forgotten.
12 O Lord of hosts, who tests the righteous,
    (BS)who sees the heart and the mind,[a]
let me see your vengeance upon them,
    for to you have I committed my cause.

13 (BT)Sing to the Lord;
    praise the Lord!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
    from the hand of evildoers.

14 (BU)Cursed be the day
    on which I was born!
The day when my mother bore me,
    let it not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father,
“A son is born to you,”
    (BV)making him very glad.
16 Let that man be like (BW)the cities
    that the Lord overthrew without pity;
(BX)let him hear a cry in the morning
    and an alarm at noon,
17 (BY)because he did not kill me in the womb;
    so my mother would have been my grave,
    and her womb forever great.
18 (BZ)Why did I come out from the womb
    (CA)to see toil and sorrow,
    and spend my days in shame?

Jerusalem Will Fall to Nebuchadnezzar

21 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Zedekiah sent to him (CB)Pashhur the son of Malchiah and (CC)Zephaniah the priest, the son of (CD)Maaseiah, saying, (CE)“Inquire of the Lord for us, (CF)for Nebuchadnezzar[b] king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to (CG)all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.”

Then Jeremiah said to them: “Thus you shall say to Zedekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: (CH)Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands and with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the walls. (CI)And I will bring them together into the midst of this city. I myself will fight against you (CJ)with outstretched hand and strong arm, (CK)in anger and in fury and in great wrath. And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They shall die of a great pestilence. Afterward, declares the Lord, (CL)I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their lives. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword. (CM)He shall not pity them or spare them or have compassion.’

“And to this people you shall say: (CN)‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, (CO)I set before you the way of life and the way of death. He who stays in this city shall die (CP)by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out and (CQ)surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live (CR)and shall have his life as a prize of war. 10 For (CS)I have set my face against this city for harm and (CT)not for good, declares the Lord: (CU)it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.’

Message to the House of David

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

(CV)“‘Execute justice (CW)in the morning,
    and deliver from the hand of the oppressor
    him who has been robbed,
(CX)lest my wrath go forth like fire,
    and burn with none to quench it,
    because of your evil deeds.’”

13 (CY)“Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley,
    O rock of the plain,
declares the Lord;
you who say, (CZ)‘Who shall come down against us,
    or who shall enter our habitations?’
14 (DA)I will punish you according to (DB)the fruit of your deeds,
declares the Lord;
    (DC)I will kindle a fire in her forest,
    (DD)and it shall devour all that is around her.”


  1. Jeremiah 20:12 Hebrew kidneys
  2. Jeremiah 21:2 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, an alternate spelling of Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) occurring frequently from Jeremiah 21–52; this latter spelling is used throughout Jeremiah for consistency

But you (A)are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all (B)children[a] of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then (C)let us not sleep, as others do, but let us (D)keep awake and (E)be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, (F)are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, (G)having put on the breastplate of (H)faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for (I)wrath, but (J)to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 (K)who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Final Instructions and Benediction

12 We ask you, brothers, (L)to respect those who labor among you and (M)are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. (N)Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish (O)the idle,[b] (P)encourage the fainthearted, (Q)help the weak, (R)be patient with them all. 15 See that (S)no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always (T)seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 (U)Rejoice always, 17 (V)pray without ceasing, 18 (W)give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 (X)Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise (Y)prophecies, 21 but (Z)test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may (AA)the God of peace himself (AB)sanctify you completely, and may your (AC)whole (AD)spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at (AE)the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 (AF)He who calls you is faithful; (AG)he will surely do it.

25 (AH)Brothers, pray for us.

26 (AI)Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have (AJ)this letter read to all the brothers.

28 (AK)The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

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  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 Or sons; twice in this verse
  2. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 Or disorderly, or undisciplined

Rescue the Weak and Needy

A Psalm of (A)Asaph.

82 (B)God (C)has taken his place in the divine council;
    in the midst of (D)the gods he (E)holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
    and (F)show partiality to (G)the wicked? Selah
(H)Give justice to (I)the weak and the fatherless;
    (J)maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
(K)Rescue the weak and the needy;
    (L)deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

(M)They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
    (N)they walk about in darkness;
    (O)all the foundations of the earth are (P)shaken.

(Q)I said, “You are gods,
    sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men (R)you shall die,
    and fall like any prince.”[a]

(S)Arise, O God, judge the earth;
    for you shall (T)inherit all the nations!

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  1. Psalm 82:7 Or fall as one man, O princes

(A)Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
    and do not reveal another's secret,
10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
    and your ill repute have no end.

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