The Potter and the Clay

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Arise and (A)go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Am I not able, house of Israel, to deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the (B)clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel. At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to (C)uproot it, to tear it down, or to destroy it; (D)if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will (E)relent of the disaster that I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to (F)build up or to plant it; 10 if it does (G)evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will (H)relent of the good with which I said [a]that I would bless it. 11 So now, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Behold, I am (I)forming a disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Now (J)turn back, each of you from his evil way, and [b]correct 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 [c]persist in the (L)stubbornness of his evil heart.’

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

18 Then they said, “Come and let’s (AA)devise plans against Jeremiah. Certainly the (AB)Law is not going to be lost by the priest, nor (AC)advice by the wise, nor the divine (AD)word by the prophet! Come, and let’s (AE)strike at him with our tongue, and let’s (AF)pay no attention to any of his words.”

19 Give Your attention to me, Lord,
And listen to [h]what my opponents are saying!
20 (AG)Should good be repaid with evil?
For they have (AH)dug a pit for [i]me.
Remember how I (AI)stood before You
To speak good in their behalf,
So as to turn Your wrath away from them.
21 Therefore, (AJ)give their children over to famine
And turn them over to the [j]power of the sword;
And let their wives become (AK)childless and (AL)widowed.
Let their men also be slaughtered to death,
Their (AM)young men struck and killed by the sword in battle.
22 May a (AN)cry 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 But You, Lord, know
All their [k]deadly schemes against me;
(AQ)Do not [l]forgive their wrongdoing
Or wipe out their sin from Your sight.
But may they be [m](AR)overthrown before You;
Deal with them in the (AS)time of Your anger!


  1. Jeremiah 18:10 Lit to do it good
  2. Jeremiah 18:11 Lit make good
  3. Jeremiah 18:12 Lit do the
  4. Jeremiah 18:13 Lit these
  5. Jeremiah 18:15 Lit to worthlessness
  6. Jeremiah 18:15 As in ancient versions; MT caused them to
  7. Jeremiah 18:17 As in ancient versions; MT look them in the back and not in the face
  8. Jeremiah 18:19 Lit the voice of my opponents
  9. Jeremiah 18:20 Lit my soul
  10. Jeremiah 18:21 Lit hands of
  11. Jeremiah 18:23 Lit unto death
  12. Jeremiah 18:23 Lit cover over, atone for
  13. Jeremiah 18:23 Lit ones made to stumble

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.’”


  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.

Pashhur Persecutes Jeremiah

20 When Pashhur the priest, the son of (A)Immer, who was (B)chief overseer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet (C)beaten and put him in the (D)stocks that were at the upper (E)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 (F)called you, but rather [a](G)Magor-missabib. For this is what the Lord says: ‘Behold, I am going to make you a (H)horror to yourself and to all your friends; and while (I)your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I will (J)hand all Judah over to the king of Babylon, and he will take them away as (K)exiles to Babylon and will kill them with the sword. I will also give all the (L)wealth of this city, all its produce and all its valuable things—even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will (M)hand over to their enemies, and they will plunder them, take them away, and bring them to Babylon. And you, (N)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 (O)friends to whom you have (P)falsely prophesied.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

Lord, You persuaded me and I let myself be persuaded;
You have (Q)overcome me and prevailed.
I have become a (R)laughingstock all day long;
Everyone (S)mocks me.
For each time I speak, I cry aloud;
I (T)proclaim violence and destruction,
Because for me the (U)word of the Lord has [b]resulted
In taunting and derision all day long.
But if I say, “I will not (V)remember Him
Nor speak anymore in His name,”
Then in (W)my heart it becomes like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
And I am tired of holding it in,
And (X)I cannot endure it.
10 For (Y)I have heard the whispering of many,
(Z)Terror on every side!
(AA)Denounce him; let’s denounce him!”
[c]All my (AB)trusted friends,
Watching for my fall, say:
“Perhaps he will be persuaded, so that we may (AC)prevail against him
And take our revenge on him.”
11 But the (AD)Lord is with me like a powerful champion;
Therefore my (AE)persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will be put to great shame because they have [d]failed,
An (AF)everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.
12 Yet, Lord of armies, who (AG)tests the righteous,
Who sees the [e]mind and the heart;
Let me (AH)see Your vengeance on them,
For (AI)to You I have disclosed my cause.
13 (AJ)Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord!
For He has (AK)saved the soul of the needy one
From the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the (AL)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 [f](AM)boy has been born to you!”
And made him very happy.
16 But may that man be like the cities
Which the Lord (AN)overthrew without [g]relenting,
And may he hear an (AO)outcry in the morning
And [h]an alarm for war at noon;
17 Because he did not (AP)kill me [i]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 (AQ)look at trouble and sorrow,
So that my (AR)days have been spent in (AS)shame?


  1. Jeremiah 20:3 I.e., horror on every side
  2. Jeremiah 20:8 Lit become
  3. Jeremiah 20:10 Lit Every man of my peace
  4. Jeremiah 20:11 Lit not succeeded; or not acted wisely
  5. Jeremiah 20:12 Lit kidneys
  6. Jeremiah 20:15 Lit male child
  7. Jeremiah 20:16 Lit being sorry
  8. Jeremiah 20:16 Or a trumpet blast
  9. Jeremiah 20:17 Lit from the womb

Jeremiah’s Message for Zedekiah

21 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord when (A)King Zedekiah sent to him (B)Pashhur the son of Malchijah and (C)Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying, “Please (D)inquire of the Lord in our behalf, because (E)Nebuchadnezzar king of (F)Babylon is making war against us; perhaps the Lord will deal with us (G)in accordance with all His [a]wonderful acts, so that the enemy will withdraw from us.”

But Jeremiah said to them, “You shall say to Zedekiah as follows: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: “Behold, I am going to (H)turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you are making war against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the wall; and I will (I)gather them into the middle of this city. And I (J)Myself will make war against you with an (K)outstretched hand and a mighty arm, and in (L)anger, wrath, and great indignation. I will also strike the inhabitants of this city, both the people and the animals; they will die of a great (M)plague. Then afterward,” declares the Lord, “(N)I will hand Zedekiah king of Judah, his servants, and the people, that is, those who survive in this city from the plague, the sword, and the famine, over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, to their enemies, and to those who seek their lives; and he will strike and kill them with the edge of the sword. He (O)will not spare them nor have pity nor compassion.”’

“You shall also say to this people, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Behold, I am (P)setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Anyone who (Q)stays in this city will die by the (R)sword, by famine, or by plague; but anyone who leaves and goes over to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as plunder. 10 For I have (S)set My face against this city for harm and not for good,” declares the Lord. “It will be (T)handed over to the king of Babylon and he will (U)burn it with fire.”’

11 “Then say to the household of the (V)king of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, 12 (W)house of David, this is what the Lord says:

(X)Administer justice [b]every (Y)morning;
And save the person who has been robbed from the [c]power of his oppressor,
(Z)So that My wrath will not spread like fire
And (AA)burn, with no one to extinguish it,
Because of the evil of their deeds.

13 “Behold, (AB)I am against you, you inhabitant of the (AC)valley,
You [d]rocky plain,” declares the Lord,
“You who say, ‘(AD)Who will come down against us?
Or who will enter our dwellings?’
14 But I will punish you (AE)according to the [e]results of your deeds,” declares the Lord,
“And I will (AF)kindle a fire in its forest
So that it may devour all its surroundings.”’”


  1. Jeremiah 21:2 Or miracles
  2. Jeremiah 21:12 Or in the
  3. Jeremiah 21:12 Lit hand
  4. Jeremiah 21:13 Lit rock of the level place
  5. Jeremiah 21:14 Lit fruit

Warning of Jerusalem’s Fall

22 This is what the Lord says: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and there speak this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who (A)sits on David’s throne, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates. This is what the Lord says: “(B)Do justice and righteousness, and save one who has been robbed from the power of his (C)oppressor. And (D)do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not (E)shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed perform this [a]instruction, then (F)kings will enter the gates of this house, sitting [b]in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, the king himself, his servants, and his people. (G)But if you will not obey these words, I (H)swear by Myself,” declares the Lord, “that this house will become a place of ruins.”’” For this is what the Lord says concerning the house of the king of Judah:

“You are like (I)Gilead to Me,
Like the summit of Lebanon;
Yet most assuredly I will make you a (J)wilderness,
Cities that are not inhabited.
For I will set apart (K)destroyers against you,
Each with his weapons;
And they will (L)cut down your choicest cedars
And (M)throw them on the fire.

“Many nations will pass by this city; and they will (N)say to one another, ‘Why has the Lord done this to this great city?’ Then they will [c]answer, ‘Because they (O)abandoned the covenant of the Lord their God and bowed down to other gods and served them.’”

10 (P)Do not weep for the dead or mourn for him,
But weep deeply for the one who goes away;
For (Q)he will never return
Or see his native land.

11 For this is what the Lord says regarding [d](R)Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who became king in the place of his father Josiah, who went out from this place: “He will never return there; 12 but in the place where they took him into exile, there he will (S)die and he will not see this land again.

Messages about the Kings

13 “Woe to him who builds his house (T)without righteousness,
And his upstairs rooms without justice,
Who uses his neighbor’s services without pay
And (U)does not give him his wages,
14 Who says, ‘I will (V)build myself a large house
With spacious upstairs rooms,
And cut out its windows,
[e]Paneling it with (W)cedar and painting it [f]bright red.’
15 Do you become a king because you are competing in cedar?
Did your father not eat and drink
And (X)do justice and righteousness?
Then it was (Y)well for him.
16 He pled the cause of the (Z)afflicted and the poor,
Then it was well.
(AA)Is that not what it means to know Me?”
Declares the Lord.
17 “But your eyes and your heart
Are intent only upon your own (AB)dishonest gain,
And on (AC)shedding innocent blood,
And on practicing oppression and extortion.”

18 Therefore this is what the Lord says regarding (AD)Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:

“They will not (AE)mourn for him:
(AF)Oh, my brother!’ or, ‘Oh, sister!’
They will not mourn for him:
‘Oh, for the master!’ or, ‘Oh, for his splendor!’
19 He will be (AG)buried with a donkey’s burial,
Dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
20 Go up to Lebanon and cry out,
And raise your voice in Bashan;
Cry out also from (AH)Abarim,
For all your (AI)lovers have been crushed.
21 I spoke to you in your prosperity;
But (AJ)you said, ‘I will not listen!’
(AK)This has been your way (AL)from your youth,
That you have not obeyed My voice.
22 The wind will sweep away all your (AM)shepherds,
And your (AN)lovers will go into captivity;
Then you will certainly be (AO)ashamed and humiliated
Because of all your wickedness.
23 You who live in Lebanon,
Nested in the cedars,
How you will groan when sharp pains come on you,
(AP)Pain like a woman in childbirth!

24 “As I live,” declares the Lord, “even if [g](AQ)Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a (AR)signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull [h]you [i]off; 25 and I will (AS)hand you over to those who are seeking your life, yes, to those of whom you are frightened, that is, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Chaldeans. 26 I will (AT)hurl you and your (AU)mother who gave birth to you into another country where you were not born, and there you will die. 27 But as for the land to which they long to return, they will not return to it.

28 Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar?
Or is he an (AV)undesirable vessel?
Why have he and his descendants been (AW)hurled out
And cast into a (AX)land that they had not known?
29 (AY)O land, land, land,
Hear the word of the Lord!

30 This is what the Lord says:

‘Write this man down as (AZ)childless,
A man who will (BA)not prosper in his days;
For no man among his (BB)descendants will prosper
Sitting on the throne of David
Or ruling again in Judah.’”


  1. Jeremiah 22:4 Lit word
  2. Jeremiah 22:4 Lit for David
  3. Jeremiah 22:9 Lit say
  4. Jeremiah 22:11 I.e., Jehoahaz
  5. Jeremiah 22:14 Or Paneled
  6. Jeremiah 22:14 Or vermilion
  7. Jeremiah 22:24 I.e., Jehoiachin
  8. Jeremiah 22:24 I.e., Jehoiachin
  9. Jeremiah 22:24 Lit off from there

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