At the Potter’s House

18 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay(A) in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand,(B) Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted,(C) torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent(D) and not inflict on it the disaster(E) I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built(F) up and planted, 10 and if it does evil(G) in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider(H) the good I had intended to do for it.(I)

11 “Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster(J) for you and devising a plan(K) against you. So turn(L) from your evil ways,(M) each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’(N) 12 But they will reply, ‘It’s no use.(O) We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.(P)’”

13 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“Inquire among the nations:
    Who has ever heard anything like this?(Q)
A most horrible(R) thing has been done
    by Virgin(S) Israel.
14 Does the snow of Lebanon
    ever vanish from its rocky slopes?
Do its cool waters from distant sources
    ever stop flowing?[a]
15 Yet my people have forgotten(T) me;
    they burn incense(U) to worthless idols,(V)
which made them stumble(W) in their ways,
    in the ancient paths.(X)
They made them walk in byways,
    on roads not built up.(Y)
16 Their land will be an object of horror(Z)
    and of lasting scorn;(AA)
all who pass by will be appalled(AB)
    and will shake their heads.(AC)
17 Like a wind(AD) from the east,
    I will scatter them before their enemies;
I will show them my back and not my face(AE)
    in the day of their disaster.”

18 They said, “Come, let’s make plans(AF) against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priest(AG) will not cease, nor will counsel from the wise,(AH) nor the word from the prophets.(AI) So come, let’s attack him with our tongues(AJ) and pay no attention to anything he says.”

19 Listen to me, Lord;
    hear what my accusers(AK) are saying!
20 Should good be repaid with evil?(AL)
    Yet they have dug a pit(AM) for me.
Remember that I stood(AN) before you
    and spoke in their behalf(AO)
    to turn your wrath away from them.
21 So give their children over to famine;(AP)
    hand them over to the power of the sword.(AQ)
Let their wives be made childless and widows;(AR)
    let their men be put to death,
    their young men(AS) slain by the sword in battle.
22 Let a cry(AT) be heard from their houses
    when you suddenly bring invaders against them,
for they have dug a pit(AU) to capture me
    and have hidden snares(AV) for my feet.
23 But you, Lord, know
    all their plots to kill(AW) me.
Do not forgive(AX) their crimes
    or blot out their sins from your sight.
Let them be overthrown before you;
    deal with them in the time of your anger.(AY)

19 This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter.(AZ) Take along some of the elders(BA) of the people and of the priests and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom,(BB) near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings(BC) of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster(BD) on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.(BE) For they have forsaken(BF) me and made this a place of foreign gods(BG); they have burned incense(BH) in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.(BI) They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children(BJ) in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.(BK) So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place Topheth(BL) or the Valley of Ben Hinnom,(BM) but the Valley of Slaughter.(BN)

“‘In this place I will ruin[b] the plans(BO) of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies,(BP) at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses(BQ) as food(BR) to the birds and the wild animals. I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn;(BS) all who pass by will be appalled(BT) and will scoff because of all its wounds.(BU) I will make them eat(BV) the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies(BW) will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’

10 “Then break the jar(BX) while those who go with you are watching, 11 and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I will smash(BY) this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. They will bury(BZ) the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 12 This is what I will do to this place and to those who live here, declares the Lord. I will make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses(CA) in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be defiled(CB) like this place, Topheth—all the houses where they burned incense on the roofs(CC) to all the starry hosts(CD) and poured out drink offerings(CE) to other gods.’”

14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court(CF) of the Lord’s temple and said to all the people, 15 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster(CG) I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked(CH) and would not listen(CI) to my words.’”

Jeremiah and Pashhur

20 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer,(CJ) the official(CK) in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten(CL) and put in the stocks(CM) at the Upper Gate of Benjamin(CN) at the Lord’s temple. The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name(CO) for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side.(CP) For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes(CQ) you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give(CR) all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry(CS) them away to Babylon or put them to the sword. I will deliver all the wealth(CT) of this city into the hands of their enemies—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away(CU) as plunder and carry it off to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied(CV) lies.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

You deceived[c](CW) me, Lord, and I was deceived[d];
    you overpowered(CX) me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed(CY) all day long;
    everyone mocks(CZ) me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out
    proclaiming violence and destruction.(DA)
So the word of the Lord has brought me
    insult and reproach(DB) all day long.
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
    or speak anymore in his name,”(DC)
his word is in my heart like a fire,(DD)
    a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;(DE)
    indeed, I cannot.
10 I hear many whispering,
    “Terror(DF) on every side!
    Denounce(DG) him! Let’s denounce him!”
All my friends(DH)
    are waiting for me to slip,(DI) saying,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
    then we will prevail(DJ) over him
    and take our revenge(DK) on him.”

11 But the Lord(DL) is with me like a mighty warrior;
    so my persecutors(DM) will stumble and not prevail.(DN)
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;(DO)
    their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
    and probe the heart and mind,(DP)
let me see your vengeance(DQ) on them,
    for to you I have committed(DR) my cause.

13 Sing(DS) to the Lord!
    Give praise to the Lord!
He rescues(DT) the life of the needy
    from the hands of the wicked.(DU)

14 Cursed be the day I was born!(DV)
    May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news,
    who made him very glad, saying,
    “A child is born to you—a son!”
16 May that man be like the towns(DW)
    the Lord overthrew without pity.
May he hear wailing(DX) in the morning,
    a battle cry at noon.
17 For he did not kill me in the womb,(DY)
    with my mother as my grave,
    her womb enlarged forever.
18 Why did I ever come out of the womb(DZ)
    to see trouble(EA) and sorrow
    and to end my days in shame?(EB)

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 18:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
  2. Jeremiah 19:7 The Hebrew for ruin sounds like the Hebrew for jar (see verses 1 and 10).
  3. Jeremiah 20:7 Or persuaded
  4. Jeremiah 20:7 Or persuaded

Paul, Silas[a](A) and Timothy,(B)

To the church of the Thessalonians(C) in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace to you.(D)

Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians’ Faith

We always thank God for all of you(E) and continually mention you in our prayers.(F) We remember before our God and Father(G) your work produced by faith,(H) your labor prompted by love,(I) and your endurance inspired by hope(J) in our Lord Jesus Christ.

For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God,(K) that he has chosen you, because our gospel(L) came to you not simply with words but also with power,(M) with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know(N) how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us(O) and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering(P) with the joy(Q) given by the Holy Spirit.(R) And so you became a model(S) to all the believers in Macedonia(T) and Achaia.(U) The Lord’s message(V) rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.(W) Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned(X) to God from idols(Y) to serve the living and true God,(Z) 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven,(AA) whom he raised from the dead(AB)—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.(AC)

Paul’s Ministry in Thessalonica

You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you(AD) was not without results.(AE) We had previously suffered(AF) and been treated outrageously in Philippi,(AG) as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.(AH) For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives,(AI) nor are we trying to trick you.(AJ) On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel.(AK) We are not trying to please people(AL) but God, who tests our hearts.(AM) You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed(AN)—God is our witness.(AO) We were not looking for praise from people,(AP) not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles(AQ) of Christ we could have asserted our authority.(AR) Instead, we were like young children[c] among you.

Just as a nursing mother cares for her children,(AS) so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God(AT) but our lives as well.(AU) Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked(AV) night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone(AW) while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses,(AX) and so is God,(AY) of how holy,(AZ) righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,(BA) 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy(BB) of God, who calls(BC) you into his kingdom and glory.

13 And we also thank God continually(BD) because, when you received the word of God,(BE) which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators(BF) of God’s churches in Judea,(BG) which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people(BH) the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus(BI) and the prophets(BJ) and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles(BK) so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit.(BL) The wrath of God has come upon them at last.[d]

Footnotes

  1. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 Greek Silvanus, a variant of Silas
  2. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 2:1, 9, 14, 17; 3:7; 4:1, 10, 13; 5:1, 4, 12, 14, 25, 27.
  3. 1 Thessalonians 2:7 Some manuscripts were gentle
  4. 1 Thessalonians 2:16 Or them fully

Psalm 119[a]

א Aleph

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,(A)
    who walk(B) according to the law of the Lord.(C)
Blessed(D) are those who keep his statutes(E)
    and seek him(F) with all their heart—(G)
they do no wrong(H)
    but follow his ways.(I)
You have laid down precepts(J)
    that are to be fully obeyed.(K)
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
    in obeying your decrees!(L)
Then I would not be put to shame(M)
    when I consider all your commands.(N)
I will praise you with an upright heart
    as I learn your righteous laws.(O)
I will obey your decrees;
    do not utterly forsake me.(P)

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 119:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the stanzas of which begin with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet; moreover, the verses of each stanza begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet.