18 This is the word the Lord spoke to Jeremiah: 2 “Get up and go down to the potter’s house, and I will ·give you my message there [L make you hear my words].” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house and saw him working at the potter’s wheel. 4 He was using his hands to make a pot from clay, but something went wrong with it. So he used that clay to make another pot the way he wanted it to be.
5 Then the Lord spoke his word to me: 6 “·Family [L House] of Israel, can’t I do the same thing with you?” says the Lord. “You are in my hands like the clay in the potter’s hands. 7 There may come a time when I will ·speak about [declare concerning] a nation or a kingdom that I will ·pull [pluck] up by its roots or that I will ·pull [tear] down to destroy it [1:10]. 8 But if the people of that nation ·stop doing the evil they have done [turn back/repent from its evil concerning which I have spoken], I will ·change my mind [repent] and not carry out my plans to bring ·disaster to [evil on] them. 9 There may come another time when I will ·speak about a [declare concerning that] nation that I will build up and plant. 10 But if ·I see it doing evil [L it does evil in my eyes] by not ·obeying [listening to] me, I will ·change my mind [repent] and not carry out my plans to do good for them.
11 “·So [Now], say this to the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem: ‘This is what the Lord says: I am ·preparing [shaping] ·disaster [evil] for you and making plans against you. ·So stop doing evil [L Turn away from your evil way/path]. ·Change [Improve/Amend] your ·ways [paths] and ·do what is right [L your actions].’ 12 But they [C the people of Judah] will answer, ‘It won’t do any good to try! We will ·continue to do what we want [L go after our plans]. Each of us will do what his stubborn, evil heart wants!’”
13 So this is what the Lord says: “Ask ·the people in other nations this question [L among the nations]: ‘·Have you ever [L Who has] heard anything like this?’ The ·people [L virgin daughter] of Israel have done a horrible thing. 14 ·The [L Does the…?] snow of Lebanon ·never melts from [ever leave the] the rocks of ·the fields [L or Sirion; C another name for Mount Hermon]. Its cool, ·flowing [L foreign; strange] streams do not ·dry up [L get plucked up]. 15 But my people have forgotten me. They burn incense to ·worthless [useless; meaningless] idols and ·have stumbled [L they make them stumble] in ·what they do [L their ways/paths] and in the ·old ways of their ancestors [L ancient ways]. They walk along back roads ·and on poor [L ways/paths that are not] highways. 16 So ·Judah’s country [L their land] will become an ·empty desert [wasteland; desolation]. People will not stop ·making fun of [L hissing at] it. They will shake their heads as they pass by; they will be shocked at how the country was destroyed. 17 Like a strong east wind, I will scatter them [C the people of Judah] before their enemies. ·At that awful time [L In the day of their calamity] ·they will not see me coming to help them; they will see me leaving [L I will show them my back and not my face].”
Jeremiah’s Fourth Complaint
18 Then the people said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah. Surely the ·teaching of the law [instruction] by the priest will not ·be lost [perish]. We will still have the ·advice [counsel] from the wise teachers and the words of the prophets. So let’s ·ruin him by telling lies about him [bring charges against him; L strike him with the tongue]. We won’t pay attention to ·anything he says [L his words].”
19 Lord, ·listen [pay attention] to me. Listen to what my ·accusers [adversaries] are saying! 20 ·Good should not [L Should good…?] be paid back with evil, but they have dug a pit ·in order to kill me [L for my life]. Remember that I stood before you and asked you to do good things for these people and to turn your anger away from them. 21 So now, ·let their children starve [L give their children to starvation], and ·let their enemies kill them with swords [L give them over to the power of the sword]. Let their wives ·lose their children and husbands [L be childless and widows]. Let the men [C from Judah] be ·put to death [slain by pestilence] and the young men be killed with swords in battle. 22 Let them cry out in their houses when you bring ·an enemy [plunderers; marauders] against them suddenly. Let all this happen, because my enemies have dug a pit to capture me and have hidden traps for my feet. 23 Lord, you know about all their plans to kill me. Don’t forgive their ·crimes [iniquity] or ·erase [wipe away; blot out] their sins from ·your mind [L before you]. Make them ·fall [stumble] ·from their places [L before you]; ·punish [L deal with] them while you are angry.
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