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18 The word that was made of the Lord to Jeremy, and said, (The word of the Lord that was made to Jeremiah, and said,)

Rise thou, and go down into the house of a potter, and there thou shalt hear my words.

And I went down into the house of a potter, and lo! he made a work on a wheel.

And the vessel was destroyed, which he made of clay with his hands; and he turned it, and made it another vessel, as it pleased in his eyes to make. (And when the vessel, which he made out of clay with his hands, was not acceptable, he turned it again, and made it into another vessel, which did please his eyes.)

And the word of the Lord was made to me, and he said,

Whether as this potter doeth, I may not do to you, the house of Israel? saith the Lord. Lo! as clay is in the hand of a potter, so ye, the house of Israel, be in mine hand (Lo! like clay is in a potter’s hands, so ye, the house of Israel, be in my hands).

Suddenly I shall speak against a folk, and against a realm, that I draw (it) out, and destroy (it), and lose it.

If that folk doeth penance of his evil, which I spake against it, also I shall do penance on the evil, which I thought to do to it. (But if that nation doeth penance for their evil, for which I spoke against them, then I shall do penance for the evil, which I thought to do to them.)

And I shall speak suddenly of a folk, and of a realm, that I build, and plant it. (And at any moment I shall speak of a nation, or of a kingdom, that I build it, or that I plant it.)

10 (But) If it doeth evil before mine eyes, (and) that it hear not my voice, (then) I shall do penance on the good which I spake, that I should do to it.

11 Now therefore say thou to a man of Judah, and to the dweller of Jerusalem, and say, The Lord saith these things, Lo! I make evil against you, and I think a thought against you; each man turn again from his evil way, and (ad)dress ye your ways and your studies. (And so now say thou to the people of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, The Lord saith these things, Lo! I make evil plans against you, and I think thoughts against you; each person turn away from their evil ways, and direct, or amend, ye your ways and your deeds.)

12 Which said, We have despaired, for we shall go after our thoughts, and we shall do each man the shrewdness of his evil heart. (But they said, We despair, for we feel that we must go after our own thoughts, and each person doeth the depravity of his own evil heart.)

13 Therefore the Lord saith these things, Ask ye heathen men, who heard such horrible things, which the virgin of Israel hath done greatly? (And so the Lord saith these things, Ask ye the heathen, who hath heard of such a horrible thing, as that which the virgin of Israel hath done?)

14 Whether [the] snow of the Lebanon shall fail from the stone of the field? either cold waters breaking out, and floating down, may be taken away? (Shall the snow in Lebanon fail to fall on the stones of the field? or shall cold water breaking out, and flowing down, not be taken away?)

15 For my people hath forgotten me, and they offered sacrifices in vain, and stumbled in their ways, and in the paths of the world (and stumbled on their own ways, and on the paths of the world), (so) that they went by those in a way not trodden;

16 that the land of them should be into desolation, and into an hissing everlasting; for why each that passeth by it, shall be astonied, and shall move his head. (so that their land now be into desolation, and into an everlasting hissing; for each person who passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall move their head.)

17 As a burning wind I shall scatter them before the enemy (Like a burning wind I shall scatter them before the enemy); I shall show to them the back and not the face, in the day of the perdition of them.

18 And they said, Come ye, and think we thoughts against Jeremy; for why the law shall not perish from a priest, neither counsel shall perish from a wise man, neither word shall perish from a prophet (for the Law shall never perish from, or be lost to, a priest, nor good advice from a wise man, nor God’s word from a prophet); come ye, and smite we him with (the) tongue, and take we none heed to all the words of him.

19 Lord, give thou attention to me, and hear thou the voice of mine adversaries.

20 Whether evil is yielded for good, for they have digged a pit to my soul; have thou mind, that I stood in thy sight, to speak good for them, and to turn away thine indignation from them. (Shall evil be yielded for good, for they have dug a pit for me; remember, O Lord, that I stood in thy sight, to speak good of them, and to turn away thy indignation from them.)

21 Therefore give thou the sons of them into hunger, and lead forth them into the hands of [the] sword; the wives of them be made without children, and be made widows, and the husbands of them be slain by death; the young men of them be pierced together by sword in battle. (And so give thou their sons into hunger, and lead them forth into the hands of the sword; let their wives be made without children, and be made widows, and let their husbands be killed; and let their young men be altogether pierced by the sword in battle.)

22 Cry be heard of the houses of them, for thou shalt bring suddenly a thief on them; for they digged a pit to take me, and hid snares to my feet. (Let a cry be heard from their houses, for thou shalt suddenly bring a thief upon them; for they dug a pit to catch me, and hid snares for my feet.)

23 But thou, Lord, knowest all the counsel of them against me into death; do thou not mercy to the wickedness of them, and the sin of them be not done away from thy face; be they made falling down in thy sight, in the time of thy strong vengeance; use thou them to other thing than they were ordained (use thou them for something other than what they were ordained for).

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)


  1. Jeremiah 18:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.

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