The Potter and the Clay

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  “Arise, and go down to qthe potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.”  So I went down to rthe potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel.  And the vessel he was making of clay was sspoiled in the potter’s hand, and the reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

 Then the word of the Lord came to me:  “O house of Israel, ucan I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. vBehold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.  If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will wpluck up and break down and destroy it,  and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, xturns from its evil, yI will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.  And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will wbuild and plant it,  10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.  11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. zReturn, every one from his evil way, and aamend your ways and your deeds.’

 12 “But they say, b‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to cthe stubbornness of his evil heart.’

  13  “Therefore thus says the Lord:

dAsk among the nations,

Who has heard the like of this?

The virgin Israel

has done ea very horrible thing.

  14  Does the snow of Lebanon leave

the crags of Sirion?1

Do the mountain waters run dry,2

the cold flowing streams?

  15  fBut my people have forgotten me;

they make offerings to gfalse gods;

they made them stumble in their ways,

hin the ancient roads,

and to walk into side roads,

inot the highway,

  16  making their land ja horror,

a thing jto be hissed at forever.

kEveryone who passes by it is horrified

land shakes his head.

  17  mLike the east wind nI will scatter them

before the enemy.

oI will show them my back, not my face,

in the day of their calamity.”

 18 Then they said, p“Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, qfor the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. rCome, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words.”

  19  Hear me, O Lord,

and slisten to the voice of my adversaries.

  20  tShould good be repaid with evil?

Yet uthey have dug a pit for my life.

vRemember how I stood before you

to speak good for them,

to turn away your wrath from them.

  21  Therefore wdeliver up their children to famine;

give them over to the power of the sword;

let their wives become childless xand widowed.

May their men meet death by pestilence,

their youths be struck down by the sword in battle.

  22  yMay a cry be heard from their houses,

when you bring the plunderer suddenly upon them!

For uthey have dug a pit to take me

zand laid snares for my feet.

  23  Yet ayou, O Lord, know

all their plotting to kill me.

bForgive not their iniquity,

nor blot out their sin from your sight.

Let them be overthrown before you;

deal with them in the time of your anger.

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