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Jeremiah 18

The Potter and the Clay

The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh saying,
2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will make you hear My words.” 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he was making something on the wheel. 4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was ruined in the hand of the potter, so he turned around and made it into another vessel, according to what was right in the eyes of the potter to make. 5 Then the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 6 “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares Yahweh. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 7 At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to tear down, or to make it perish; 8 but if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to do against it. 9 Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; 10 but if it does evil in My sight by not listening to My voice, then I will relent concerning the good which I promised, to do good to it. 11 So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “Behold, I am forming calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and do good in your ways and your deeds.”’ 12 But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ 13 “Therefore thus says Yahweh,
‘Ask now among the nations,
Who ever heard the like of this?
The virgin of Israel
Has done a most appalling thing.
Does the snow of Lebanon forsake the rock of the open country?
Or is the cold flowing water from a strange land ever uprooted?
For My people have forgotten Me;
They burn incense to worthless gods,
And they have stumbled from their ways,
From the ancient paths,
To walk in bypaths,
Not on a highway,
To make their land an object of horror,
An object of perpetual hissing;
Everyone who passes by it will be horrified
And shake his head.
Like an east wind I will scatter them
Before the enemy;
I will show them My back and not My face
In the day of their disaster.’”
18 Then they said, “Come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah. Surely the law is not going to perish from the priest, nor counsel to the wise man, nor the divine word to the prophet! Come on and let us strike at him with our tongue, and let us give no heed to any of his words.”
Do give heed to me, O Yahweh,
And listen to the voice of those who contend against me!
Should good be repaid with evil?
For they have dug a pit for me.
Remember how I stood before You
To speak good on their behalf,
So as to turn away Your wrath from them.
Therefore, give their children over to famine
And deliver them up to the power of the sword;
And let their wives become childless and widowed.
Let their men also be smitten to death,
Their young men struck down by the sword in battle.
May an outcry be heard from their houses,
When You suddenly bring raiders upon them;
For they have dug a pit to capture me
And hidden snares for my feet.
Yet You, O Yahweh, know
All their deadly counsel against me;
Do not atone for their iniquity
Or blot out their sin from before You.
But may they be overthrown before You;
Deal with them in the time of Your anger!