18 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 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.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like claym in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand,n Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted,o torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relentp and not inflict on it the disasterq I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be builtr up and planted, 10 and if it does evils in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsidert the good I had intended to do for it.u
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 disasterv for you and devising a planw against you. So turnx from your evil ways,y each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’z 12 But they will reply, ‘It’s no use.a We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.b’ ”
“Inquire among the nations:
Who has ever heard anything like this?c
A most horribled thing has been done
by Virgine Israel.
ever vanish from its rocky slopes?
Do its cool waters from distant sources
ever stop flowing?a
15 Yet my people have forgottenf me;
which made them stumblei in their ways,
in the ancient paths.j
They made them walk in byways,
on roads not built up.k
16 Their land will be an object of horrorl
and of lasting scorn;m
all who pass by will be appalledn
and will shake their heads.o
17 Like a windp from the east,
I will scatter them before their enemies;
I will show them my back and not my faceq
in the day of their disaster.”
18 They said, “Come, let’s make plansr against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priests will not cease, nor will counsel from the wise,t nor the word from the prophets.u So come, let’s attack him with our tonguesv and pay no attention to anything he says.”
hear what my accusersw are saying!
20 Should good be repaid with evil?x
Yet they have dug a pity for me.
Remember that I stoodz before you
and spoke in their behalfa
to turn your wrath away from them.
21 So give their children over to famine;b
hand them over to the power of the sword.c
Let their wives be made childless and widows;d
let their men be put to death,
their young mene slain by the sword in battle.
22 Let a cryf be heard from their houses
when you suddenly bring invaders against them,
for they have dug a pitg to capture me
and have hidden snaresh for my feet.
all their plots to killi me.
Do not forgivej 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.k
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