1A message came to me from the Lord. He said,2“Go down to the potter's house. I will give you my message there.”3So I went down to the potter's house. I saw him working at his wheel.4His hands were shaping a pot out of clay. But he saw that something was wrong with it. So he formed it into another pot. He shaped it in the way that seemed best to him.5Then the Lord's message came to me. He said,6“People of Israel, I can do with you just as this potter does,” announces the Lord. “The clay is in the potter's hand. And you are in my hand, people of Israel.7“Suppose at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is going to be pulled up by the roots. And I tell it that it will be torn down and destroyed.8But suppose the nation I warned turns away from its sins. Then I will not do what I said I would. I will not bring trouble on it as I had planned.9“Suppose at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is going to be built up and planted.10But it does what is evil in my sight. It does not obey me. Then I will think again about the good things I had wanted to do for it.11“So speak to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Tell them, ‘The Lord says, “Look! I am making plans against you. I am going to bring trouble on you. So each one of you must turn from your evil ways. Change the way you live and act.” ’12“But they will reply, ‘It's no use. We will continue to do what we've already planned. All of us will do what our stubborn and evil hearts want us to do.’ ”13So the Lord says, “Ask the nations a question. Say to them, ‘Who has ever heard anything like this? The people of Israel have done a very horrible thing.14Does the snow ever disappear from Lebanon's rocky slopes? Do its cool waters ever stop flowing from places far away?15But my people have forgotten me. They burn incense to worthless gods. Their gods made them trip and fall as they walked on the old paths. They made them use side roads instead of roads that were built up.16So their land will be completely destroyed. People will make fun of it again and again. All those who pass by it will be shocked. They will shake their heads.17I will sweep over my people like a wind from the east. I will use the Babylonians to scatter them. I will show them my back and not my face. I will desert them when their day of trouble comes.’ ”18They said, “Come on. Let's make plans against Jeremiah. We'll still have priests to teach us the law. We'll always have wise people to give us advice. We'll have prophets to bring us messages from the Lord. So come on. Let's speak out against Jeremiah. We shouldn't pay any attention to what he says.”19Lord, please listen to me! Hear what my enemies are saying about me!20Should the good things I've done be paid back with evil? But my enemies have dug a pit for me. Remember that I stood in front of you and spoke up for them. I tried to turn your anger away from them.21So let their children die of hunger. Let my enemies be killed in war. Let their wives lose their children and husbands. Let their men be put to death. Let their young men be killed in battle.22Bring their enemies against them without warning. Let cries be heard from their houses. They have dug a pit to capture me. They have hidden traps for my feet.23But Lord, you know all about their plans to kill me. Don't forgive their crimes. Don't erase their sins from your sight. Destroy my enemies. Punish them when the time to show your anger comes.
English Standard Version
The Potter and the Clay
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:2“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” (1Ch 4:23; Jer 19:1; Zec 11:13)3So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. (1Ch 4:23; Jer 19:1; Zec 11:13)4And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. (Jer 13:7; Ro 9:21)5Then the word of the Lord came to me:6“O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. (Job 10:9; Isa 45:9; Isa 64:8; Ro 9:20)7If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, (Jer 1:10; Jer 42:10)8and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. (Jud 2:18; Jer 26:3; Jer 26:13; Jer 26:19; Eze 18:21; Jon 3:10)9And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, (Jer 18:7)10and 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.11Now, 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. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’ (2Ki 17:13; Jer 7:3; Jer 25:5; Jer 35:15; Jon 3:8)12“But they say, ‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ (Jer 2:25; Jer 3:17)13“Therefore thus says the Lord: Ask among the nations, Who has heard the like of this? The virgin Israel has done a very horrible thing. (Jer 2:10; Jer 5:30)14Does the snow of Lebanon leave the crags of Sirion? Do the mountain waters run dry, the cold flowing streams?15But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway, (Isa 57:14; Jer 2:5; Jer 2:13; Jer 2:32; Jer 6:16; Jer 10:15; Jer 16:19; Jer 17:13)16making their land a horror, a thing to be hissed at forever. Everyone who passes by it is horrified and shakes his head. (2Ch 29:8; Job 16:4; Ps 22:7; Jer 19:8; Jer 25:9; Jer 25:11; Jer 25:18; Jer 49:13; Jer 49:17; Jer 50:13; Jer 51:37; La 2:15; Mt 27:39)17Like the east wind I will scatter them before the enemy. I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity.” (Ge 41:6; Ge 41:23; Ge 41:27; Ex 10:13; Job 27:21; Ps 48:7; Jer 2:27; Jer 13:24; Eze 27:26; Ho 13:15; Jon 4:8)18Then they said, “Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words.” (Job 5:21; Ps 31:20; Jer 2:8; Jer 5:13; Jer 5:31; Jer 6:13; Jer 9:3; Jer 9:8; Jer 11:19)19Hear me, O Lord, and listen to the voice of my adversaries. (Ps 35:1; Isa 49:25)20Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for my life. Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them, to turn away your wrath from them. (Ne 13:14; Ps 35:7; Ps 35:12; Ps 57:6; Ps 119:85)21Therefore deliver up their children to famine; give them over to the power of the sword; let their wives become childless and widowed. May their men meet death by pestilence, their youths be struck down by the sword in battle. (Ps 109:9; Ps 109:10)22May a cry be heard from their houses, when you bring the plunderer suddenly upon them! For they have dug a pit to take me and laid snares for my feet. (Ps 140:5; Jer 18:20; Jer 20:16)23Yet you, O Lord, know all their plotting to kill me. Forgive 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. (Ne 4:5; Ps 35:22)