1This 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.”3So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.4But 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.5Then the word of the Lord came to me.6He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.7If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed,8and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.9And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted,10and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.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 for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’12But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.’ ”13Therefore this is what the Lord says: “Inquire among the nations: Who has ever heard anything like this? A most horrible thing has been done by Virgin Israel.14Does the snow of Lebanon ever vanish from its rocky slopes? Do its cool waters from distant sources ever stop flowing?15Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths. They made them walk in byways, on roads not built up.16Their land will be an object of horror and of lasting scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will shake their heads.17Like a wind from the east, I will scatter them before their enemies; I will show them my back and not my face in the day of their disaster.”18They said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priest will not cease, nor will counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. So come, let’s attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says.”19Listen to me, Lord; hear what my accusers are saying!20Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for me. Remember that I stood before you and spoke in their behalf to turn your wrath away from them.21So give their children over to famine; hand them over to the power of the sword. Let their wives be made childless and widows; let their men be put to death, their young men slain by the sword in battle.22Let a cry be heard from their houses when you suddenly bring invaders against them, for they have dug a pit to capture me and have hidden snares for my feet.23But you, Lord, know all their plots to kill me. Do not forgive 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.
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)