1The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear my words.”
3Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he was making something on the wheels. 4When the vessel that he made of the clay was marred in the hand of the potter, he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
5Then the Lord’s word came to me, saying, 6“House of Israel, can’t I do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Behold, as the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, house of Israel. 7At the instant I speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy it; 8if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them. 9At the instant I speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10if they do that which is evil in my sight, that they not obey my voice, then I will repent of the good with which I said I would benefit them.
11“Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘The Lord says: “Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a plan against you. Everyone return from his evil way now, and amend your ways and your doings.”’ 12But they say, ‘It is in vain; for we will walk after our own plans, and we will each follow the stubbornness of his evil heart.’”
13Therefore the Lord says:
“Ask now among the nations,
‘Who has heard such things?’
The virgin of Israel has done a very horrible thing.
14Will the snow of Lebanon fail from the rock of the field?
Will the cold waters that flow down from afar be dried up?
15For my people have forgotten me.
They have burned incense to false gods.
They have been made to stumble in their ways,
in the ancient paths,
to walk in byways, in a way not built up,
16to make their land an astonishment,
and a perpetual hissing.
Everyone who passes by it will be astonished,
and shake his head.
17I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy.
I will show them the back, and not the face,
in the day of their calamity.
18Then they said, “Come! Let’s devise plans against Jeremiah; for the law won’t perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let’s strike him with the tongue, and let’s not give heed to any of his words.”
19Give heed to me, Lord,
and listen to the voice of those who contend with me.
20Should evil be recompensed for good?
For they have dug a pit for my soul.
Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them,
to turn away your wrath from them.
21Therefore deliver up their children to the famine,
and give them over to the power of the sword.
Let their wives become childless and widows.
Let their men be killed
and their young men struck by the sword in battle.
22Let a cry be heard from their houses
when you bring a troop suddenly on them;
for they have dug a pit to take me
and hidden snares for my feet.
23Yet, Lord, you know all their counsel against me to kill me.
Don’t forgive their iniquity.
Don’t blot out their sin from your sight,
Let them be overthrown before you.
Deal with them in the time of your anger.