Parable of the Potter
1This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2“Go down at once to the potter’s house;#Is 29:16; Jr 19:1-2 there I will reveal my words to you.” 3So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel.#18:3 Lit pair of stones 4But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.#Rm 9:21
5The word of the Lord came to me: 6“House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?” — this is the Lord’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.#Gn 2:7-8; Is 43:1; 64:8 7At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down, and destroy it.#Jr 1:10; 24:6; 31:28 8However, if that nation about which I have made the announcement turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it.#2Sm 24:1; Jr 42:10; Jnh 3:10 9At another time I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it.#Jr 1:10 10However, if it does what is evil in my sight by not listening to me, I will relent concerning the good I had said I would do to it.#Ezk 18:25-29; 33:12-13 11So now, say to the men of Judah and to the residents of Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, I am about to bring harm to you and make plans against you. Turn now, each from your evil way, and correct your ways and your deeds.’#Jr 4:18; 7:3; 35:15 12But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless.#Is 57:12; Jr 2:25 We will continue to follow our plans, and each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’”
13Therefore, this is what the Lord says:
Ask among the nations,
who has heard things like these?
Virgin Israel has done a most horrible thing.#Jr 5:30; Hs 6:10
14Does the snow of Lebanon ever leave the highland crags?
Or does cold water flowing from a distance ever fail?
15Yet my people have forgotten me.#Jr 2:32; 3:21; 13:25; Ezk 22:12; 23:35; Hs 8:14
They burn incense to worthless idols
that make them stumble in their ways#Ezk 14:3,4,7; 44:12; Rv 2:14
on the ancient roads,#Jr 6:16
and make them walk on new paths, not the highway.
16They have made their land a horror,#Dt 28:37; 2Ch 29:8; 30:7; Jr 5:30; 19:8; 25:9,18; 29:18; 42:18; 44:12,22; 50:13; Mc 6:16; Zph 2:15
a perpetual object of scorn;#18:16 Lit hissing#Lm 2:15
all who pass by it will be appalled#Jr 19:8; 49:17
and shake their heads.#Jb 2:11; 42:11; Ps 22:7; 69:20; Is 51:19; Jr 15:5; 48:27; Nah 3:7
17I will scatter them before the enemy like the east wind.#Ex 10:13; 14:21; Jb 27:21; 38:24; Ps 48:7; Is 27:8; Jr 13:24
I will show them#18:17 LXX, Lat, Syr, Tg; MT reads will look at them my back and not my face#2Ch 29:6; Jr 2:27; 32:33; Ezk 8:16
on the day of their calamity.
Plot against Jeremiah
18Then certain ones said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah,#Jr 11:19 for instruction will never be lost from the priest,#Jr 2:8,26; 5:31; 6:13; 8:10; 13:13; 23:11,33; Ezk 7:26; Mc 3:11; Zph 3:4 or counsel from the wise, or a word from the prophet.#Jr 5:13 Come, let’s denounce him#18:18 Lit let’s strike him with the tongue and pay no attention to all his words.”
19Pay attention to me, Lord.
Hear what my opponents are saying!#Ps 55:2-3; 142:6
20Should good be repaid with evil?
Yet they have dug a pit for me.#Ps 35:7; 57:6
Remember how I stood before you
to speak good on their behalf,
to turn your anger from them.
21Therefore, hand their children over to famine,#Ps 109:9-20
and give them over to the power of the sword.
Let their wives become childless and widowed,
their husbands slain by deadly disease,#18:21 Lit by death
their young men struck down by the sword in battle.
22Let a cry be heard from their houses
when you suddenly bring raiders against them,
for they have dug a pit to capture me
and have hidden snares for my feet.#Ps 140:5; 142:3
23But you, Lord, know
all their deadly plots against me.
Do not wipe out their iniquity;#Neh 4:5
do not blot out their sin before you.
Let them be forced to stumble before you;
deal with them in the time of your anger.