Jeremiah 18 – New International Version (NIV)
At the Potter’s House
- This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:
- “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.”
- So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.
- 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.
- Then the word of the Lord came to me.
- He 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.
- If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed,
- and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.
- And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted,
- and 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.
- “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.’
- But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.’”
- Therefore 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.
- Does the snow of Lebanon ever vanish from its rocky slopes? Do its cool waters from distant sources ever stop flowing?[a]
- Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths. hey made them walk in byways, on roads not built up.
- Their land will be an object of horror and of lasting scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will shake their heads.
- Like 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.”
- They 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.”
- Listen to me, Lord; hear what my accusers are saying!
- Should 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.
- So 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.
- Let 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.
- But 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.
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Jeremiah 18 – King James Version (KJV)
Parable of the Potter
- The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
- Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
- Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
- And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
- Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
- O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
- At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
- if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
- And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
- if it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
- Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
- And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.
- Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.
- Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?
- Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;
- to make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head.
- I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.
Enemies of the Prophet
- Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.
- Give heed to me, O LORD, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.
- Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.
- Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle.
- Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them: for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.
- Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.