18:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying:
18:2 'Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear My words.'
18:3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he was at his work on the wheels.
18:4 And whensoever 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.
18:5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
18:6 'O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay in the potter's hand, so are ye in My hand, O house of Israel.
18:7 At one instant I may speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy it;
18:8 but if that nation turn from their evil, because of which I have spoken against it, I repent of the evil that I thought to do unto it.
18:9 And at one instant I may speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
18:10 but if it do evil in My sight, that it hearken not to My voice, then I repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit it.
18:11 Now therefore do thou 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 amend your ways and your doings.
18:12 But they say: There is no hope; but we will walk after our own devices, and we will do every one after the stubbornness of his evil heart.'
18:13 Therefore thus saith the LORD: Ask ye now among the nations, who hath heard such things; the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.
18:14 Doth the snow of Lebanon fail from the rock of the field? or are the strange cold flowing waters plucked up?
18:15 For My people hath forgotten Me, they offer unto vanity; and they have been made to stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths, in a way not cast up;
18:16 To make their land an astonishment, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and shake his head.
18:17 I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will look upon their back, and not their face, in the day of their calamity.
18:18 Then said they: 'Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for instruction 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.'
18:19 Give heed to me, O LORD, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.
18:20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember how I stood before Thee to speak good for them, to turn away Thy wrath from them.
18:21 Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and hurl them to the power of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and widows; and let their men be slain of death, and their young men smitten of the sword in battle.
18:22 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.
18:23 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 made to stumble before Thee; deal Thou with them in the time of Thine anger.
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