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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

Chapter 18

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1The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2“Come, go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.

5Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the LORD. Just like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it. 9And at another moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10but if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will change my mind about the good that I had intended to do to it. 11Now, therefore, say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the LORD: Look, I am a potter shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Turn now, all of you from your evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.

12But they say, “It is no use! We will follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of our evil will.”

13Therefore thus says the LORD: Ask among the nations: Who has heard the like of this? The virgin Israel has done a most horrible thing. 14Does the snow of Lebanon leave the crags of Sirion? a Cn: Heb of the field Do the mountain b Cn: Heb foreign waters run dry, c Cn: Heb Are … plucked up? the cold flowing streams? 15But my people have forgotten me, they burn offerings to a delusion; they have stumbled d Gk Syr Vg: Heb they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and have gone into bypaths, not the highway, 16making their land a horror, a thing to be hissed at forever. All who pass by it are horrified and shake their heads. 17Like the wind from the east, I will scatter them before the enemy. I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity.

18Then they said, “Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah—for instruction shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us bring charges against him, e Heb strike him with the tongue and let us not heed any of his words.”

19Give heed to me, O LORD, and listen to what my adversaries say! 20Is evil a recompense for good? 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. 21Therefore give their children over to famine; hurl them out to the power of the sword, let their wives become childless and widowed. May their men meet death by pestilence, their youths be slain by the sword in battle. 22May a cry be heard from their houses, when you bring the marauder suddenly upon them! For they have dug a pit to catch me, and laid snares for my feet. 23Yet you, O LORD, know all their plotting to kill me. Do not forgive their iniquity, do not blot out their sin from your sight. Let them be tripped up before you; deal with them while you are angry.

Notes:

a Cn: Heb of the field

b Cn: Heb foreign

c Cn: Heb Are … plucked up?

d Gk Syr Vg: Heb they made them stumble

e Heb strike him with the tongue

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