The Lesson from the Potter Working the Clay
18 1 The word that hath been unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, 2 Rise, and thou hast gone down 'to' the potter's house, and there I cause thee to hear My words; 3 and I go down 'to' the potter's house, and lo, he is doing a work on the stones, 4 and marred is the vessel that he is making, as clay in the hand of the potter, and he hath turned and he maketh it another vessel, as it was right in the eyes of the potter to make. 5 And there is a word of Jehovah to me, saying: 6 As this potter am I not able to do to you? O house of Israel, an affirmation of Jehovah. Lo, as clay in the hand of the potter, So 'are' ye in My hand, O house of Israel. 7 The moment I speak concerning a nation, And concerning a kingdom, To pluck up and to break down, and to destroy, 8 And that nation hath turned from its evil, Because I have spoken against it, Then I have repented of the evil that I thought to do to it. 9 And the moment I speak concerning a nation, And concerning a kingdom, to build, and to plant, 10 And it hath done the evil thing in Mine eyes, So as not to hearken to My voice, Then I have repented of the good That I have spoken of doing to it.
11 And now, speak, I pray thee, unto men of Judah, And against inhabitants of Jerusalem, Saying: Thus said Jehovah: Lo, I am framing against you evil, And devising against you a device, Turn back, I pray you, each from his evil way And amen your ways and your doings. 12 And they have said, It is incurable, For after our own devices we do go, And each the stubbornness of his evil heart we do. 13 Therefore, thus said Jehovah: Ask, I pray you, among the nations, Who hath heard like these? A very horrible thing hath the virgin of Israel done. 14 Doth snow of Lebanon Cease from the rock of the field? Failed are the cold strange waters that flow? 15 But My people have forgotten Me, to a vain thing they make perfume, And they cause them to stumble in their ways—paths of old, To walk in paths—a way not raised up, 16 To make their land become a desolation, A hissing age-during, Every passer by it is astonished, And bemoaneth with his head. 17 As an east wind I scatter them before an enemy, The neck, and not the face, I shew them, In the day of their calamity.'
The People's Plots and Jeremiah's Prayer
18 And they say, Come, And we devise against Jeremiah devices, For law doth not perish from the priest, Nor counsel from the wise, Nor the word from the prophet, Come, and we smite him with the tongue, And we do not attend to any of his words. 19 Give attention, O Jehovah, unto me, And hearken to the voice of those contending with me. 20 Is evil recompensed instead of good, That they have dug a pit for my soul? Remember my standing before Thee to speak good of them, To turn back Thy wrath from them. 21 Therefore, give up their sons to famine, And cause them to run on the sides of the sword, And their wives are bereaved and widows, And their men are slain by death, Their young men smitten by sword in battle, 22 A cry is heard from their houses, For Thou bringest against them suddenly a troop, For they dug a pit to capture me, And snares they have hidden for my feet. 23 And Thou, O Jehovah, Thou hast known, All their counsel against me 'is' for death, Thou dost not cover over their iniquity, Nor their sin from before Thee blottest out, And they are made to stumble before Thee, In the time of Thine anger work against them!
The Lesson from the Broken Vessel
19 1 Thus said Jehovah, 'Go, and thou hast got a potter's earthen vessel, and of the elders of the people, and of the elders of the priests, 2 and thou hast gone forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, that 'is' at the opening of the gate of the pottery, and hast proclaimed there the words that I speak unto thee, 3 and hast said, Hear a word of Jehovah, ye kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Thus said Jehovah of Hosts, God of Israel: 'Lo, I am bringing in evil on this place, at which the ears of every one who is hearing it do tingle, 4 because that they have forsaken Me, and make known this place, and make perfume in it to other gods, that they knew not, they and their fathers, and the kings of Judah, and they have filled this place 'with' innocent blood, 5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons with fire, burnt-offerings to Baal, that I commanded not, nor spake of, nor did it come up on My heart. 6 'Therefore, lo, days are coming—an affirmation of Jehovah—and this place is not called any more, Tophet, and Valley of the son of Hinnom, but, Valley of slaughter. 7 And I have made void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and have caused them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those seeking their life, and I have given their carcase for food to the fowl of the heavens, and to the beast of the earth, 8 and I have made this city for a desolation, and for a hissing, every passer by it is astonished, and doth hiss for all its plagues. 9 And I have caused them to eat the flesh of their sons, and the flesh of their daughters, and each the flesh of his friend they do eat, in the siege and in the straitness with which straiten them do their enemies, and those seeking their life.
10 'And thou hast broken the bottle before the eyes of the men who are going with thee, 11 and hast said unto them: Thus said Jehovah of Hosts, Thus do I break this people and this city, as one breaketh the potter's vessel, that is not able to be repaired again, and in Tophet they bury—without place to bury; 12 so I do to this place—an affirmation of Jehovah—and to its inhabitants, so as to make this city as Tophet; 13 and the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, have been—as the place of Tophet—defiled, even all the houses on whose roofs they have made perfume to all the host of the heavens, so as to pour out oblations to other gods.' 14 And Jeremiah cometh in from Tophet, whither Jehovah had sent him to prophesy, and he standeth in the court of the house of Jehovah, and he saith unto all the people: 15 'Thus said Jehovah of Hosts, God of Israel: Lo, I am bringing in unto this city, and on all its cities, all the evil that I have spoken against it, for they have hardened their neck—not to hear My words!'
The Curse on Pashur for Imprisoning Jeremiah
20 1 And Pashhur son of Immer the priest—who also 'is' overseer, leader in the house of Jehovah—heareth Jeremiah prophesying these things, 2 and Pashhur smiteth Jeremiah the prophet, and putteth him unto the stocks, that 'are' by the high gate of Benjamin, that 'is' by the house of Jehovah. 3 and it cometh to pass on the morrow, that Pashhur bringeth out Jeremiah from the stocks, and Jeremiah saith unto him, 'Not Pashhur hath Jehovah called thy name, but—Magor-Missabib. 4 For thus said Jehovah: Lo, I am making thee for a fear to thyself, And to all loving thee, And they have fallen by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes are beholding, And all Judah I give into the hand of the king of Babylon, And he hath removed them to Babylon, And he hath smitten them with the sword. 5 And I have given all the strength of this city, And all its labour, and all its precious things, Yea, all the treasures of the kings of Judah I do give into the hand of their enemies, And they have spoiled them, and taken them, And have brought them into Babylon. 6 And thou, Pashhur, and all dwelling in thy house, Do go into captivity. and Babylon thou dost enter, And there thou diest, and there thou art buried, Thou and all loving thee, To whom thou hast prophesied falsely.'
7 Thou hast persuaded me, O Jehovah, and I am persuaded; Thou hast hardened me, and dost prevail, I have been for a laughter all the day, Every one is mocking at me, 8 Because from the time I speak I cry out, 'Violence and destruction,' I cry, For the word of Jehovah hath been to me For reproach and for derision all the day. 9 And I said, 'I do not mention Him, Nor do I speak any more in His name,' And it hath been in my heart As a burning fire shut up in my bones, And I have been weary of containing, And I am not able. 10 For I have heard the evil report of many, Fear 'is' round about: 'Declare, and we declare it,' All mine allies are watching 'for' my halting, 'Perhaps he is enticed, and we prevail over him, And we take our vengeance out of him.' 11 And Jehovah 'is' with me, as a terrible mighty one, Therefore my persecutors stumble and prevail not, They have been exceedingly ashamed, For they have not acted wisely, Confusion age-during is not forgotten. 12 And, O Jehovah of Hosts, trier of the righteous, Beholder of reins and heart, I do see Thy vengeance out of them, For unto Thee I have revealed my cause. 13 Sing ye to Jehovah, praise Jehovah, For He hath delivered the soul of the needy From the hand of evil doers.
14 Cursed 'is' the day in which I was born, The day that my mother bare me, Let it not be blessed! 15 Cursed 'is' the man who bore tidings 'to' my father, saying, 'Born to thee hath been a child—a male,' Making him very glad! 16 Then hath that man been as the cities, That Jehovah overthrew, and repented not, And he hath heard a cry at morning, And a shout at time of noon. 17 Because he hath not put me to death from the womb, And my mother is to me—my grave, And her womb a pregnancy age-during. 18 Why 'is' this? from the womb I have come out, To see labour and sorrow, Yea, consumed in shame are my days!
The Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold
21 1 The word that hath been unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, in the king Zedekiah's sending unto him Pashhur son of Malchiah, and Zephaniah son of Maaseiah the priest, saying, 2 'Inquire, we pray thee, for us at Jehovah, for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath fought against us; perhaps Jehovah doth deal with us according to all His wonders, and doth cause him to go up from off us.' 3 And Jeremiah saith unto them, 'Thus do ye say unto Zedekiah, 4 Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel: Lo, I am turning round the weapons of battle That 'are' in your hand, With which ye do fight the king of Babylon, And the Chaldeans, who are laying siege against you, At the outside of the wall, And I have gathered them into the midst of this city, 5 And I—I have fought against you, With a stretched-out hand, and with a strong arm, And in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath, 6 And I have smitten the inhabitants of this city, Both man and beast, By a great pestilence do they die. 7 And after this—an affirmation of Jehovah, I give Zedekiah king of Judah, And his servants, and the people, And those left in this city, From the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, Into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, And into the hand of their enemies, And into the hand of those seeking their life, And he hath smitten them by the mouth of the sword, He hath no pity on them, Nor doth he spare, nor hath he mercy.
8 And unto this people thou dost say, Thus said Jehovah: Lo, I am setting before you the way of life, And the way of death! 9 Whoso is abiding in this city—dieth, By sword, and by famine, and by pestilence, And whoso is going forth, And hath fallen unto the Chaldeans, Who are laying siege against you—liveth, And his life hath been to him for a spoil. 10 For I have set My face against this city for evil, And not for good—an affirmation of Jehovah. Into the hand of the king of Babylon it is given, And he hath burned it with fire. 11 And as to the house of the king of Judah, Hear ye a word of Jehovah; 12 O house of David, thus said Jehovah: Decide ye judgment at morning, And deliver the plundered from the hand of the oppressor, Lest My fury go forth as fire, And hath burned, and none is quenching, Because of the evil of your doings. 13 Lo, I 'am' against thee—an affirmation of Jehovah, O inhabitant of the valley, rock of the plain, Who are saying, Who cometh down against us? And who cometh into our habitations? 14 And I have laid a charge against you, According to the fruit of your doings, An affirmation of Jehovah, And I have kindled a fire in its forest, And it hath consumed—all its suburbs!
Prophecies against the Kings of Judah
22 1 Thus said Jehovah, 'Go down 'to' the house of the king of Judah, and thou hast spoken there this word, and hast said, 2 Hear a word of Jehovah, O king of Judah, who art sitting on the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people, who are coming in at these gates, 3 Thus said Jehovah: Do ye judgment and righteousness, And deliver the plundered from the hand of the oppressor, And sojourner, orphan, and widow, ye do not oppress nor wrong, And innocent blood ye do not shed in this place. 4 For, if ye certainly do this thing, Then come in by the gates of this house Have kings sitting for David on his throne, Riding on chariot, and on horses, He, and his servants, and his people. 5 And if ye do not hear these words, By myself I have sworn—an affirmation of Jehovah, That this house is for a desolation. 6 For thus said Jehovah, Concerning the house of the king of Judah: Gilead 'art' thou to Me—head of Lebanon, If not—I make thee a wilderness, Cities not inhabited. 7 And I have separated for thee destroyers, Each with his weapons, And they have cut down the choice of thy cedars, And have cast them on the fire. 8 And many nations have passed by this city, And they have said, each to his neighbour, For what hath Jehovah done thus to this great city? 9 And they have said, 'Because that they have forsaken The covenant of Jehovah their God, And bow themselves to other gods, and serve them.'
10 Ye do not weep for the dead, nor bemoan for him, Weep ye sore for the traveller, For he doth not return again, Nor hath he seen the land of his birth. 11 For thus said Jehovah concerning Shallum son of Josiah king of Judah, who is reigning instead of Josiah his father, who hath gone forth from this place: He doth not turn back hither again; 12 For in the place whither they have removed him he dieth, And this land he doth not see again. 13 Wo to him who is building his house by unrighteousness, And his upper chambers by injustice, On his neighbour he layeth service for nought, And his wage he doth not give to him. 14 Who is saying, 'I build for myself a large house, And airy upper chambers,' And he hath cut out for himself its windows, Ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermillion. 15 Dost thou reign, because thou art fretting thyself in cedar? Thy father—did he not eat and drink? Yea, he did judgment and righteousness, Then 'it is' well with him. 16 He decided the cause of the poor and needy, Then 'it is' well—is it not to know Me? An affirmation of Jehovah. 17 But thine eyes and thy heart are not, Except on thy dishonest gain, And on shedding of innocent blood, And on oppression, and on doing of violence. 18 Therefore, thus said Jehovah concerning Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: They do not lament for him, Ah, my brother, and Ah, sister, They do not lament for him, Ah, lord, and Ah, his honour. 19 The burial of an ass—he is buried, Dragged and cast out thence to the gates of Jerusalem.
20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry, And in Bashan give forth thy voice, And cry from Abarim, For destroyed have been all loving thee. 21 I have spoken unto thee in thine ease, Thou hast said, 'I do not hearken,' This 'is' thy way from thy youth, For thou hast not hearkened to My voice. 22 All thy friends consume doth wind, And thy lovers into captivity do go, Surely then thou art ashamed, And hast blushed for all thy wickedness. 23 O dweller in Lebanon, making a nest among cedars, How gracious hast thou been when pangs come to thee, Pain—as of a travailing woman. 24 I live—an affirmation of Jehovah, Though Coniah son of Jehoiakim king of Judah Were a seal on My right hand, Surely thence I draw thee away, 25 And I have given thee into the hand of those seeking thy life, And into hands of which thou art afraid, Into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, And into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 And I have cast thee, And thy mother who bore thee, unto another country, Where ye were not born, and there do ye die. 27 And to the land whither they are lifting up their soul to return, Thither they do not return. 28 A grief—a despised broken thing—is this man Coniah? A vessel in which there is no pleasure? Wherefore have they been cast up and down, He and his seed, Yea, they were cast on to a land that they knew not? 29 Earth, earth, earth, hear a word of Jehovah, 30 Thus said Jehovah: Write ye this man childless, A man—he doth not prosper in his days, For none of his seed doth prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling again in Judah!