18 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, 2 “Up, go down to the potter’s and there I will let you hear my words.” 3 And I went down to the potter’s and found him doing work on the wheel; 4 and when the dish he was making went wrong in the potter’s hands he reworked it into another dish such as it suited the potter to make.
5 And Jehovah’s word came to me 6 “Cannot I do with you as this potter does, house of Israel? Here you are in my hands just like the potter’s clay: 7* now I threaten to uproot and pull down and destroy a nation and a kingdom, 8 and that nation turns back from its wickedness and I change my mind about the harm I planned to do to it, 9* and now I promise to build and plant a nation and a kingdom, 10 and it does what displeases me, not obeying me, and I change my mind about the good that I thought of doing to it.
11 “Now then, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem ‘Says Jehovah, Here I am working up a harm against you and forming a plan against you. Come back from your bad courses each of you and reform your courses and practices.’ 12 But they will say ‘Not we: we will follow our own plans and each do his willful wicked way.’
13 “So Jehovah says, Ask among the nations who has seen the like of this: maid Israel had done a very horrible thing. 14** Does one quit the Lebanon snow out of field rocks, or are cool trickling far-coming waters abandoned, 15* that my people have forgotten me, are making burnings to futilities, and stumble out of their courses, the old-time trails, to go the paths of an unmade road; 16* to make their country a desolation, a thing to whistle at forever, at which everyone who passes it will stand aghast and shake his head? 17* Like an east wind I will scatter them before an enemy; I will show them my back and not my face on their day of calamity.”
18 And they said “Come and let us lay a plan against Jeremiah, because a priest will never be without his rulings nor a wise man without his policy nor a prophet without his word. Come and let us strike him down with our tongues and not listen to all his talk.” 19 Listen to me, Jehovah, and hear the voices of my antagonists. 20 Is evil to be repaid for good, that they have dug a pitfall for my life? Remember my standing before you to speak good for them, to turn back your ire from them. 21* So give their sons to starvation and lay them low by the sword; let their women be childless and widowed and their men be killed off with pestilence and their youths struck down with the sword in battle. 22 Let a shriek be heard from their houses when raiders come upon them suddenly, because they dug a pitfall to catch me and buried traps for my feet. 23* But you, Jehovah, know their purpose against me for death; do not purge their guilt and let their sin never be wiped out from before you; let them be made to stumble before you, and deal with them at the time of your anger.