1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah:
2 “Rise up and go down to the house of the potter, and there I will cause you to hear my words.”
3 So I went down to the house of the potter, and he was working on the potter’s wheels.
4 But the vessel that the potter was making with the clay was spoiled in his hand. So the potter reworked it into another vessel, just as he saw fit.
5 Then the word of Jehovah came to me, saying:
6 “‘Can I not do to you just as this potter did, O house of Israel?’ declares Jehovah. ‘Look! As the clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
7 Whenever I may speak about uprooting and pulling down and destroying a nation or a kingdom,
8 and that nation abandons its wickedness that I spoke against, I will also change my mind concerning the calamity that I intended to bring against it.
9 But whenever I speak about building up and planting a nation or a kingdom,
10 and it does what is bad in my eyes and does not obey my voice, I will change my mind concerning the good that I intended to do for it.’
11 “Now say, please, to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, ‘This is what Jehovah says: “Here I am preparing a calamity and devising a scheme against you. Turn back, please, from your bad ways, and reform your ways and your practices.”’”
12 But they said: “It is hopeless! For we will walk after our own thoughts, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his wicked heart.”
13 Therefore this is what Jehovah says: “Ask for yourselves, please, among the nations. Who has heard anything like this? The virgin of Israel has done a most horrible thing.
14 Does the snow of Lebʹanon disappear from the rocks on its slopes? Or will cool waters flowing from afar dry up?
15 But my people have forgotten me. For they make sacrifices to something worthless, And they make men stumble in their ways, the ancient paths, To walk on back roads that are not smooth and level,
16 In order to make their land an object of horror And something to whistle at forever. Every last one passing by it will stare in horror and shake his head.
17 Like the east wind, I will scatter them before the enemy. I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their disaster.”
18 And they said: “Come, let us devise a plot against Jeremiah, for the law will not perish from our priests or counsel from the wise men or the word from the prophets. Come and let us speak against him and pay no attention to what he says.”
19 Do pay attention to me, O Jehovah, And listen to what my opponents are saying.
20 Should good be repaid with bad? For they have dug a pit for my life. Remember how I stood before you to speak good about them, To turn your wrath away from them.
21 So give their sons over to the famine, And hand them over to the power of the sword. May their wives become bereaved of children and widowed. May their men be killed with deadly plague, Their young men struck down with the sword in battle.
22 Let a cry be heard from their houses When you bring marauders on them suddenly. For they have dug a pit to capture me And have laid traps for my feet.
23 But you, O Jehovah, Well know all their schemes against me to kill me. Do not cover their error, And do not wipe out their sin from before you. Let them stumble before you When you take action against them in your anger.