August 22

Jeremiah 18:1 — 21:14

18 The word that occurred to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying: 2 “Rise up, and you must go down to the house of the potter, and there I shall cause you to hear my words.”

3 And I proceeded to go down to the house of the potter, and there he was doing work upon the potter’s wheels. 4 And the vessel that he was making with the clay was spoiled by the potter’s hand, and he turned back and went making it into another vessel, just as it looked right in the eyes of the potter to make.

5 And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: 6 “‘Am I not able to do just like this potter to YOU people, O house of Israel?’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘Look! As the clay in the hand of the potter, so YOU are in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 At any moment that I may speak against a nation and against a kingdom to uproot [it] and to pull [it] down and to destroy [it], 8 and that nation actually turns back from its badness against which I spoke, I will also feel regret over the calamity that I had thought to execute upon it. 9 But at any moment that I may speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom to build [it] up and to plant [it], 10 and it actually does what is bad in my eyes by not obeying my voice, I will also feel regret over the good that I said [to myself] to do for its good.’

11 “And now say, please, to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Here I am forming against YOU a calamity and thinking against YOU a thought. Turn back, please, each one from his bad way, and make YOUR ways and YOUR dealings good.”’”

12 And they said: “It is hopeless! For after our own thoughts we shall walk, and we are going to carry out each one the stubbornness of his bad heart.”

13 Therefore this is what Jehovah has said: “Ask for yourselves, please, among the nations. Who has heard things like these? There is a horrible thing that the virgin of Israel has done to an excess. 14 Will the snow of Lebanon go away from the rock of the open field? Or will strange waters, cool, trickling, be dried up? 15 For my people have forgotten me in that they make sacrificial smoke to something worthless, and in that they make men stumble in their ways, the paths of long ago, to walk in roadways, a way not banked up, 16 in order to make their land an object of astonishment, for whistling at to time indefinite. Every last one passing along by it will stare in astonishment and shake his head. 17 As with an east wind I shall scatter them before the enemy. The back, and not the face, I shall show them in the day of their disaster.”

18 And they proceeded to say: “Come, men, and let us think out against Jeremiah some thoughts, for the law will not perish from the priest or counsel from the wise one or the word from the prophet. Come and let us strike him with the tongue, and let us pay no attention to any of his words.”

19 Do pay attention to me, O Jehovah, and listen to the voice of my opponents. 20 Should bad be repaid for good? For they have excavated a pit for my soul. Remember my standing before you to speak good even concerning them, to turn back your rage from them. 21 Therefore give their sons over to the famine, and deliver them over to the power of the sword; and may their wives become women bereaved of children, and widows. And may their own men become those killed with deadly plague, their young men those struck down with the sword in the battle. 22 Let a cry be heard out of their houses, when you bring upon them suddenly a marauder band. For they have excavated a pit to capture me, and traps they have hid for my feet.

23 But you yourself, O Jehovah, well know all their counsel against me for [my] death. Do not cover over their error, and do not wipe out that sin of theirs from before you; but let them become those who are made to stumble before you. In the time of your anger take action against them.

19 This is what Jehovah said: “Go, and you must get an earthenware flask of a potter and some of the older men of the people and some of the older men of the priests. 2 And you must go out to the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is at the entrance of the Gate of the Potsherds. And there you must proclaim the words that I shall speak to you. 3 And you must say, ‘Hear the word of Jehovah, O YOU kings of Judah and YOU inhabitants of Jerusalem. This is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said:

“‘“Here I am bringing a calamity upon this place, of which when anyone hears, his ears will tingle; 4 for the reason that they have left me and have proceeded to make this place unrecognizable and to make sacrificial smoke in it to other gods whom they had not known, they and their forefathers and the kings of Judah; and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent ones. 5 And they built the high places of the Baal in order to burn their sons in the fire as whole burnt offerings to the Baal, something that I had not commanded or spoken of, and that had not come up into my heart.”’

6 “‘“Therefore, look! there are days coming,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “when this place will be called no more Topheth and the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the killing. 7 And I will make void the counsel of Judah and of Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those seeking for their soul. And I will give their dead bodies as food to the flying creatures of the heavens and to the beasts of the earth. 8 And I will make this city an object of astonishment and something to be whistled at. Every last one passing along by it will stare in astonishment and whistle over all its plagues. 9 And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters; and they will eat each one the flesh of his fellowman, because of the tightness and because of the stress with which their enemies and those seeking for their soul will hem them in.”’

10 “And you must break the flask before the eyes of the men who are going with you. 11 And you must say to them, ‘This is what Jehovah of armies has said: “In the same way I shall break this people and this city as someone breaks the vessel of the potter so that it is no more able to be repaired; and in Topheth they will bury until there is no more place to bury.”’

12 “‘That is how I shall do to this place,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and to the inhabitants of it, even to make this city like Topheth. 13 And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah must become like the place of Topheth, unclean ones, that is, all the houses upon the roofs of which they made sacrificial smoke to all the army of the heavens and there was a pouring out of drink offerings to other gods.’”

14 And Jeremiah proceeded to come from Topheth, to which Jehovah had sent him to prophesy, and to stand in the courtyard of the house of Jehovah and say to all the people: 15 “This is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said, ‘Here I am bringing upon this city and upon all its cities all the calamity that I have spoken against it, because they have hardened their neck in order not to obey my words.’”

20 Now Pashhur the son of Immer, the priest, who was also the leading commissioner in the house of Jehovah, kept listening to Jeremiah while prophesying these words. 2 Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet and put him into the stocks that were in the Upper Gate of Benjamin, which was in the house of Jehovah. 3 But it came about on the following day that Pashhur proceeded to let Jeremiah out from the stocks, and Jeremiah now said to him:

“Jehovah has called your name, not Pashhur, but Fright all around. 4 For this is what Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am making you a fright to yourself and to all your lovers, and they will certainly fall by the sword of their enemies while your eyes will be looking on; and all Judah I shall give into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will actually take them into exile in Babylon and strike them down with the sword. 5 And I will give all the stored-up things of this city and all its product and all its precious things; and all the treasures of the kings of Judah I am going to give into the hand of their enemies. And they will certainly plunder them and take them and bring them to Babylon. 6 And as for you, O Pashhur, and all the inhabitants of your house, YOU will go into captivity; and to Babylon you will come and there you will die and there you yourself will be buried with all your lovers, because you have prophesied to them in falsehood.’”

7 You have fooled me, O Jehovah, so that I was fooled. You used your strength against me, so that you prevailed. I became an object of laughter all day long; everyone is holding me in derision. 8 For as often as I speak, I cry out. Violence and despoiling are what I call out. For the word of Jehovah became for me a cause for reproach and for jeering all day long. 9 And I said: “I am not going to make mention of him, and I shall speak no more in his name.” And in my heart it proved to be like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I got tired of holding in, and I was unable [to endure it]. 10 For I heard the bad report of many. There was fright all around. “TELL out, that we may tell out about him.” Every mortal man bidding me “Peace!”—they are watching for my limping: “Perhaps he will be fooled, so that we may prevail against him and take our revenge upon him.” 11 But Jehovah was with me like a terrible mighty one. That is why the very ones persecuting me will stumble and not prevail. They will certainly be put to much shame, because they will not have prospered. [Their] indefinitely lasting humiliation will be one that will not be forgotten.

12 But you, O Jehovah of armies, are examining the righteous one; you are seeing the kidneys and the heart. May I see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have revealed my case at law.

13 Sing to Jehovah, YOU people! Praise Jehovah! For he has delivered the soul of the poor one out of the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the day on which I was born! May the day that my mother gave me birth not become blessed! 15 Cursed be the man that brought good news to my father, saying: “There has been born to you a son, a male!” He positively made him rejoice. 16 And that very man must become like cities that Jehovah has overthrown while He has felt no regret. And he must hear an outcry in the morning and an alarm signal at the time of midday.

17 Why did he not definitely put me to death from the womb, that my mother should become to me my burial place and her womb be pregnant to time indefinite? 18 Why is it that I have come forth from the very womb in order to see hard work and grief and that my days should come to their end in mere shame?

21 The word that occurred to Jeremiah from Jehovah, when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchiah and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, saying: 2 “Please inquire in our behalf of Jehovah, because Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps Jehovah will do with us according to all his wonderful works, so that he will withdraw from us.”

3 And Jeremiah proceeded to say to them: “This is what YOU will say to Zedekiah, 4 ‘This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said: “Here I am turning in reverse the weapons of war that are in the hand of YOU people, with which YOU are fighting the king of Babylon, and the Chaldeans who are laying siege against YOU outside the wall, and I will gather them into the middle of this city. 5 And I myself will fight against YOU with a stretched-out hand and with a strong arm and with anger and with rage and with great indignation. 6 And I will strike the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. With a great pestilence they will die.”’

7 “‘“And after that,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “I shall give Zedekiah the king of Judah and his servants and the people and those who are remaining over in this city from the pestilence, from the sword and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, even into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who are seeking for their soul, and he will certainly strike them with the edge of the sword. He will not feel sorry for them, nor will he show compassion or have any mercy.”’

8 “And to this people you will say, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Here I am putting before YOU people the way of life and the way of death. 9 The one sitting still in this city will die by the sword and by the famine and by the pestilence; but the one who is going out and who actually falls away to the Chaldeans who are laying siege against YOU will keep living, and his soul will certainly come to be his as a spoil.”’

10 “‘“For I have set my face against this city for calamity and not for good,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “Into the hand of the king of Babylon it will be given, and he will certainly burn it with fire.”

11 “‘And as regards the household of the king of Judah, hear, O men, the word of Jehovah. 12 O house of David, this is what Jehovah has said: “Every morning render sentence in justice, and deliver the one being robbed out of the hand of the defrauder, that my rage may not go forth just like a fire and actually burn and there be no one to extinguish it because of the badness of YOUR dealings.”’

13 “‘Here I am against you, O inhabitress of the low plain, O rock of the level land,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘As for YOU who are saying: “Who will descend against us? And who will come into our dwellings?” 14 I will also hold an accounting against YOU according to the fruitage of YOUR dealings,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘And I will set a fire ablaze in her forest, and it will certainly devour all the things round about her.’”