1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potters house, and there will I let thee hear my words.
3 Then went I down to the potters house, and, behold, he was doing work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he was making became spoiled as happeneth with the clay in the hand of the potter; and he made again thereof another vessel, as it seemed good in the eyes of the potter to make it.
5 Then came the word of the Lord to me, saying,
6 Shall I not be able to do unto you as this potter, O house of Israel? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potters hand, so are ye in my hand, O house of Israel.
7 At one instant I speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
8 But should that nation, against whom I have spoken, return from their wrongdoing: then will I bethink me of the evil that I had thought to do unto them.
9 And at one instant I speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
10 But should it do what is evil in my eyes, so as not to hearken to my voice: then will I bethink me of the good, wherewith I had thought to benefit the same.
11 And now do say to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, as followeth, Thus hath said the Lord, Behold, I form against you evil, and devise against you a device: do but return now every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.
12 And they said, It is useless: for after our own thoughts will we walk, and we will every one do after the stubbornness of his evil heart.
13 Therefore thus hath said the Lord, Only ask among the nations, Who hath heard the like things? a very horrible act hath the virgin of Israel committed.
14 Doth the snow of Lebanon ever quit the rock of the field? or do the farcoming, cold, flowing waters ever fail?
15 That my people have forgotten me, that they have burnt incense to false gods, and are made to stumble on their ways, the ancient beaten tracks, to walk in paths, on a road which is not leveled?
16 To make their land desolate, a perpetual derision: every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and shake his head.
17 Like an east wind will I scatter them before the enemy; with the back, and not the face, will I regard them on the day of their calamity.
18 And they said, Come, and let us contrive devices against Jeremiah; for the law will not be lost from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not listen to any of his words.
19 Listen to me, O Lord, and hearken to the voice of those that contend with me.
20 Shall evil be recompensed instead of good, that they have dug a pit for my life? Remember my standing before thee to speak good concerning them, to cause thy wrath to turn away from them.
21 Therefore give up their children to the famine, and let their life ebb out by means of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and widows; and let their men be slain by death; their young men smitten by the sword in the battle.
22 Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou bringest a troop over them suddenly; for they have dug a pit to catch me, and laid concealed snares for my feet.
23 Yet thou, Lord, knowest well all their counsel against me to procure my death: forgive not their iniquity, and let their sin not be blotted out from before thee; but let them be brought to stumbling before thee; in the time of thy anger deal thus with them.