1. This is the word of Yahweh that came to Jeremiah:
2. "Go down to the potter's house and there you will hear what I have to say."
3. So I went to the potter's house and found him working at the wheel.
4. But the pot he was working on was spoiled in his hands, so he reworked it all over again into another pot that suits his desire.
5. Meanwhile Yahweh sent me his word,
6. "People of Israel, can I not do with you what this potter does? As clay in the potter's hand so are you in my hands.
7. At times I warn a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot or destroy it.
8. But if they change their ways, I then relent and refrain from doing the harm I had intended to do.
9. At other times I declare that a nation or kingdom will be built up and planted
10. but then they do what displeases me and do not listen to me, so I decide to reverse the good deeds that I intend to do."
11. And Yahweh added, "Now tell the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem: Yahweh says to you, 'Listen, I am planning to destroy you; I am hatching a devastating plot against you! Turn from your evil ways; rectify your conduct and your deeds.'
12. But you reply: 'It's no use! We shall follow our own plans'; and each one goes on obeying his stubborn heart."
13. Because of this Yahweh has to say: Ask among the nations, 'Has anyone heard the like of this? The Virgin Israel has done a most abominable thing.
14. Does the snow of Lebanon ever leave the rocky heights of the field? Do the fresh waters of great rivers ever dry up?
15. Yet my people have forgotten me, offering incense to empty idols that made them stumble on their way as they left the ancient paths. Now they have taken the wrong way, the crooked way that leads nowhere.
16. Their land will be left desolate, and an object of lasting derision. All who pass by will be astonished and shake their heads.
17. Like the wind that blows from the east I will scatter them before their enemies; I will turn my back to them, not my face, in the day of their disaster!
18. Then, they said, "Come, let us plot against Jeremiah, for even without him, there will be priests to interpret the Teachings of the Law; there will always be wisemen to impart counsel and prophets to proclaim the word. Come, let us accuse him and strike him down instead of listening to what he says."
19. Hear me, O Yahweh! Listen to what my accusers say.
20. Is evil the reward for good? Why do they dig a grave for me? Remember how I stood before you to speak well on their behalf so that your anger might subside.
21. Now let their children starve; hand them over to the sword! Let their wives become childless and widows! Let their men be victims of plague and their young men be slain in battle!
22. Let cries be heard in their houses when you suddenly bring bandits against them, for they have dug a pit to trap me and hidden snares to catch my feet.
23. O Yahweh, you know all of their plots to take my life! Forgive not their crime; forget not their sin; crush them on the day of your anger.