1. The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as follows,
2. 'Get up and make your way down to the potter's house, and there I shall tell you what I have to say.'
3. So I went down to the potter's house; and there he was, working at the wheel.
4. But the vessel he was making came out wrong, as may happen with clay when a potter is at work. So he began again and shaped it into another vessel, as he thought fit.
5. Then the word of Yahweh came to me as follows,
6. 'House of Israel, can I not do to you what this potter does? Yahweh demands. Yes, like clay in the potter's hand, so you are in mine, House of Israel.
7. Sometimes I announce that I shall uproot, break down and destroy a certain nation or kingdom,
8. but should the nation I have threatened abandon its wickedness, I then change my mind about the disaster which I had intended to inflict on it.
9. Sometimes I announce that I shall build up and plant a certain nation or kingdom,
10. but should that nation do what displeases me and refuse to listen to my voice, I then change my mind about the good which I was intending to confer on it.
11. So now, say this to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, "Yahweh says this: Listen, I am preparing a disaster for you, I am working out a plan against you. So now, each one of you, turn back from your evil ways, amend your conduct and actions."
12. They, however, will say, "It is no use! We shall follow our own plans; each of us will act on his own wicked inclinations." '
13. Therefore, Yahweh says this, 'Ask, please, among the nations if anyone has heard anything like this. The Virgin of Israel has done a very horrible thing.
14. Does the snow of Lebanon ever leave the rocks of its slopes? Do the rivers of foreign lands, their cold flowing waters, ever run dry?
15. And yet my people have forgotten me! They burn incense to a Nothing! They have been made to stumble in their ways, the ancient paths, to walk in paths, on an unmade road,
16. to make their country an object of horror, everlastingly derided: every passer-by will be appalled at it and shake his head.
17. Like the east wind, I shall scatter them before the enemy. I shall show them my back, not my face, the day they are ruined.'
18. 'Come on,' they said, 'let us concoct a plot against Jeremiah, for the Law will not perish for lack of priests, nor advice for lack of wise men, nor the word for lack of prophets. Come on, let us slander him and pay no attention to anything he says.'
19. Pay attention to me, Yahweh, hear what my adversaries are saying.
20. Should evil be returned for good? Now they are digging a pit for me. Remember how I pleaded before you and spoke good of them, to turn your retribution away from them.
21. So, hand their sons over to famine, abandon them to the edge of the sword. Let their wives become childless and widowed. Let their husbands die of plague, their young men be cut down by the sword in battle.
22. Let cries re-echo from their houses as you bring raiders suddenly on them. For they have dug a pit to catch me, they have laid snares to trap my feet.
23. But you, Yahweh, know all about their murderous plot against me. Do not forgive their guilt, do not efface their sin from your sight. Let them be hurled down before you, deal with them while you are angry!