Jeremiah 18
Contemporary English Version

Jeremiah Goes to the Pottery Shop

1The Lord told me, 2“Jeremiah, go to the pottery shop, and when you get there, I will tell you what to say to the people.”

3I went there and saw the potter making clay pots on his pottery wheel. 4And whenever the clay would not take the shape he wanted, he would change his mind and form it into some other shape.

5Then the Lord told me to say:

6People of Israel, I, the Lord, have power over you, just as a potter has power over clay. 7If I threaten to uproot and shatter an evil nation, 8and that nation turns from its evil, I will change my mind.

9If I promise to make a nation strong, 10but its people start disobeying me and doing evil, then I will change my mind and not help them at all.

11So listen to me, people of Judah and Jerusalem! I have decided to strike you with disaster, and I won't change my mind unless you stop sinning and start living right.

12But I know you won't listen. You might as well answer, “We don't care what you say. We have made plans to sin, and we are going to be stubborn and do as we please!”

13So I, the Lord, command you to ask the nations, and find out if they have ever heard of such a horrible sin as what you have done.

14The snow

on Lebanon's mountains

never melts away,

and the streams there

never run dry.+

15But you, my people,

have turned from me

to burn incense

to worthless idols.

You have left the ancient road

to follow an unknown path

where you stumble over idols.

16Your land will be ruined,

and every passerby

will look at it with horror

and make insulting remarks.

17When your enemies attack,

I will scatter you like dust

blown by an eastern wind.

Then, on that day of disaster,

I will turn my back on you.

The Plot against Jeremiah

18Some of the people said, “Let's get rid of Jeremiah! We will always have priests to teach us God's laws, as well as wise people to give us advice, and prophets to speak the Lord's messages. So, instead of listening to Jeremiah any longer, let's accuse him of a crime.”

Jeremiah Prays about His Enemies

19Please, Lord, answer my prayer.

Make my enemies stop

accusing me of evil.

20I tried to help them,

but they are paying me back

by digging a pit to trap me.

I even begged you

not to punish them.

21But now I am asking you

to let their children starve

or be killed in war.

Let women lose

their husbands and sons

to disease and violence.

22These people have dug pits

and set traps for me, Lord.

Make them scream in fear

when you send enemy troops

to attack their homes.

23You know they plan to kill me.

So get angry and punish them!

Don't ever forgive

their terrible crimes.


18.14 dry: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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