The Bible in Its Traditions

Jeremiah 18:1–23

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The word which came to Jeremiah from YHWH, saying

The word that came from the Lord to

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'Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear My words.'

Jeremias, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there thou shalt hear my words.

“Rise up and descend into the house of the potter, and there you will hear my words.”

Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he was at his work on the wheels.

So I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he was making a vessel on the stones.

And I descended into the house of the potter, and behold, he was making a work on the wheel.

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And whensoever the vessel that he made of the clay was marred in the hand of the potter, he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

And the vessel which he was making with his hands fell: so he made it again another vessel, as it seemed good to him to make it.

And the vessel, which he was making with his hands out of clay, broke. And turning away, he made another vessel, for it had been pleasing in his eyes to make it.

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Then the word of YHWH came to me, saying

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

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'O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith YHWH. Behold, as the clay in the potter's hand, so are ye in My hand, O house of Israel.

Shall I not be able, O house of Israel, to do to you as this potter? behold, as the clay of the potter are ye in my hands.

“Am I not able to do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done, says the Lord? Behold, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

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At one instant I may speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy it;

Suddenly, I will speak against a nation and against a kingdom, so that I may uproot, and destroy, and scatter it.

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but if that nation turn from their evil, because of which I have spoken against it, I repent of the evil that I thought to do unto it.

and that nation turn from all their sins, then will I repent of the evils which I purposed to do to them.

If that nation, against which I have spoken, will repent from their evil, I too will repent from the evil that I have decided I would do to them.

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And at one instant I may speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;

And if I shall pronounce a decree upon a nation and kingdom, to rebuild and to plant it;

And soon, I will speak about a nation and about a kingdom, so that I may build and plant it.

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10  but if it do evil in My sight, that it hearken not to My voice, then I repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit it.

10  and they do evil before me, so as not to hearken to my voice, then will I repent of the good which I spoke of, to do it to them.

10  If it does evil in my sight, so as not to listen to my voice, I will repent of the good that I have said I would do to it.

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11  Now therefore do thou speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying: Thus saith YHWH: Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you; return ye now every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.

11  And now say to the men of Juda, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Behold, I prepare evils against you, and devise a device against you: let every one turn now from his evil way, and amend your practices.

11  Now, therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying: Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am forming an evil against you, and I am considering a plan against you. Let each one of you return from his evil way, and direct your ways and your intentions well.”

12  But they say: There is no hope; but we will walk after our own devices, and we will do every one after the stubbornness of his evil heart.'

12  And they said, We will quit ourselves like men, for we will pursue our perverse ways, and we will perform each the lusts of his evil heart.

12  And they said: “We have lost hope. And so we will follow our own thoughts, and each of us will act according to the depravity of his own evil heart.”

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13  Therefore thus saith YHWH: Ask ye now among the nations, who hath heard such things; the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.

13  For this reason, thus says the Lord: “Inquire among the Gentiles. Who has heard of such horrible things as the virgin of Israel has done to excess?

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14  Doth the snow of Lebanon fail from the rock of the field? or are the strange cold flowing waters plucked up?

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15  For My people hath forgotten Me, they offer unto vanity; and they have been made to stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths, in a way not cast up;

15  Yet my people have forgotten me, offering useless libations, and stumbling in their ways, in the paths of the world, so that they walk by these on an unmarked route.

15  Yet my people have forsaken me and have burned incense to vanity and have stumbled in their ways, and have departed from the ancient paths to walk in a way which was not trodden.

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16  To make their land an astonishment, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and shake his head.

16  And so their land has been given over to desolation and to perpetual hissing. Each one who passes by will be astonished and will shake his head.

17  I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will look upon their back, and not their face, in the day of their calamity.

17  Like a burning wind, I will disperse them in the sight the enemy. I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their perdition.”

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18  Then said they: 'Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for instruction shall not perish 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 give heed to any of his words.'

18  Then they said, Come, and let us devise a device against Jeremias; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and we will hear all his words.

18  And they said: “Come, and let us devise a plan against Jeremiah. For the law will not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor a sermon from the prophet. Come, and let us strike him with the tongue, and let us pay no attention to any of his words.”

19  Give heed to me, O YHWH, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.

19  Hear me, O Lord, and hear the voice of my pleading.

19  Attend to me, O Lord, and hear the voice of my adversaries.

20  Shall evil be recompensed for good? For they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember how I stood before Thee to speak good for them, to turn away Thy wrath from them.

20  Forasmuch as evil is rewarded for good; for they have spoken words against my soul, and they have hidden the punishment they meant for me; remember that I stood before thy face, to speak good for them, to turn away thy wrath from them.

20  Should evil be rendered for good? For they have dug a pit for my soul! Remember that I have stood in your sight, so as to speak on their behalf for good, and to avert your indignation from them.

21  Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and hurl them to the power of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and widows; and let their men be slain of death, and their young men smitten of the sword in battle.

21  Therefore do thou deliver their sons to famine, and gather them to the power of the sword: let their women be childless and widows; and let their men be cut off by death, and their young men fall by the sword in war.

21  Because of this, give their sons over to famine, and bring them to the hand of the sword. Let their wives be widows without children. And let their husbands be slain by death. Let their youths be stabbed with the sword in battle.

22  Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them; for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.

22  Let there be a cry in their houses: thou shalt bring upon them robbers suddenly: for they have formed a plan to take me, and have hidden snares for me.

22  Let an outcry be heard from their houses. For you will lead the robber upon them suddenly. For they have dug a pit, so that they may seize me, and they have hidden snares for my feet.

23  Yet, YHWH, Thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me; forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from Thy sight; but let them be made to stumble before Thee; Deal Thou with them in the time of Thine anger.

23  And thou, Lord, knowest all their deadly counsel against me: account not their iniquities guiltless, and blot not out their sins from before thee: let their weakness come before thee; deal with them in the time of thy wrath.

23  But you, O Lord, know all their plans against me unto death. May you not forgive their iniquity, and do not allow their sin be taken away from your face. Let them be thrown down in your sight, in the time of your fury, so that you may destroy them.