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Jeremiah Chapter 18 | Parsha:

1The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2“Go down to the house of a potter, and there I will impart My words to you.” 3So I went down to the house of a potter, and found him working at the wheel. 4And if the vessel he was making was spoiled, as happens to clay in the potter’s hands, he would make it into another vessel, such as the potter saw fit to make.

5Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6O House of Israel, can I not deal with you like this potter?—says the Lord. Just like clay in the hands of the potter, so are you in My hands, O House of Israel! 7At one moment I may decree that a nation or a kingdom shall be uprooted and pulled down and destroyed; 8but if that nation against which I made the decree turns back from its wickedness, I change My mind concerning the punishment I planned to bring on it. 9At another moment I may decree that a nation or a kingdom shall be built and planted; 10but if it does what is displeasing to Me and does not obey Me, then I change My mind concerning the good I planned to bestow upon it.

11And now, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus said the Lord: I am devising disaster for you and laying plans against you. Turn back, each of you, from your wicked ways, and mend your ways and your actions! 12But they will say, “It is no use. We will keep on following our own plans; each of us will act in the willfulness of his evil heart.”

13Assuredly, thus said the Lord:
Inquire among the nations:
Who has heard anything like this?
Maiden Israel has done
A most horrible thing.

14Does one forsake Lebanon snow
From the mountainous rocks?
Does one abandon cool water
Flowing from afar?

15Yet My people have forgotten Me:
They sacrifice to a delusion:
They are made to stumble in their ways—
The ancient paths—
And to walk instead on byways,
On a road not built up.

16So their land will become a desolation,
An object of hissing for all time.
Every passerby will be appalled
And will shake his head.

17Like the east wind, I will scatter them
Before the enemy.
I will look upon their back, not their face,
In their day of disaster.

18They said, “Come let us devise a plot against Jeremiah—for instruction shall not fail from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor oracle from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and we shall no longer have to listen to all those words of his.”

19Listen to me, O Lord—
And take note of what my enemies say!

20Should good be repaid with evil?
Yet they have dug a pit for me.
Remember how I stood before You
To plead in their behalf,
To turn Your anger away from them!

21Oh, give their children over to famine,
Mow them down by the sword.
Let their wives be bereaved
Of children and husbands,
Let their men be struck down by the plague,
And their young men be slain in battle by the sword.

22Let an outcry be heard from their houses
When You bring sudden marauders against them;
For they have dug a pit to trap me,
And laid snares for my feet.

23O Lord, You know
All their plots to kill me.
Do not pardon their iniquity,
Do not blot out their guilt from Your presence.
Let them be made to stumble before You—
Act against them in Your hour of wrath!

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