Jeremiah 18–19; Matthew 23:23–39

The Potter and the Clay

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Arise, and go down to qthe potter's house, and there I will let you hear1 my words. So I went down to rthe potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was sspoiled in the potter's hand, and the reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: O house of Israel, ucan I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. vBehold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will wpluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, xturns from its evil, yI will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will wbuild and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. zReturn, every one from his evil way, and aamend your ways and your deeds.

12 But they say, bThat is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to cthe stubbornness of his evil heart.

13  Therefore thus says the Lord:

dAsk among the nations,

Who has heard the like of this?

The virgin Israel

has done ea very horrible thing.

14  Does the snow of Lebanon leave

the crags of Sirion?2

Do the mountain waters run dry,3

the cold flowing streams?

15  fBut my people have forgotten me;

they make offerings to gfalse gods;

they made them stumble in their ways,

hin the ancient roads,

and to walk into side roads,

inot the highway,

16  making their land ja horror,

a thing jto be hissed at forever.

kEveryone who passes by it is horrified

land shakes his head.

17  mLike the east wind nI will scatter them

before the enemy.

oI will show them my back, not my face,

in the day of their calamity.

18 Then they said, pCome, let us make plots against Jeremiah, qfor the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. rCome, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words.

19  Hear me, O Lord,

and slisten to the voice of my adversaries.

20  tShould good be repaid with evil?

Yet uthey have dug a pit for my life.

vRemember how I stood before you

to speak good for them,

to turn away your wrath from them.

21  Therefore wdeliver up their children to famine;

give them over to the power of the sword;

let their wives become childless xand widowed.

May their men meet death by pestilence,

their youths be struck down by the sword in battle.

22  yMay a cry be heard from their houses,

when you bring the plunderer suddenly upon them!

For uthey have dug a pit to take me

zand laid snares for my feet.

23  Yet ayou, O Lord, know

all their plotting to kill me.

bForgive not their iniquity,

nor blot out their sin from your sight.

Let them be overthrown before you;

deal with them in the time of your anger.

The Broken Flask

19 Thus says the Lord, Go, buy ca potter's earthenware dflask, and take some of ethe elders of the people and some of ethe elders of the priests, and go out fto the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. You shall say, gHear the word of the Lord, hO kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that ithe ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. jBecause the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; kand because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, land have built the high places of Baal lto burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, mwhich I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind therefore, nbehold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or othe Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And in this place pI will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, qand will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. rI will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city sa horror, sa thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds. tAnd I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor uin the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.

10 Then vyou shall break wthe flask in the sight of the men who go with you, 11 and shall say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, xas one breaks a potter's vessel, yso that it can never be mended. zMen shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury. 12 Thus will I do to this place, declares the Lord, and to its inhabitants, making this city alike Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judahball the houses on whose croofs offerings have been offered dto all the host of heaven, and edrink offerings have been poured out to other godsshall be defiled alike the place of Topheth.

14 Then Jeremiah came from fTopheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, gand he stood in the court of the Lord's house and said to all the people: 15 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, behold, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, hbecause they have stiffened their neck, irefusing to hear my words.


23 dWoe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For eyou tithe mint and dill and fcumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: gjustice and mercy and faithfulness. hThese you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing ia camel!

25 jWoe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For kyou clean the outside of lthe cup and the plate, but inside they are full of mgreed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of lthe cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27 nWoe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like owhitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and pall uncleanness. 28 So you also qoutwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of rhypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 sWoe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets. 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are tsons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 uFill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, vyou brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to whell? 34 xTherefore yI send you zprophets and wise men and ascribes, bsome of whom you will kill and crucify, and bsome you will cflog in your synagogues and dpersecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all ethe righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous fAbel to the blood of gZechariah the son of Barachiah,1 whom you murdered between hthe sanctuary and ithe altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, jall these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem

37 kO Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that lkills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have mgathered nyour children together oas a hen gathers her brood punder her wings, and qyou were not willing! 38 See, ryour house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, sBlessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.