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, 2 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. 3 You shall say, g‘Hear 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. 4 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, 5 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— 6 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. 7 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. 8 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. 9 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 Judah—ball the houses on whose croofs offerings have been offered dto all the host of heaven, and edrink offerings have been poured out to other gods—shall 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.”
Jeremiah Persecuted by Pashhur
20 Now jPashhur the priest, the son of kImmer, who was lchief officer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. 2 Then jPashhur beat Jeremiah the prophet, and put him min the stocks that were in the upper nBenjamin Gate of the house of the Lord. 3 The next day, when jPashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord does not call your name jPashhur, but Terror on Every Side. 4 For thus says the Lord: Behold, I will make you oa terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall strike them down with the sword. 5 Moreover, pI will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its qprized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them and seize them and carry them to Babylon. 6 And you, rPashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. To Babylon you shall go, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, sto whom you have prophesied falsely.”
7 O Lord, tyou have deceived me,
and I was deceived;
uyou are stronger than I,
and you have prevailed.
vI have become a laughingstock all the day;
everyone mocks me.
8 For whenever I speak, I cry out,
I shout, w“Violence and destruction!”
For xthe word of the Lord has become for me
ya reproach and yderision all day long.
9 If I say, “I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name,”
zthere is in my heart as it were a burning fire
shut up in my bones,
and aI am weary with holding it in,
and I cannot.
10 bFor I hear many whispering.
cTerror is on every side!
“Denounce him! dLet us denounce him!”
say all my eclose friends,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
then hwe can overcome him
and take our revenge on him.”
11 But ithe Lord is with me as a dread warrior;
therefore my persecutors will stumble;
ithey will not overcome me.
jThey will be greatly shamed,
for they will not succeed.
Their keternal dishonor
will never be forgotten.
12 O Lord of hosts, who tests the righteous,
lwho sees the heart and the mind,1
let me see your vengeance upon them,
for to you have I committed my cause.
13 mSing to the Lord;
praise the Lord!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
from the hand of evildoers.
14 nCursed be the day
on which I was born!
The day when my mother bore me,
let it not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father,
“A son is born to you,”
omaking him very glad.
16 Let that man be like pthe cities
that the Lord overthrew without pity;
qlet him hear a cry in the morning
and an alarm at noon,
17 rbecause he did not kill me in the womb;
so my mother would have been my grave,
and her womb forever great.
18 sWhy did I come out from the womb
tto see toil and sorrow,
and spend my days in shame?
Jerusalem Will Fall to Nebuchadnezzar
21 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Zedekiah sent to him uPashhur the son of Malchiah and vZephaniah the priest, the son of wMaaseiah, saying, 2 x“Inquire of the Lord for us, yfor Nebuchadnezzar1 king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to zall his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.”
3 Then Jeremiah said to them: “Thus you shall say to Zedekiah, 4 ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: aBehold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands and with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the walls. bAnd I will bring them together into the midst of this city. 5 I myself will fight against you cwith outstretched hand and strong arm, din anger and in fury and in great wrath. 6 And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast. They shall die of a great pestilence. 7 Afterward, declares the Lord, eI will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his servants and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their lives. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword. fHe shall not pity them or spare them or have compassion.’
8 “And to this people you shall say: g‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, hI set before you the way of life and the way of death. 9 He who stays in this city shall die iby the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out and jsurrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live kand shall have his life as a prize of war. 10 For lI have set my face against this city for harm and mnot for good, declares the Lord: nit shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.’
Message to the House of David
11 “And to the house of the king of Judah say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, 12 O house of David! Thus says the Lord:
o“‘Execute justice pin the morning,
and deliver from the hand of the oppressor
him who has been robbed,
qlest my wrath go forth like fire,
and burn with none to quench it,
because of your evil deeds.’”
13 r“Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley,
O rock of the plain,
declares the Lord;
you who say, s‘Who shall come down against us,
or who shall enter our habitations?’
14 tI will punish you according to uthe fruit of your deeds,
declares the Lord;
vI will kindle a fire in her forest,
vand it shall devour all that is around her.”
22 Thus says the Lord: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, 2 and say, w‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. 3 Thus says the Lord: xDo justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And ydo no wrong or violence zto the resident alien, xthe fatherless, and the widow, nor ashed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you will indeed obey this word, bthen there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. 5 But if you will not obey these words, I cswear by myself, declares the Lord, that dthis house shall become a desolation. 6 For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah:
“‘You are like Gilead to me,
like the summit of eLebanon,
yet surely I will make you a desert,
7 gI will prepare destroyers against you,
each with his weapons,
hand they shall cut down your choicest cedars
and cast them into the fire.
8 “‘And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, i“Why has the Lord dealt thus with this great city?” 9 jAnd they will answer, “Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and worshiped other gods and served them.”’”
10 kWeep not for him who is dead,
nor grieve for him,
lbut weep bitterly for him who goes away,
for he shall return no more
to see his native land.
Message to the Sons of Josiah
11 For thus says the Lord concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, and mwho went away from this place: “He shall return here no more, 12 but min the place where they have carried him captive, there shall he die, and he shall never see this land again.”
13 n“Woe to him who builds his house by ounrighteousness,
and his upper rooms by injustice,
pwho makes his neighbor serve him for nothing
and does not give him his wages,
14 who says, ‘I will build myself a great house
with spacious upper rooms,’
who cuts out windows for it,
paneling it with cedar
and qpainting it with vermilion.
15 Do you think you are a king
because you compete in cedar?
Did not your father eat and drink
and rdo justice and righteousness?
sThen it was well with him.
16 tHe judged the cause of the poor and needy;
sthen it was well.
Is not this uto know me?
declares the Lord.
17 But you have eyes and heart
only for your dishonest gain,
vfor shedding innocent blood,
and for practicing oppression and violence.”
18 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:
w“They shall not lament for him, saying,
x‘Ah, my brother!’ or ‘Ah, sister!’
They shall not lament for him, saying,
y‘Ah, lord!’ or ‘Ah, his majesty!’
19 With the burial of a donkey zhe shall be buried,
dragged and dumped beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”
20 “Go up to Lebanon, and cry out,
and lift up your voice in Bashan;
cry out from aAbarim,
for all byour lovers are destroyed.
21 I spoke to you in your prosperity,
but you said, ‘I will not listen.’
cThis has been your way from dyour youth,
that you have not obeyed my voice.
22 eThe wind shall shepherd all your shepherds,
and byour lovers shall go into captivity;
fthen you will be ashamed and confounded
because of all your evil.
23 O inhabitant of gLebanon,
nested among the cedars,
how you will be pitied when pangs come upon you,
hpain as of a woman in labor!”
24 i“As I live, declares the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were jthe signet ring on my right hand, yet I would tear you off 25 and kgive you linto the hand of those who seek your life, into the hand of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 mI will hurl you and nthe mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they will long to return, there they shall not return.”
28 Is this man oConiah a despised, broken pot,
a pvessel no one cares for?
Why are he and his children hurled and cast
into a qland that they do not know?
29 rO land, land, land,
hear the word of the Lord!
30 Thus says the Lord:
“Write this man down as schildless,
a man who shall not succeed in his days,
tfor none of his offspring shall succeed
tin sitting on the throne of David
and ruling again in Judah.”
The Righteous Branch
23 u“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning uthe shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. vBehold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. 3 wThen I will gather the remnant of my flock xout of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, yand they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 zI will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.
5 a“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous bBranch, and che shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and dIsrael will edwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: f‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
7 g“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 8 but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he1 had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”
9 Concerning the prophets:
hMy heart is broken within me;
iall my bones shake;
I am like a drunken man,
like a man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
and because of his holy words.
10 jFor the land is full of adulterers;
kbecause of the curse lthe land mourns,
and mthe pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
nTheir course is evil,
and their might is not right.
11 o“Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
even pin my house I have found their evil,
declares the Lord.
12 qTherefore their way shall be to them
like slippery paths rin the darkness,
into which they shall be driven and fall,
for I will bring disaster upon them
sin the year of their punishment,
declares the Lord.
13 In the prophets of tSamaria
uI saw an unsavory thing:
vthey prophesied by Baal
wand led my people Israel astray.
14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem
I have seen a horrible thing:
xthey commit adultery and walk in lies;
ythey strengthen the hands of evildoers,
so that no one turns from his evil;
zall of them have become like Sodom to me,
zand its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
a“Behold, I will feed them with bitter food
aand give them bpoisoned water to drink,
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”
16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, cfilling you with vain hopes. dThey speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, e‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who fstubbornly follows his own heart, they say, g‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”
18 For hwho among them has stood in the council of the Lord
to see and to hear his word,
or who has paid attention to his word and listened?
19 iBehold, the storm of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth,
ja whirling tempest;
it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
20 kThe anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he has executed and kaccomplished
the intents of his heart.
lIn the latter days you will understand it clearly.
21 m“I did not send the prophets,
yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
yet they prophesied.
22 nBut if they had stood in my council,
then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
oand they would have turned them from their evil way,
and pfrom the evil of their deeds.
23 q“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24 qCan a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. rDo I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said swho prophesy lies in my name, saying, t‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of uthe prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name tby their dreams that they tell one another, even as their vfathers forgot my name for Baal? 28 wLet the prophet who has a dream xtell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. yWhat has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. 29 yIs not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and zlike a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 aTherefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and blead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when cI did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.
33 d“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,2 and fI will cast you off, declares the Lord.’ 34 And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ dI will punish that man and his household. 35 Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 But ‘the burden of the Lord’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and gyou pervert the words of hthe living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 But if you say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the Lord,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’” 39 therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up3 and fcast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers. 40 iAnd I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and iperpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”