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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

CHAPTER 18

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, --

2 Rise and go down to the potter's house, and I will cause thee to hear my words.

3 And I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he was making a work on the stone:

4 And the vessel was marred, which he made of the clay in the hand of the potter; and he again made another vessel, as it seemed good in the eyes of the potter to make.

5 And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, --

6 Cannot I as this potter do to you, O house of Israel? saith Jehovah. Behold, as the clay is in the hand of the potter, So are ye in my hand, O house of Israel.

7 Suddenly will I speak of a nation and a kingdom, To pull down and to eradicate and to destroy:

8 If that nation turn from its evil, For which I spoke against it; Then will I repent of the evil Which I had thought of doing to it.

9 Suddenly also will I speak of a nation and a kingdom, To build up and to plant:

10 But if it do evil before mine eyes, So as not to hearken to my voice; Then will I repent of the good Which I had said that I would do to it. (2:398)

11 And now, I pray, say to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, -- Thus saith Jehovah, -- Behold, I frame for you an evil, And I think for you a thought; Return ye then, every one from his evil way, And make right your ways and your doings.

12 And they said, -- It is all over; For after our own thoughts will we walk, And we will do, every one, The wickedness of his own evil heart.

13 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, -- Ask, I pray, among the heathens, Who hath heard such a thing? A monstrous thing hath the virgin of Israel done.

14 Will any one leave the snow of Libanus from the rock of the field? Will waters brought from another place, And cold streams, be relinquished? (2:408)

15 For forgotten me have my people; In vain do they offer incense, Since they have made them to stumble In their ways -- the paths of ages, That they might walk in paths, In a way not trodden;

16 To make their land a desolation, A perpetual hissing: Whosoever shall pass through it Shall be astonished and shake his head.

17 By the east wind will I scatter them Before the face of the enemy; The back and not the face will I shew them In the day of their calamity.

18 And they said, -- Come, and let us think thoughts against Jeremiah; For perish shall not the law from the priest, Nor counsel from the wise, Nor the word from the prophet: And let us smite him with the tongue, And not attend to any of his words.

19 Hearken, O Jehovah, to me, And hear the voice of those who contend with me.

20 Shall evil be rendered for good? For they have digged a pit for my soul: Remember that I stood before thee To speak good for them -- To turn away from them thy wrath.

21 Therefore give their children up to famine, And deliver them into the hands of the sword, And let their wives be bereaved and be widows, And their men be smitten to death, And their youths be smitten with the sword in battle:

22 Let a cry be heard from their houses, When thou bringest on them an army suddenly; For they have dug a pit to take me, And snares have they hid for my feet.

23 And thou, Jehovah, who knowest their counsels To be against me for death, Be not propitious to their iniquity, And their sin from thy sight blot not out, But let them stumble before thee; In the time of thy wrath deal thus with them.

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