Jeremiah 18
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1  The word which came to Yirmiyahu from Hashem:

א  הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר הָיָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ מֵאֵת יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר׃

2  “Go down to the house of a potter, and there I will impart My words to you.”

ב  קוּם וְיָרַדְתָּ בֵּית הַיּוֹצֵר וְשָׁמָּה אַשְׁמִיעֲךָ אֶת־דְּבָרָי׃

3  So I went down to the house of a potter, and found him working at the wheel.

ג  וָאֵרֵד בֵּית הַיּוֹצֵר והנהו [וְהִנֵּה־] [הוּא] עֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה עַל־הָאָבְנָיִם׃

4  And 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.

ד  וְנִשְׁחַת הַכְּלִי אֲשֶׁר הוּא עֹשֶׂה בַּחֹמֶר בְּיַד הַיּוֹצֵר וְשָׁב וַיַּעֲשֵׂהוּ כְּלִי אַחֵר כַּאֲשֶׁר יָשַׁר בְּעֵינֵי הַיּוֹצֵר לַעֲשׂוֹת׃

5  Then the word of Hashem came to me:

ה  וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמוֹר׃

6  O House of Yisrael, can I not deal with you like this potter?—says Hashem. Just like clay in the hands of the potter, so are you in My hands, O House of Yisrael!

ו  הֲכַיּוֹצֵר הַזֶּה לֹא־אוּכַל לַעֲשׂוֹת לָכֶם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה הִנֵּה כַחֹמֶר בְּיַד הַיּוֹצֵר כֵּן־אַתֶּם בְּיָדִי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

7  At one moment I may decree that a nation or a kingdom shall be uprooted and pulled down and destroyed;

ז  רֶגַע אֲדַבֵּר עַל־גּוֹי וְעַל־מַמְלָכָה לִנְתוֹשׁ וְלִנְתוֹץ וּלְהַאֲבִיד׃

8  but 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.

ח  וְשָׁב הַגּוֹי הַהוּא מֵרָעָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתִּי עָלָיו וְנִחַמְתִּי עַל־הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר חָשַׁבְתִּי לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ׃

9  At another moment I may decree that a nation or a kingdom shall be built and planted;

ט  וְרֶגַע אֲדַבֵּר עַל־גּוֹי וְעַל־מַמְלָכָה לִבְנֹת וְלִנְטֹעַ׃

10  but 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.

י  וְעָשָׂה הרעה [הָרַע] בְּעֵינַי לְבִלְתִּי שְׁמֹעַ בְּקוֹלִי וְנִחַמְתִּי עַל־הַטּוֹבָה אֲשֶׁר אָמַרְתִּי לְהֵיטִיב אוֹתוֹ׃

11  And now, say to the men of Yehuda and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim: Thus said Hashem: 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!

יא  וְעַתָּה אֱמָר־נָא אֶל־אִישׁ־יְהוּדָה וְעַל־יוֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי יוֹצֵר עֲלֵיכֶם רָעָה וְחֹשֵׁב עֲלֵיכֶם מַחֲשָׁבָה שׁוּבוּ נָא אִישׁ מִדַּרְכּוֹ הָרָעָה וְהֵיטִיבוּ דַרְכֵיכֶם וּמַעַלְלֵיכֶם׃

12  But 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.”

יב  וְאָמְרוּ נוֹאָשׁ כִּי־אַחֲרֵי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵינוּ נֵלֵךְ וְאִישׁ שְׁרִרוּת לִבּוֹ־הָרָע נַעֲשֶׂה׃

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

יג  לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה שַׁאֲלוּ־נָא בַּגּוֹיִם מִי שָׁמַע כָּאֵלֶּה שַׁעֲרֻרִת עָשְׂתָה מְאֹד בְּתוּלַת יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

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

ha-ya-a-ZOV mi-TZUR sha-DAI SHE-leg l’-va-NON im yi-na-t’-SHU MA-yim za-REEM ka-REEM no-z’-LEEM

יד  הֲיַעֲזֹב מִצּוּר שָׂדַי שֶׁלֶג לְבָנוֹן אִם־יִנָּתְשׁוּ מַיִם זָרִים קָרִים נוֹזְלִים׃

 19:2   Go out to the Valley of Ben-hinnom

The prophet contrasts the steadfastness of nature with the inconsistency of the Israelites, who change their ways and stumble from one failure to another, astonishing everyone who sees them. This is unlike the snows in Lebanon to Israel’s north. There, the summits consistently remain white. Indeed, the snow would disappear if found anywhere else. So too, the natural place of the Jewish people is with Hashem in the Land of Israel, but they refuse to remain with Him, and will therefore be scattered.2 comments

15  Yet 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.

טו  כִּי־שְׁכֵחֻנִי עַמִּי לַשָּׁוְא יְקַטֵּרוּ וַיַּכְשִׁלוּם בְּדַרְכֵיהֶם שְׁבִילֵי עוֹלָם לָלֶכֶת נְתִיבוֹת דֶּרֶךְ לֹא סְלוּלָה׃

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

טז  לָשׂוּם אַרְצָם לְשַׁמָּה שרוקת [שְׁרִיקוֹת] עוֹלָם כֹּל עוֹבֵר עָלֶיהָ יִשֹּׁם וְיָנִיד בְּרֹאשׁוֹ׃

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

יז  כְּרוּחַ־קָדִים אֲפִיצֵם לִפְנֵי אוֹיֵב עֹרֶף וְלֹא־פָנִים אֶרְאֵם בְּיוֹם אֵידָם׃

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

יח  וַיֹּאמְרוּ לְכוּ וְנַחְשְׁבָה עַל־יִרְמְיָהוּ מַחֲשָׁבוֹת כִּי לֹא־תֹאבַד תּוֹרָה מִכֹּהֵן וְעֵצָה מֵחָכָם וְדָבָר מִנָּבִיא לְכוּ וְנַכֵּהוּ בַלָּשׁוֹן וְאַל־נַקְשִׁיבָה אֶל־כָּל־דְּבָרָיו׃

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

יט  הַקְשִׁיבָה יְהֹוָה אֵלָי וּשְׁמַע לְקוֹל יְרִיבָי׃

20  Should 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!

כ  הַיְשֻׁלַּם תַּחַת־טוֹבָה רָעָה כִּי־כָרוּ שׁוּחָה לְנַפְשִׁי זְכֹר עָמְדִי לְפָנֶיךָ לְדַבֵּר עֲלֵיהֶם טוֹבָה לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־חֲמָתְךָ מֵהֶם׃

21  Oh, 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.

כא  לָכֵן תֵּן אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶם לָרָעָב וְהַגִּרֵם עַל־יְדֵי־חֶרֶב וְתִהְיֶנָה נְשֵׁיהֶם שַׁכֻּלוֹת וְאַלְמָנוֹת וְאַנְשֵׁיהֶם יִהְיוּ הֲרֻגֵי מָוֶת בַּחוּרֵיהֶם מֻכֵּי־חֶרֶב בַּמִּלְחָמָה׃

22  Let 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.

כב  תִּשָּׁמַע זְעָקָה מִבָּתֵּיהֶם כִּי־תָבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם גְּדוּד פִּתְאֹם כִּי־כָרוּ שיחה [שׁוּחָה] לְלָכְדֵנִי וּפַחִים טָמְנוּ לְרַגְלָי׃

23  Hashem, 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!

כג  וְאַתָּה יְהֹוָה יָדַעְתָּ אֶת־כָּל־עֲצָתָם עָלַי לַמָּוֶת אַל־תְּכַפֵּר עַל־עֲוׂנָם וְחַטָּאתָם מִלְּפָנֶיךָ אַל־תֶּמְחִי והיו [וְיִהְיוּ] מֻכְשָׁלִים לְפָנֶיךָ בְּעֵת אַפְּךָ עֲשֵׂה בָהֶם׃

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Jeremiah 17
Jeremiah 19

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Jeremiah 18

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