Chapter 18

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1 The word which came to Ieremiah from þe Lord saying,

2 Arise and go downe to the potters house, & there I will cause thee to heare my words.

3 Then I went downe to the potters house, and behold, hee wrought a worke on the wheeles.

4 And the vessell that he made of clay, was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it againe another vessell as seemed good to the potter to make it.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

6 O house of Israel, cannot I doe with you as this potter, saith the Lord ? Behold, as the clay is in the potters hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

7 At what instant I shall speake concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdome, to plucke vp and to pull downe, and to destroy it.

8 If that nation against whom I haue pronounced, turne from their euill, I will repent of the euill that I thought to doe vnto them.

9 And at what instant I shall speake concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdome to build and to plant it;

10 If it doe euill in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good; wherewith I saide I would benefite them.

11 Now therefore goe to, speake to the men of Iudah, and to the inhabitants of Ierusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame euill against you, and deuise a deuice against you: returne ye now euery one from his euill way, and make your waies and your doings good.

12 And they said, There is no hope, but wee will walke after our owne deuices, and wee will euery one doe the imagination of his euil heart.

13 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Aske ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things? the Uirgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.

14 Will a man leaue the snow of Lebanon which commeth from the rocke of the fielde? or shall the colde flowing waters that come from another place, be forsaken?

15 Because my people hath forgotten mee, they haue burnt incense to vanitie, and they haue caused them to stumble in their waies from the ancient paths, to walke in paths, in a way not cast vp,

16 To make their land desolate and a perpetuall hissing: euery one that passeth thereby shall bee astonished, and wagge his head.

17 I will scatter them as with an East winde before the enemie: I will shew them the backe, and not the face, in the day of their calamitie.

18 Then said they, Come, and let vs deuise deuices against Ieremiah: for the Law shall not perish from the Priest, nor counsell from the wise, nor the word from the prophet: Come and let vs smite him with the tongue, and let vs not giue heede to any of his wordes.

19 Giue heed to me, O Lord, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.

20 Shall euill bee recompensed for good? for they haue digged a pit for my soule: remember that I stood before thee to speake good for them, and to turne away thy wrath from them.

21 Therefore deliuer vp their children to the famine, and powre out their blood by the force of the sword, and let their wiues be bereaued of their children and be widowes, and let their men be put to death, let their yong men be slaine by the sword in battell.

22 Let a crie bee heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troupe suddenly vpon them, for they haue digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.

23 Yet Lord thou knowest all their counsell against me to slay mee: forgiue not their iniquitie, neither blot out their sinne from thy sight, but let them bee ouerthrowen before thee, deale thus with them in the time of thine anger.

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Commentary for Jeremiah 18

God's power over his creatures is represented by the potter. (1-10) The Jews exhorted to repentance, and judgments foretold. (11-17) The prophet appeals to God. (18-23)1-10 While Jeremiah looks upon the potter's work, God darts into his mind two great truths. God has authority, and power, to form and fashion kingdoms and nations as he pleases. He may dispose of us as he thinks fit; and it would be as absurd for us to dispute this, as for the clay to quarrel with the potter. But he always goes by fixed rules of justice and goodness. When God is coming against us in judgments, we may be sure it is for our sins; but sincere conversion from the evil of sin will prevent the evil of punishment, as to persons, and to families, and nations.

11-17 Sinners call it liberty to live at large; whereas for a man to be a slave to his lusts, is the very worst slavery. They forsook God for idols. When men are parched with heat, and meet with cooling, refreshing streams, they use them. In these things men will not leave a certainty for an uncertainty; but Israel left the ancient paths appointed by the Divine law. They walked not in the highway, in which they might travel safely, but in a way in which they must stumble: such was the way of idolatry, and such is the way of iniquity. This made their land desolate, and themselves miserable. Calamities may be borne, if God smile upon us when under them; but if he is displeased, and refuses his help, we are undone. Multitudes forget the Lord and his Christ, and wander from the ancient paths, to walk in ways of their own devising. But what will they do in the day of judgment!

18-23 When the prophet called to repentance, instead of obeying the call, the people devised devices against him. Thus do sinners deal with the great Intercessor, crucifying him afresh, and speaking against him on earth, while his blood is speaking for them in heaven. But the prophet had done his duty to them; and the same will be our rejoicing in a day of evil.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Jeremiah 18

  • Obbie Beal
    GOD's chosen people above (formed from the dust of the earth) boldly refuse to repent of sins, thereby forfeited there BLESSING from Jehovah / GOD; now the moment has arrived and GOD is about to release HIS WRATH on HIS chosen people. WOW! WOW! WOW! I thank GOD for HIS plan of forgiveness of /from sin.
  • Steve morrow
    JEREMIAH 18:18 then said they come and let us devise devices against jeremiah for the law shall not perish from the priest nor counsel from the wise nor the word from the prophet come and let us smite him with the tongue and let us not give heed to any of his words --18:19-- give heed to me O LORD and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me
  • Obbie Beal
    verse 12 "And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart". WOW! God's desire to bless people / nations with His mercy, peace, patience, healing power, blessing ... never-the-less people / nations desire their idols they create through the lust of the flesh, eye, proud of life.
  • A disciple
    "At what instant.." The very moment that the LORD has a thought and expresses it by words; if at that very moment the man either responds by acknowledging the truth honestly, and turns FROM his sins and the evil ways of his life; or if he lets his heart's lusts and vanities deceive him so that he now turns FROM his righteousness; SO QUICKLY LIKEWISE WILL THE LORD REPENT of what He was about to do.
  • BSP
    In verse 11 God let his people know that they could turn around. They had an opportunity to make a change. We can make a change while we still have time but we must not take God's kindness for weakness.
  • Peter Neple
    Fear God because He can do whatever it pleases Him to you when you disobeyed his commandments. As the pot is in the hands of the Potter so we are in God 's hand. It is His mercy that restraints God from dealing with us as He pleases.

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