Notes on Jeremiah 18

This chapter and the next seem to be tied together by the words or idea of a “potter’s vessel.” Jeremiah was called to go to a shop and pay particular attention to a craftsman and his molding of a clay jar; just as the potter can shape and reshape his workmanship to the point of his own satisfaction (18:1-11), the Lord uses the illustration to apply to Israel/Judah (especially Judah in this case). The Lord has tried to shape and reshape his people, but the people refused to allow the Lord to work on them (18:12). Just think of it, the Lord said, what the people have done. The waters that flow from the mountain snow is rejected for strange (dirty) water; the ancients path that has been set for them to walk on has been rejected for a path that goes they know not where (18:13-17). The people grew tired of Jeremiah’s preaching, so they make a plan to thwart what it is that he preached (18:18). Jeremiah himself tires of the opposition the people were threatening against him. He notices a pit that has been dug; certainly they seek to trap him in his words and, perhaps, they seek to ensnare him in a way that he is also apprehended. In either case, Jeremiah appeals to the Lord against them in rather plain words (18:19-23).