Isaiah 29:16
New International Version
You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, "You did not make me"? Can the pot say to the potter, "You know nothing"?

New Living Translation
How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?

English Standard Version
You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

Berean Study Bible
You have turned things upside down, as if the potter were regarded as clay. Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”? Can the pottery say of the potter, “He has no understanding”?

King James Bible
Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

New King James Version
Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, “He did not make me”? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

New American Standard Bible
You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

NASB 1995
You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, "He did not make me"; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding "?

NASB 1977
You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made should say to its maker, “He did not make me”; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

Amplified Bible
You turn things upside down [with your perversity]! Shall the potter be considered equal with the clay, That the thing that is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”; Or the thing that is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

Christian Standard Bible
You have turned things around, as if the potter were the same as the clay. How can what is made say about its maker, “He didn’t make me”? How can what is formed say about the one who formed it, “He doesn’t understand what he’s doing”?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You have turned things around, as if the potter were the same as the clay. How can what is made say about its maker," He didn't make me"? How can what is formed say about the one who formed it," He doesn't understand what he's doing"?

American Standard Version
Ye turn things upside down! Shall the potter be esteemed as clay; that the thing made should say of him that made it, He made me not; or the thing formed say of him that formed it, He hath no understanding?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
You are esteemed as the clay of a potter. Does the work say to its maker: "You have not made me"? And does the crafted thing say to its craftsman, "You have not wisely formed me?”

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Shall ye not be counted as clay of the potter? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Thou didst not form me? or the work to the maker, Thou hast not made me wisely?

Contemporary English Version
You have it all backwards. A clay dish doesn't say to the potter, "You didn't make me. You don't even know how."

Douay-Rheims Bible
This thought of yours is perverse: as if the clay should think against the potter, and the work should say to the maker thereof: Thou madest me not: or the thing framed should say to him that fashioned it: Thou understandest not.

English Revised Version
Ye turn things upside down! Shall the potter be counted as clay; that the thing made should say of him that made it, He made me not; or the thing framed say of him that framed it, He hath no understanding?

Good News Translation
They turn everything upside down. Which is more important, the potter or the clay? Can something you have made say, "You didn't make me"? Or can it say, "You don't know what you are doing"?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You turn things upside down! Is the potter no better than his clay? Can something that has been made say about its maker, "He didn't make me"? Can a piece of pottery say about the potter, "He doesn't understand"?

International Standard Version
He has turned the tables on you — as if the potter were thought to be like heat. Can what is made say of the one who made it, 'He did not make me?' Or can what is formed say of the ones who formed it, 'He has no skill?'

JPS Tanakh 1917
O your perversity! Shall the potter be esteemed as clay; That the thing made should say of him that made it: 'He made me not'; Or the thing framed say of him that framed it: 'He hath no understanding?'

Literal Standard Version
Your perversion! Is the potter esteemed as clay, "" That the work says of its maker, “He has not made me?” And the framed thing said of its framer, “He did not understand?”

NET Bible
Your thinking is perverse! Should the potter be regarded as clay? Should the thing made say about its maker, "He didn't make me"? Or should the pottery say about the potter, "He doesn't understand"?

New Heart English Bible
You turn things upside down. Should the potter be thought to be like clay; that the thing made should say about him who made it, "He did not make me;" or the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding?"

World English Bible
You turn things upside down! Should the potter be thought to be like clay; that the thing made should say about him who made it, "He didn't make me;" or the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding?"

Young's Literal Translation
Your perversion! as clay is the potter esteemed? That the work saith of its maker, 'He hath not made me?' And the framed thing said of its framer, 'He did not understand?'

Additional Translations ...
Context
Woe to the City of David
15Woe to those who dig deep to hide their plans from the LORD. In darkness they do their works and say, “Who sees us, and who will know?” 16You have turned things upside down, as if the potter were regarded as clay. Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”? Can the pottery say of the potter, “He has no understanding”?

Cross References
Romans 9:19
One of you will say to me, "Then why does God still find fault? For who can resist His will?"

Romans 9:20
But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, "Why did You make me like this?"

Psalm 103:14
For He knows our frame; He is mindful that we are dust.

Isaiah 10:15
Does an axe raise itself above the one who swings it? Does a saw boast over him who saws with it? It would be like a rod waving the one who lifts it, or a staff lifting him who is not wood!

Isaiah 45:9
Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker--one clay pot among many. Does the clay ask the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'?

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand.

Jeremiah 18:1
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:


Treasury of Scripture

Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

your turning

Isaiah 24:1
Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

Acts 17:6
And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

as the potter's

Isaiah 45:9,10
Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? …

Jeremiah 18:1-10
The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, …

Romans 9:19,21
Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? …

or shall

Isaiah 45:11
Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.

Psalm 94:8,9
Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? …









(16) Surely your turning of things upside down.--The words are better taken as exclamatory, O your perversity! Isaiah was indignant at that habit of always taking things at their wrong end, and looking on them from the wrong side.

Shall be esteemed as the potter's clay . . .--Better, Shall the potter be counted as the clay? The Authorised version is scarcely intelligible. Taken as a question, the words bring out the character of the perversity, the upside-downness, of which the prophet speaks. The men whom he condemns were inverting the relations of the Creator and the creature, the potter and the clay, acting practically as atheists, denying that there was a Divine order of which they formed a part.

Verse 16. - Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay; rather, O for your perverseness! Shall the potter be reckoned as clay? They were so perverse and wrong-headed that they inverted the relation in which they stood to God and God to them. God was to be passive, or merely give opportunities of action, and they were to mould their own plans and carve out their own destinies. For shall the work say, etc.? rather, for the work saith. Taking their destinies into their own hands was equivalent to saying that they were their own masters, which they could not be if God made them. Shall the thing framed say, etc.? rather, yea, the thing formed hath said. To refuse to take counsel of God, and direct the national policy by the light of their own reason, was to tax God with having no understanding.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
You have turned things upside down,
הַ֨פְכְּכֶ֔ם (hap̄·kə·ḵem)
Noun - masculine singular construct | second person masculine plural
Strong's 2017: Perversity, turning of things upside down

as if
אִם־ (’im-)
Conjunction
Strong's 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

the potter
הַיֹּצֵ֖ר (hay·yō·ṣêr)
Article | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 3335: To mould into a, form, as a, potter, to determine

were regarded
יֵֽחָשֵׁ֑ב (yê·ḥā·šêḇ)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 2803: To think, account

as clay.
כְּחֹ֥מֶר (kə·ḥō·mer)
Preposition-k | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 2563: A bubbling up, of water, a wave, of earth, mire, clay, a heap, a chomer, dry measure

Shall
כִּֽי־ (kî-)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

what is formed
מַעֲשֶׂ֤ה (ma·‘ă·śeh)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 4639: An action, a transaction, activity, a product, property

say
יֹאמַ֨ר (yō·mar)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

to him who formed it,
לְעֹשֵׂ֙הוּ֙ (lə·‘ō·śê·hū)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 6213: To do, make

“He did not
לֹ֣א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

make me”?
עָשָׂ֔נִי (‘ā·śā·nî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular | first person common singular
Strong's 6213: To do, make

Can the pottery
וְיֵ֛צֶר (wə·yê·ṣer)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 3336: A form, framing, purpose

say
אָמַ֥ר (’ā·mar)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

of the potter,
לְיוֹצְר֖וֹ (lə·yō·wṣ·rōw)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 3335: To mould into a, form, as a, potter, to determine

“He has no
לֹ֥א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

understanding”?
הֵבִֽין׃ (hê·ḇîn)
Verb - Hifil - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 995: To separate mentally, understand


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OT Prophets: Isaiah 29:16 You turn things upside down! (Isa Isi Is)
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