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Judah’s Guilty Heart

17 “The sin of the people of Judah is written with an iron tool.
    Their sins were cut into stone with a hard point.
That stone is their hearts.
    Their sins were cut into the corners of their altars.
Even their children remember
    their altars to idols and their Asherah idols.
They remember the altars under the green trees
    and on the high hills.
They remember the altars on my mountain and in the open country.
I will give your wealth and treasures
    to other people.
And they will destroy the places of worship in your country.
    You sinned by worshiping at those places.
You will lose the land I gave you.
    And it is your own fault.
I will let your enemies take you as their slaves.
    You will be slaves in a land you have never known.
This is because you have made my anger burn like a hot fire.
    And it will burn forever.”

Trusting in Man or God

This is what the Lord says:

“A curse will be placed on those who trust other people.
    It will happen to those who depend on people for strength.
    Those are the ones who have stopped trusting the Lord.
They are like a bush in a desert.
    It grows in a land where no one lives.
    It is in a hot and dry land with bad soil.
They don’t know about the good things that God can give.

“But the person who trusts in the Lord will be blessed.
    The Lord will show him that he can be trusted.
He will be strong, like a tree planted near water.
    That tree has large roots that find the water.
It is not afraid when the days are hot.
    Its leaves are always green.
It does not worry in a year when no rain comes.
    That tree always produces fruit.”

“More than anything else, a person’s mind is evil.
    It cannot be healed.
    Who can understand it?
10 But I am the Lord, and I can look into a person’s heart.
    I can test a person’s mind.
So I can decide what each one deserves.
    I can give each one the right payment for what he does.”

11 Sometimes a bird will hatch an egg that it did not lay.
    That bird is like the man who gets rich by cheating.
When that man’s life is half finished, he will lose his riches.
    At the end of his life, it will be clear he was a fool.

12 From the beginning, our Temple has been honored
    as a glorious throne for God.
13 Lord, you are the hope of Israel.
    Those who leave you will be shamed.
A person who quits following the Lord will be like a name written in the dust.
    That is because he has left the Lord.
    The Lord is the spring of living water.

Jeremiah’s Third Complaint

14 Lord, heal me, and I will truly be healed.
    Save me, and I will truly be saved.
    Lord, you are the one I praise.
15 The people of Judah keep asking me,
    “Where is the word from the Lord?
    Let’s see that message come true!”

16 Lord, I didn’t run away from being the shepherd you wanted.
    I didn’t want the terrible day to come.
You know everything I have said.
    You see all that is happening.
17 Lord, don’t bring terror to me.
    I run to you for safety in times of trouble.
18 Make those who are hurting me be ashamed.
    But don’t bring shame to me.
Let them be terrified,
    but keep me from terror.
Bring the day of disaster on my enemies.
    Destroy them, and destroy them again.

Keeping the Sabbath Holy

19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand at the People’s Gate of Jerusalem. This is where the kings of Judah go in and out. And then go to all the other gates of Jerusalem. 20 Say to them there: ‘Hear the word of the Lord. Listen, kings of Judah. Listen, all you people of Judah and all who come through these gates into Jerusalem! 21 This is what the Lord says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day. And don’t bring it through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath. 22 Don’t take a load out of your houses on the Sabbath. Don’t do any work on that day. Keep the Sabbath as a holy day. I gave this same command to your ancestors. 23 But your ancestors did not listen. They did not pay attention to me. They were very stubborn. I punished them, but it didn’t do any good. They did not listen to me. 24 But you must be careful to obey me, says the Lord. You must not bring a load through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath. You must keep the Sabbath as a holy day. You must not do any work on that day.

25 “‘If you obey this command, this is what will happen: Kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of Jerusalem with their officers. They will come riding in chariots and on horses. The people of Judah and Jerusalem will be with them. And the city of Jerusalem will have people living in it forever! 26 People will come to Jerusalem from the villages around it and from the towns of Judah. They will come from the land of Benjamin. They will come from the western mountain slopes and from the mountains. And they will come from southern Judah. They will all bring burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings, incense and offerings to show thanks to God. They will bring these to the Temple of the Lord. 27 But you must obey me and keep the Sabbath day as a holy day. You must not carry any loads into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. If you do, I will start a fire that cannot be put out. It will start at the gates of Jerusalem. And it will burn until it burns even the strong towers!’”

17 “Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool,(A)
    inscribed with a flint point,
on the tablets of their hearts(B)
    and on the horns(C) of their altars.
Even their children remember
    their altars and Asherah poles[a](D)
beside the spreading trees
    and on the high hills.(E)
My mountain in the land
    and your[b] wealth and all your treasures
I will give away as plunder,(F)
    together with your high places,(G)
    because of sin throughout your country.(H)
Through your own fault you will lose
    the inheritance(I) I gave you.
I will enslave you to your enemies(J)
    in a land(K) you do not know,
for you have kindled my anger,
    and it will burn(L) forever.”

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,(M)
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.(N)
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places(O) of the desert,
    in a salt(P) land where no one lives.

“But blessed(Q) is the one who trusts(R) in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.(S)
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought(T)
    and never fails to bear fruit.”(U)

The heart(V) is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

10 “I the Lord search the heart(W)
    and examine the mind,(X)
to reward(Y) each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”(Z)

11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay
    are those who gain riches by unjust means.
When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them,
    and in the end they will prove to be fools.(AA)

12 A glorious throne,(AB) exalted from the beginning,
    is the place of our sanctuary.
13 Lord, you are the hope(AC) of Israel;
    all who forsake(AD) you will be put to shame.
Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust(AE)
    because they have forsaken the Lord,
    the spring of living water.(AF)

14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;(AG)
    save(AH) me and I will be saved,
    for you are the one I praise.(AI)
15 They keep saying to me,
    “Where is the word of the Lord?
    Let it now be fulfilled!”(AJ)
16 I have not run away from being your shepherd;
    you know I have not desired the day of despair.
    What passes my lips(AK) is open before you.
17 Do not be a terror(AL) to me;
    you are my refuge(AM) in the day of disaster.(AN)
18 Let my persecutors be put to shame,
    but keep me from shame;
let them be terrified,
    but keep me from terror.
Bring on them the day of disaster;
    destroy them with double destruction.(AO)

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand at the Gate of the People,[c] through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem.(AP) 20 Say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah and all people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem(AQ) who come through these gates.(AR) 21 This is what the Lord says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath(AS) day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors.(AT) 23 Yet they did not listen or pay attention;(AU) they were stiff-necked(AV) and would not listen or respond to discipline.(AW) 24 But if you are careful to obey me, declares the Lord, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy(AX) by not doing any work on it, 25 then kings who sit on David’s throne(AY) will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever.(AZ) 26 People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev,(BA) bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 But if you do not obey(BB) me to keep the Sabbath(BC) day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire(BD) in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.’”(BE)

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 17:2 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah
  2. Jeremiah 17:3 Or hills / and the mountains of the land. / Your
  3. Jeremiah 17:19 Or Army

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