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17 My people sin as though commanded to, as though their evil were laws chiseled with an iron pen or diamond point upon their stony hearts or on the corners of their altars. 2-3 Their youths do not forget to sin, worshiping idols beneath each tree, high in the mountains or in the open country down below. And so I will give all your treasures to your enemies as the price that you must pay for all your sins. And the wonderful heritage I reserved for you will slip out of your hand, and I will send you away as slaves to your enemies in distant lands. For you have kindled a fire of my anger that shall burn forever.

The Lord says: Cursed is the man who puts his trust in mortal man and turns his heart away from God. He is like a stunted shrub in the desert, with no hope for the future; he lives on the salt-encrusted plains in the barren wilderness; good times pass him by forever.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence. He is like a tree planted along a riverbank, with its roots reaching deep into the water—a tree not bothered by the heat nor worried by long months of drought. Its leaves stay green, and it goes right on producing all its luscious fruit.

The heart is the most deceitful thing there is and desperately wicked. No one can really know how bad it is! 10 Only the Lord knows! He searches all hearts and examines deepest motives so he can give to each person his right reward, according to his deeds—how he has lived.

11 Like a bird that fills her nest with young she has not hatched and which will soon desert her and fly away, so is the man who gets his wealth by unjust means. Sooner or later he will lose his riches and at the end of his life become a poor old fool.

12 But our refuge is your throne, eternal, high, and glorious. 13 O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all who turn away from you shall be disgraced and shamed; they are registered for earth and not for glory, for they have forsaken the Lord, the Fountain of living waters. 14 Lord, you alone can heal me, you alone can save, and my praises are for you alone.

15 Men scoff at me and say, “What is this word of the Lord you keep talking about? If these threats of yours are really from God, why don’t they come true?”

16 Lord, I don’t want the people crushed by terrible calamity. The plan is yours, not mine. It is your message I’ve given them, not my own. I don’t want them doomed! 17 Lord, don’t desert me now! You alone are my hope. 18 Bring confusion and trouble on all who persecute me, but give me peace. Yes, bring double destruction upon them!

19 Then the Lord said to me, Go and stand in the gates of Jerusalem, first at the gate where the king goes out, and then at each of the other gates, 20 and say to all the people: Hear the word of the Lord, kings of Judah and all the people of this nation, and all you citizens of Jerusalem. 21-22 The Lord says: Take warning and live; do no unnecessary[a] work on the Sabbath day, but make it a holy day. I gave this commandment to your fathers, 23 but they didn’t listen or obey. They stubbornly refused to pay attention and be taught.

24 But if you obey me, says the Lord, and refuse to work on the Sabbath day and keep it separate, special and holy, 25 then this nation shall continue forever. There shall always be descendants of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem; there shall always be kings and princes riding in pomp and splendor among the people, and this city shall remain forever. 26 And from all around Jerusalem and from the cities of Judah and Benjamin, from the Negeb and from the lowlands west of Judah, the people shall come with their burnt offerings and grain offerings and incense, bringing their sacrifices to praise the Lord in his Temple.

27 But if you will not listen to me, if you refuse to keep the Sabbath holy, if on the Sabbath you bring in loads of merchandise through these gates of Jerusalem, just as on other days, then I will set fire to these gates. The fire shall spread to the palaces and utterly destroy them, and no one shall be able to put out the raging flames.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 17:21 unnecessary, implied.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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