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Judah’s Sin and Its Consequence

17 The sin of Judah is engraved
with an iron stylus.
It is inscribed with a diamond point
on the tablet of their heart
        and on the horns of their[a] altars.
When their sons remember,
    they remember their altars[b] and their Asherah poles[c]
        beside green trees on the high hills.
My mountain in the field, your wealth and your treasures
    I’ll give as spoil;
along with your high places as the price of your sin
    throughout your territory.
You will let go of your inheritance
    which I gave you,
and I’ll make you serve your enemies
    in a land that you don’t know.
For with my anger you have started a fire
    that will burn forever.

Two Ways Contrasted

This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the person who trusts in mankind,
    who makes flesh his strength,
        and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He will be like a bush in the desert,
    and he won’t see when good comes.
He will dwell in parched places in the wilderness,[d]
    a land of salt, without inhabitants.
Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord,
    making the Lord his trust.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by a stream.
He won’t fear when the heat comes,
    and his leaves will be green.
In a year of drought he won’t be concerned,
    nor will he stop producing fruit.”

The Deceitfulness of the Human Heart

“The heart is more deceitful than anything.
    It is incurable—
        who can know it?
10 I am the Lord who searches the heart,
    who tests the inner depths
to give to each person
    according to what he deserves,[e]
        according to the fruit of his deeds.
11 As a partridge gathers together eggs
    that it didn’t lay,
so is a person who amasses wealth unjustly.
    In the middle of his life[f] it will leave him,
        and in the end he will prove to be a fool.”

The Lord: The Hope of Israel

12 A glorious throne exalted from the beginning
    is the place of our sanctuary.
13 Lord, you are the hope of Israel;
    all who forsake you will be put to shame.
Those who turn aside from you[g] will be
    written in the dust,[h]
because they have forsaken the Lord,
    the spring of living water.

The Prophet’s Call for Help and Justice

14 Heal me, Lord, and I’ll be healed;
    deliver me, and I’ll be delivered,
        because you are my praise.
15 Look, they’re saying to me,
    “Where is the message from the Lord?
        Let it come about!”
16 I haven’t run away from being your shepherd,[i]
    and I haven’t longed for the day of sickness.[j]
You know what comes out from my lips,
    it’s open before you.[k]
17 Don’t be a terror to me.
    You are my refuge in a day of trouble.
18 Let those who pursue me be put to shame,
    but don’t put me to shame.
Let them be terrified,
    but don’t let me be terrified.
Bring the day of judgment[l] on them,
    and destroy them with double destruction!

A Test Case: Keeping the Sabbath

19 The Lord told me, “Go, stand in the gate of the people,[m] where the kings of Judah come in and go out, and in the other gates of Jerusalem as well. 20 Say to them, ‘Kings of Judah, all Judah, and all the residents of Jerusalem entering these gates, hear this message from the Lord. 21 This is what the Lord says: “Be careful! On the Sabbath day, don’t carry any load or bring anything through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Don’t bring any load out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor are you to do any work. You are to consecrate[n] the Sabbath day, just as I commanded your ancestors. 23 But they didn’t listen, nor did they pay attention.[o] They were determined[p] not to listen and not to accept instruction.[q] 24 If you listen to me carefully,” declares the Lord, “and don’t bring a load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, and you consecrate the Sabbath day and don’t do any work on it, 25 then kings and princes, sitting on the throne of David will come through the gates of this city. They, their princes, the men of Judah, and the residents of Jerusalem will come riding in chariots and on horses, and this city will be inhabited forever. 26 They’ll come from the cities of Judah, from the places around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin, from the Shephelah,[r] from the hill country, and from the Negev,[s] bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings, and incense, and bringing thanksgiving offerings to the Lord’s Temple. 27 But if you don’t listen to me, to consecrate the Sabbath day and not carry any load as you enter the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I’ll start a fire in its gates. It will consume the palaces of Jerusalem and won’t be extinguished.”’”


  1. Jeremiah 17:1 Lit. your
  2. Jeremiah 17:2 Lit. it is their altars
  3. Jeremiah 17:2 I.e. sacred poles representing the goddess Asherah
  4. Jeremiah 17:6 Or desert
  5. Jeremiah 17:10 Lit. according to his way
  6. Jeremiah 17:11 Lit. at half of his days
  7. Jeremiah 17:13 Lit. me
  8. Jeremiah 17:13 Or recorded in the underworld
  9. Jeremiah 17:16 Lit. from shepherding after you
  10. Jeremiah 17:16 I.e. the day of judgment
  11. Jeremiah 17:16 Lit. it is in front of you
  12. Jeremiah 17:18 Or disaster
  13. Jeremiah 17:19 Lit. gate of the sons of the people
  14. Jeremiah 17:22 I.e. set it apart
  15. Jeremiah 17:23 Lit. incline the ear
  16. Jeremiah 17:23 Lit. stiffened their necks
  17. Jeremiah 17:23 Or discipline
  18. Jeremiah 17:26 I.e. the verdant central lowlands of Israel; cf. Josh 10:40
  19. Jeremiah 17:26 I.e. southern region of Israel; cf. Josh 10:40