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They will be like a tree planted near a stream
whose roots spread out toward the water.
It has nothing to fear when the heat comes.
Its leaves are always green.
It has no need to be concerned in a year of drought.
It does not stop bearing fruit.
The human mind is more deceitful than anything else.
It is incurably bad.[a] Who can understand it?
10 I, the Lord, probe into people’s minds.
I examine people’s hearts.[b]
I deal with each person according to how he has behaved.
I give them what they deserve based on what they have done.

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Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 17:9 tn Or “incurably deceitful”; Heb “It is incurable.” For the word “deceitful” compare the usage of the verb in Gen 27:36 and a related noun in 2 Kgs 10:19. For the adjective “incurable” compare the usage in Jer 15:18. It is most commonly used with reference to wounds or of pain. In Jer 17:16 it is used metaphorically for a “woeful day” (i.e., day of irreparable devastation).sn The background for this verse is Deut 29:18-19 (29:17-18 HT) and Deut 30:17.
  2. Jeremiah 17:10 tn The term rendered “mind” here and in the previous verse is actually the Hebrew word for “heart.” However, in combination with the word rendered “heart” in the next line, which is the Hebrew for “kidneys,” it is best rendered “mind” because the “heart” was considered the center of intellect, conscience, and will, and the “kidneys,” the center of emotions.sn For an earlier reference to this motif see Jer 11:20. For a later reference see Jer 20:12. See also Ps 17:2-3.

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