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Chapter 17

The Sin of Judah and Its Punishment

The sin of Judah is written
    with an iron stylus,
Engraved with a diamond point
    upon the tablets of their hearts,(A)

And the horns of their altars, when their children remember their altars and their asherahs, beside the green trees, on the high hills, the peaks in the country.

Your wealth and all your treasures
    I give as plunder,
As payment for all your sins
    throughout your territory,
You will relinquish your hold on your heritage
    which I have given you.
I will enslave you to your enemies
    in a land you do not know:
For a fire has broken out from my anger,
    burning forever.(B)

True Wisdom

    Thus says the Lord:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
    who makes flesh his strength,
    whose heart turns away from the Lord.(C)
He is like a barren bush in the wasteland
    that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in lava beds in the wilderness,
    a land, salty and uninhabited.
Blessed are those who trust in the Lord;
    the Lord will be their trust.(D)
They are like a tree planted beside the waters
    that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It does not fear heat when it comes,
    its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
    but still produces fruit.(E)
More tortuous than anything is the human heart,
    beyond remedy; who can understand it?
10 I, the Lord, explore the mind
    and test the heart,
Giving to all according to their ways,
    according to the fruit of their deeds.(F)
11 A partridge that broods but does not hatch
    are those who acquire wealth unjustly:
In midlife it will desert them;
    in the end they are only fools.(G)

The Source of Life

12 A throne of glory, exalted from the beginning,
    such is our holy place.(H)
13 O Hope of Israel, Lord!
    all who forsake you shall be put to shame;
The rebels shall be enrolled in the netherworld;
    they have forsaken the Lord, source of living waters.(I)

Prayer for Vengeance

14 Heal me, Lord, that I may be healed;
    save me, that I may be saved,
    for you are my praise.
15 See how they say to me,
    “Where is the word of the Lord?
    Let it come to pass!”(J)
16 Yet I did not press you to send disaster;
    the day without remedy I have not desired.
You know what passed my lips;
    it is present before you.
17 Do not become a terror to me,
    you are my refuge in the day of disaster.(K)
18 Let my persecutors be confounded—not me!
    let them be terrified—not me!
Bring upon them the day of disaster,
    crush them with double destruction.(L)

Observance of the Sabbath. 19 Thus said the Lord to me: Go, stand at the Gate of Benjamin,[a] where the kings of Judah enter and leave, and at the other gates of Jerusalem.(M) 20 There say to them: Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all you inhabitants of Jerusalem who enter these gates! 21 Thus says the Lord: As you love your lives, take care not to carry burdens on the sabbath, to bring them in through the gates of Jerusalem.(N) 22 Bring no burden from your homes on the sabbath. Do no work whatever, but keep holy the sabbath day, as I commanded your ancestors,(O) 23 though they did not listen or give ear, but stiffened their necks so they could not hear or take correction.(P) 24 If you truly obey me—oracle of the Lord—and carry no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath, keeping the sabbath day holy and abstaining from all work on it,(Q) 25 then, through the gates of this city, kings who sit upon the throne of David will continue to enter, riding in their chariots or upon their horses, along with their princes, and the people of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This city will remain inhabited forever.(R) 26 To it people will come from the cities of Judah and the neighborhood of Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the Shephelah, from the hill country and the Negeb, to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings, incense, and thank offerings to the house of the Lord.(S) 27 But if you do not obey me and keep holy the sabbath day, if you carry burdens and come through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath, I will set fire to its gates—a fire never to be extinguished—and it will consume the palaces of Jerusalem.(T)


  1. 17:19 The Gate of Benjamin: this gate, probably part of the Temple area, is otherwise unknown.