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Jeremiah 17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Judah’s Sin and Punishment

17 The sin of Judah is written with an iron pen; with a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts, and on the horns of their altars, while their children remember their altars and their sacred poles,[a] beside every green tree, and on the high hills, on the mountains in the open country. Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your sin[b] throughout all your territory. By your own act you shall lose the heritage that I gave you, and I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled[c] that shall burn forever.

Thus says the Lord:
Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
    and make mere flesh their strength,
    whose hearts turn away from the Lord.
They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
    and shall not see when relief comes.
They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salt land.

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
They shall be like a tree planted by water,
    sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
    and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
    and it does not cease to bear fruit.

The heart is devious above all else;
    it is perverse—
    who can understand it?
10 I the Lord test the mind
    and search the heart,
to give to all according to their ways,
    according to the fruit of their doings.

11 Like the partridge hatching what it did not lay,
    so are all who amass wealth unjustly;
in mid-life it will leave them,
    and at their end they will prove to be fools.

12 O glorious throne, exalted from the beginning,
    shrine of our sanctuary!
13 O hope of Israel! O Lord!
    All who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from you[d] shall be recorded in the underworld,[e]
    for they have forsaken the fountain of living water, the Lord.

Jeremiah Prays for Vindication

14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
    save me, and I shall be saved;
    for you are my praise.
15 See how they say to me,
    “Where is the word of the Lord?
    Let it come!”
16 But I have not run away from being a shepherd[f] in your service,
    nor have I desired the fatal day.
You know what came from my lips;
    it was before your face.
17 Do not become a terror to me;
    you are my refuge in the day of disaster;
18 Let my persecutors be shamed,
    but do not let me be shamed;
let them be dismayed,
    but do not let me be dismayed;
bring on them the day of disaster;
    destroy them with double destruction!

Hallow the Sabbath Day

19 Thus said the Lord to me: Go and stand in the People’s Gate, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, 20 and say to them: Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 21 Thus says the Lord: For the sake of your lives, take care that you do not bear a burden on the sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. 22 And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the sabbath or do any work, but keep the sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors. 23 Yet they did not listen or incline their ear; they stiffened their necks and would not hear or receive instruction.

24 But if you listen to me, says the Lord, and bring in no burden by the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but keep the sabbath day holy and do no work on it, 25 then there shall enter by the gates of this city kings[g] who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall be inhabited forever. 26 And people shall come from the towns of Judah and the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephelah, from the hill country, and from the Negeb, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 But if you do not listen to me, to keep the sabbath day holy, and to carry in no burden through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates; it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.


  1. Jeremiah 17:2 Heb Asherim
  2. Jeremiah 17:3 Cn: Heb spoil your high places for sin
  3. Jeremiah 17:4 Two Mss Theodotion: you kindled
  4. Jeremiah 17:13 Heb me
  5. Jeremiah 17:13 Or in the earth
  6. Jeremiah 17:16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. Jeremiah 17:25 Cn: Heb kings and officials
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 17 Common English Bible (CEB)

17 Judah’s sin is engraved
    with an iron pen.
It’s etched with a diamond point
    on the tablets of their hearts
        and on the horns of their altars.
Their children remember their altars and sacred poles[a]
    by the lush trees and high hills.

Because you have committed such sins throughout your country,
    I will give to your enemies
        my mountain in the land,
        as well as your wealth and all that you treasure.[b]
You will lose the inheritance that I gave you.
    I will make you slaves of your enemies
        in a land you don’t know,
            for my anger blazes like a fire
            that won’t go out.

The Lord proclaims:
Cursed are those who trust in mere humans,
    who depend on human strength
    and turn their hearts from the Lord.
They will be like a desert shrub
    that doesn’t know when relief comes.
They will live in the parched places of the wilderness,
    in a barren land where no one survives.
Happy are those who trust in the Lord,
    who rely on the Lord.
They will be like trees planted by the streams,
    whose roots reach down to the water.
They won’t fear drought when it comes;
    their leaves will remain green.
They won’t be stressed in the time of drought
    or fail to bear fruit.

The most cunning heart—
    it’s beyond help.
        Who can figure it out?
10 I, the Lord, probe the heart
    and discern hidden motives,
        to give everyone what they deserve,
        the consequences of their deeds.

11 Like a partridge gathering a brood that is not its own,
    so are those who acquire their wealth corruptly.
        By midlife it will be gone;
        afterward they will look like fools.

12 Splendid and exalted throne,
    the place of our sanctuary
        from the beginning!
13 Lord, the hope of Israel,
        all who forsake you will suffer disgrace;
    those who turn away from you[c] in the land
        will be written off,[d]
    for they have abandoned the Lord,
        the fountain of living water.

14 Heal me, Lord, and I’ll be healed.
    Save me and I’ll be saved,
        for you are my heart’s desire.
15 See how they harass me:
    “Where’s the Lord’s word?
        Let it come now!”
16 Yet I didn’t urge you to bring disaster;[e]
    I didn’t want the calamity to happen.
You know what comes out of my mouth;
    it’s always before you.
17 Don’t terrorize me;
    you are my refuge in time of disaster.
18 Let my tormentors be disgraced, but not me;
    let them be terrorized, but not me.
Bring on them the time of disaster,
    as they deserve; destroy them repeatedly.

19 The Lord proclaimed to me: Go and stand by the People’s Gate where Judah’s kings go in and out, and then by all the gates of Jerusalem, 20 and say to them: Listen to the Lord’s word, you kings of Judah, all you people of Judah, and anyone living in Jerusalem who passes through these gates. 21 The Lord says: Be on guard not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or conduct business at the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Don’t carry a load from your houses or do any kind of work on the Sabbath day. Rather, keep the Sabbath day holy as I commanded your ancestors, 23 although they didn’t listen or pay attention. They were stubborn and wouldn’t obey or accept correction. 24 If you are careful to obey me, declares the Lord, and don’t conduct business at the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, if you keep the Sabbath day holy by not working, 25 then through the gates of this city will come kings who occupy the throne of David and their officers, all riding on chariots and horses. They will be accompanied by the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem. And this city will always be inhabited. 26 Others will come from the towns of Judah and Benjamin, from all around Jerusalem, and from the western foothills, the highlands, and the arid southern plain—they will come bringing entirely burned offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings, incense, and thanksgiving offerings to the Lord’s temple. 27 But if you don’t obey me by keeping the Sabbath day holy, if you carry your loads and conduct your business at the gates of Jerusalem as usual, then I will set fire to those gates that will completely engulf the fortresses of Jerusalem; it will not be put out.


  1. Jeremiah 17:2 Heb asherim; perhaps objects devoted to the worship of Asherah
  2. Jeremiah 17:3 Heb uncertain
  3. Jeremiah 17:13 Or me
  4. Jeremiah 17:13 Heb uncertain
  5. Jeremiah 17:16 LXX; Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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