1‘Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool,
inscribed with a flint point,
on the tablets of their hearts
and on the horns of their altars.
2Even their children remember
their altars and Asherah poles#17:2 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah
beside the spreading trees
and on the high hills.
3My mountain in the land
and your#17:2,3 Or hills / 3 and the mountains of the land. / Your wealth and all your treasures
I will give away as plunder,
together with your high places,
because of sin throughout your country.
4Through your own fault you will lose
the inheritance I gave you.
I will enslave you to your enemies
in a land you do not know,
for you have kindled my anger,
and it will burn for ever.’
5This is what the Lord says:
‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no-one lives.
7‘But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.’
9The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
10‘I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.’
11Like 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.
12A 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 away from you will be written in the dust
because they have forsaken the Lord,
the spring of living water.
14Heal me, Lord, and I shall be healed;
save me and I shall be saved,
for you are the one I praise.
15They keep saying to me,
‘Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it now be fulfilled!’
16I have not run away from being your shepherd;
you know I have not desired the day of despair.
What passes my lips is open before you.
17Do not be a terror to me;
you are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18Let 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.
Keeping the Sabbath holy
19This is what the Lord said to me: ‘Go and stand at the Gate of the People,#17:19 Or Army through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem. 20Say to them, “Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah and all people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem who come through these gates. 21This is what the Lord says: be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22Do 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. 23Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline. 24But 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 by not doing any work on it, 25then kings who sit on David’s throne 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 for ever. 26People 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, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing thank-offerings to the house of the Lord. 27But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath 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 in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.” ’