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Judah’s Sin and Punishment
1“The sin of Judah
is inscribed with an iron chisel—
engraved with a diamond point on their stony hearts
and on the corners of their altars.
2Even their children go to worship
at their pagan altars and Asherah poles,
beneath every green tree
and on every high hill.
3So I will hand over my holy mountain—
along with all your wealth and treasures
and your pagan shrines—
as plunder to your enemies,
for sin runs rampant in your land.
4The wonderful possession I have reserved for you
will slip from your hands.
I will tell your enemies to take you
as captives to a foreign land.
For my anger blazes like a fire
that will burn forever.”
Wisdom from the Lord
5This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength
and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
6They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land.
7“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
8They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
9“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is?
10But I, the Lord, search all hearts
and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.”
Jeremiah’s Trust in the Lord
11Like a partridge that hatches eggs she has not laid,
so are those who get their wealth by unjust means.
At midlife they will lose their riches;
in the end, they will become poor old fools.
12But we worship at your throne—
eternal, high, and glorious!
13O Lord, the hope of Israel,
all who turn away from you will be disgraced.
They will be buried in the dust of the earth,
for they have abandoned the Lord, the fountain of living water.
14O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed;
if you save me, I will be truly saved.
My praises are for you alone!
15People scoff at me and say,
“What is this ‘message from the Lord’ you talk about?
Why don’t your predictions come true?”
16Lord, I have not abandoned my job
as a shepherd for your people.
I have not urged you to send disaster.
You have heard everything I’ve said.
17Lord, don’t terrorize me!
You alone are my hope in the day of disaster.
18Bring shame and dismay on all who persecute me,
but don’t let me experience shame and dismay.
Bring a day of terror on them.
Yes, bring double destruction upon them!
Observing the Sabbath
19This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand in the gates of Jerusalem, first in the gate where the king goes in and out, and then in each of the other gates. 20Say to all the people, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord, you kings of Judah and all you people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem. 21This is what the Lord says: Listen to my warning! Stop carrying on your trade at Jerusalem’s gates on the Sabbath day. 22Do not do your work on the Sabbath, but make it a holy day. I gave this command to your ancestors, 23but they did not listen or obey. They stubbornly refused to pay attention or accept my discipline.
24“‘But if you obey me, says the Lord, and do not carry on your trade at the gates or work on the Sabbath day, and if you keep it holy, 25then kings and their officials will go in and out of these gates forever. There will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. Kings and their officials will always ride in and out among the people of Judah in chariots and on horses, and this city will remain forever. 26And from all around Jerusalem, from the towns of Judah and Benjamin, from the western foothills#17:26 Hebrew the Shephelah. and the hill country and the Negev, the people will come with their burnt offerings and sacrifices. They will bring their grain offerings, frankincense, and thanksgiving offerings to the Lord’s Temple.
27“‘But if you do not listen to me and refuse to keep the Sabbath holy, and if on the Sabbath day you bring loads of merchandise through the gates of Jerusalem just as on other days, then I will set fire to these gates. The fire will spread to the palaces, and no one will be able to put out the roaring flames.’”
1 "The sin of Judah has been written with a pen of iron and a point of diamond. It has been engraved upon the breadth of their heart and upon the horns of their shrines.
2 And their sons make a remembrance of their shrines, and their sacred groves, and their leafy trees on high mountains,
3 by sacrificing in the field. And so, I will give over your strength and all your treasures to be despoiled, along with your exalted places of sin, within all your borders.
4 And you will be left behind without your inheritance, which I gave to you. And I will cause you to serve your enemies in a land that you do not know. For you have kindled a fire in my fury; it shall burn, even unto eternity."
5 Thus says the Lord: "Cursed is a man who trusts in man, and who establishes what is flesh as his right arm, and whose heart withdraws from the Lord.
6 For he will be like a saltcedar tree in the desert. And he will not perceive it, when what is good has arrived. Instead, he will live in dryness, in a desert, in a land of salt, which is uninhabitable.
7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, for the Lord will be his confidence.
8 And he will be like a tree planted beside waters, which sends out its roots to moist soil. And it will not fear when the heat arrives. And its leaves will be green. And in the time of drought, it will not be anxious, nor will it cease at any time to bear fruit.
9 The heart is depraved above all things, and it is unsearchable, who can know it?
10 I am the Lord, who examines the heart and tests the temperament, who gives to each one according to his way and according to the fruit of his own decisions.
11 A partridge has hatched eggs that she did not lay; a man has gathered riches, but without judgment. In the midst of his days, he will leave it all behind, and he will be foolish concerning his very end."
12 "A high and glorious throne is the place of our sanctification from the beginning.
13 O Lord, Hope of Israel: all who forsake you will be confounded. Those who withdraw from you will be written into the earth. For they have abandoned the Lord, the Source of living waters.
14 Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed. Save me, and I will be saved. For you are my praise.
15 Behold, they themselves are saying to me: 'Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come.'
16 But I am not troubled; I am following you as my shepherd. And I have not desired the day of man, as you know. That which has gone forth from my lips has been right in your sight.
17 May you not be a dread to me. You are my hope in the day of affliction.
18 May those who persecute me be confounded, but may I not be confounded. May they be fearful, and may I not be fearful. Lead over them the day of affliction, and crush them with a double destruction."
19 Thus says the Lord to me: "Go, and stand at the gate of the sons of the people, through which the kings of Judah enter and depart, and at all the gates of Jerusalem.
20 And you shall say to them: Listen to the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah, and all of Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter through these gates."
21 Thus says the Lord: "Guard your souls, and do not choose to carry heavy things on the day of the Sabbath, nor should you carry these things through the gates of Jerusalem.
22 And do not be willing to cast burdens out of your houses on the day of the Sabbath, nor should you do any work. Sanctify the day of the Sabbath, just as I instructed your fathers.
23 But they did not listen, nor did they incline their ear. Instead, they hardened their neck, lest they listen to me and receive discipline.
24 And this shall be: If you listen to me, says the Lord, so that you do not carry in burdens through the gates of this city on the day of the Sabbath, and if you sanctify the day of the Sabbath, so that you do not do work in it,
25 then there will enter through the gates of this city: kings and princes, sitting on the throne of David, and riding on chariots and horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And this city will be inhabited forever.
26 And they will arrive from the cities of Judah and from all around Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plains, and from the mountainous regions, and from the south, carrying holocausts, and victims, and sacrifices, and frankincense. And they will carry an oblation into the house of the Lord.
27 But if you will not listen to me, to sanctify the day of the Sabbath, and not to carry burdens, and not to bring these things through the gates of Jerusalem on the day of the Sabbath, then I will kindle a fire at its gates, and it will devour the houses of Jerusalem, and it will not be extinguished."