Judah's Sin and Punishment
1The 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, 2while their children remember their altars and their sacred poles,#17.2 Heb Asherim beside every green tree, and on the high hills, 3on the mountains in the open country. Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your sin#17.3 Cn: Heb spoil your high places for sin throughout all your territory. 4By 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#17.4 Two Mss Theodotion: you kindled that shall burn forever.
5Thus says the Lord:
Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
and make mere flesh their strength,
whose hearts turn away from the Lord.
6They 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.
7Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8They 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.
9The heart is devious above all else;
it is perverse—
who can understand it?
10I the Lord test the mind
and search the heart,
to give to all according to their ways,
according to the fruit of their doings.
11Like 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.
12O glorious throne, exalted from the beginning,
shrine of our sanctuary!
13O hope of Israel! O Lord!
All who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from you#17.13 Heb me shall be recorded in the underworld,#17.13 Or in the earth
for they have forsaken the fountain of living water, the Lord.
Jeremiah Prays for Vindication
14Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved;
for you are my praise.
15See how they say to me,
“Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it come!”
16But I have not run away from being a shepherd#17.16 Meaning of Heb uncertain in your service,
nor have I desired the fatal day.
You know what came from my lips;
it was before your face.
17Do not become a terror to me;
you are my refuge in the day of disaster;
18Let 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
19Thus 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, 20and 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. 21Thus 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. 22And 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. 23Yet they did not listen or incline their ear; they stiffened their necks and would not hear or receive instruction.
24But 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, 25then there shall enter by the gates of this city kings#17.25 Cn: Heb kings and officials 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. 26And 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. 27But 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.