17 1THE SIN of Judah is written with a pen or stylus of iron and with the point of a diamond; it is engraved on the tablets of their hearts and on the horns of their altars, 2While their children [earnestly] remember their [heathen] altars and their Asherim [wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah] beside the green trees upon the high hills. 3O [Jerusalem] My mountain in the field, I will give your wealth and all your treasures to the spoil and your high places for sin [as the price of your sin] throughout all your territory. 4And you, through your own fault, will loosen your hand and discontinue from your heritage which I gave you; and I will cause you to serve your enemies in a land which you do not know, for you have kindled a fire in My anger which will burn throughout the ages. 5Thus says the Lord: Cursed [with great evil] is the strong man who trusts in and relies on frail man, making weak [human] flesh his arm, and whose mind and heart turn aside from the Lord. 6For he shall be like a shrub or a person naked and destitute in the desert; and he shall not see any good come, but shall dwell in the parched places in the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. 8For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit. 9The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]? 10I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. 11Like the partridge that gathers a brood which she did not hatch and sits on eggs which she has not laid, so is he who gets riches by unjust means and not by right. He will leave them, or they will leave him, in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool. 12A glorious throne, set on high from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary (the temple). 13O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be put to shame. They who depart from You and me [Your prophet] shall [disappear like] writing upon the ground, because they have forsaken the Lord, the Fountain of living waters. 14Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise. 15Behold, they say to me, Where is the word of the Lord [predicting the disaster that you said would befall us]? Let it come now! 16But as for me, I have not sought to escape from being a shepherd after You, nor have I desired the woeful day [of judgment]; You know that. Whatever I said was spoken in Your presence and was from You. 17Be not a terror to me; You are my refuge and my hope in the day of evil. 18Let those be put to shame who persecute me, but let me not be put to shame; let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed. Bring on them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction. 19Thus said the Lord to me: Go and stand in the gate of the sons of the people, through which the kings of Judah enter and through which they go out, and also [stand] in all the gates of Jerusalem. 20Say to them, Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem who enter through these gates. 21Thus says the Lord: Take heed to yourselves and for the sake of your lives bear no burden on the Sabbath day or bring it in through the gates of Jerusalem. 22And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy (set apart to the worship of God), as I commanded your fathers. 23Yet they would not listen and obey or incline their ears; but they stiffened their necks, that they might not hear and might not receive instruction. 24But if you diligently listen to and obey Me, says the Lord, and bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy (set apart to the worship of God), to do no work on it, 25Then there will enter through the gates of this city kings and princes who will sit upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses--the kings and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city will be inhabited and last throughout the ages. 26And people shall come from the cities of Judah and the places round about Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the lowland, from the hill country, and from the South (the Negeb), bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, cereal offerings and frankincense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of the Lord. 27But if you will not listen to Me to keep the Sabbath day holy (set apart to the worship of God), and not to bear a burden and enter in at the gates of Jerusalem [with one] on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in her gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.
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