The Persistent Sin of Judah 17 1The sin of Judah is written with an iron stylus. With a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts and on the horns of their[B] altars, 2while their children remember their altars and their Asherah poles, by the green trees on the high hills— 3My mountains in the countryside. I will give up your wealth and all your treasures as plunder because of the sin of your high places[C] in all your borders. 4You will, on your own, relinquish your inheritance that I gave you. I will make you serve your enemies in a land you do not know, for you have set My anger on fire; it will burn forever.   Curse and Blessing   5This is what the Lord says:   The man who trusts in mankind, who makes human flesh his strength and turns his heart from the Lord is cursed. 6He will be like a juniper in the Arabah; he cannot see when good comes but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land where no one lives. 7The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. 8He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.   The Deceitful Heart   9The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? 10I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart[D] to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve. 11He who makes a fortune unjustly is like a partridge that hatches eggs it didn’t lay. In the middle of his days his riches will abandon him, so in the end he will be a fool.   12A throne of glory on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. 13Lord, the hope of Israel, all who abandon You will be put to shame. All who turn away from Me will be written in the dirt, for they have abandoned the Lord, the fountain of living water.   Jeremiah’s Plea   14Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for You are my praise. 15Hear how they keep challenging me, “Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come!” 16But I have not run away from being Your shepherd, and I have not longed for the fatal day. You know my words were spoken in Your presence. 17Don’t become a terror to me. You are my refuge in the day of disaster. 18Let my persecutors be put to shame, but don’t let me be put to shame. Let them be terrified, but don’t let me be terrified. Bring on them the day of disaster; shatter them with total[E] destruction.   Observing the Sabbath   19This is what the Lord said to me, “Go and stand at the People’s Gate, through which the kings of Judah enter and leave, as well as at all the gates of Jerusalem. 20Announce to them: Hear the word of the Lord, kings of Judah, all Judah, and all the residents of Jerusalem who enter through these gates. 21This is what the Lord says: Watch yourselves; do not pick up a load and bring it in through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. 22You must not carry a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day or do any work, but you must consecrate the Sabbath day, just as I commanded your ancestors. 23They wouldn’t listen or pay attention but became obstinate, not listening or accepting discipline. 24“However, if you listen to Me, says the Lord, and do not bring loads through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day and consecrate the Sabbath day and do no work on it, 25kings and princes will enter through the gates of this city. They will sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses with their officials, the men of Judah, and the residents of Jerusalem. This city will be inhabited forever. 26Then people will come from the cities of Judah and from the area around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the Judean foothills, from the hill country and from the Negev bringing burnt offerings and sacrifice, grain offerings and frankincense, and thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27If you do not listen to Me to consecrate the Sabbath day by not carrying a load while entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, I will set fire to its gates, and it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem and not be extinguished.”
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