The Sin and Punishment of Judah
1 “The sin of Judah is written with an iron stylus,
engraved with a diamond point
on the tablets of their hearts
and on the horns of their altars.
2 Even their children remember their altars and Asherah poles
by the green trees and on the high hills.
3 O My mountain in the countryside,
I will give over your wealth
and all your treasures as plunder,
because of the sin of your high places,
4 And you yourself will relinquish
the inheritance that I gave you.
I will enslave you to your enemies
in a land that you do not know,
for you have kindled My anger;
it will burn forever.”
5 This is what the LORD says:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind,
who makes the flesh his strength a
and turns his heart from the LORD.
6 He will be like a shrub in the desert;
he will not see when prosperity comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
7 But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in Him.
8 He is like a tree planted by the waters
that sends out its roots toward the stream.
It does not fear when the heat comes,
and its leaves are always green.
It does not worry in a year of drought,
nor does it cease to produce fruit.
9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
10 I, the LORD, search the heart;
I examine the mind b
to reward a man according to his way,
by what his deeds deserve.
11 Like a partridge hatching eggs it did not lay
is the man who makes a fortune unjustly.
In the middle of his days his riches will desert him,
and in the end he will be the fool.”
Jeremiah’s Prayer for Deliverance
12 A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning,
is the place of our sanctuary.
13 O LORD, the hope of Israel,
all who abandon You will be put to shame.
All who turn away will be written in the dust,
for they have abandoned the LORD,
the fountain of living water.
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 keep saying to me,
“Where is the word of the LORD?
Let it come now!”
16 But I have not run away from being Your shepherd;
I have not desired the day of despair.
You know that the utterance of my lips
was spoken in Your presence.
17 Do not become a terror to me;
You are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18 Let my persecutors be put to shame,
but do not let me be put to shame.
Let them be terrified,
but do not let me be terrified.
Bring upon them the day of disaster
Restoring the Sabbath
19 This is what the LORD said to me: “Go and stand at the gate of the people, through which the kings of Judah go in and out; and stand at all the other gates of Jerusalem.
20 Say to them, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, all people of Judah and Jerusalem who enter through these gates. 21 This is what the LORD says: Take heed for yourselves; do not carry a load or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. 22 You must not carry a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath day, but you must keep the Sabbath day holy, just as I commanded your forefathers. 23 Yet they would not listen or incline their ear, but they stiffened their necks and would not listen or receive My discipline.
24 If, however, you listen carefully to Me, says the LORD, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, and keep the Sabbath day holy, and do no work on it, 25 then kings 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, along with the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. 26 And people will come from the cities of Judah and the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, and from the foothills, c the hill country, and the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and thank offerings to the house of the LORD.
27 But if you do not listen to Me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying a load while entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in its gates to consume the citadels of Jerusalem.’ ”
5 a Hebrew arm
10 b Hebrew kidneys
26 c Hebrew Shephelah or lowlands ; that is, the western foothills of Judea