Jeremiah chapter 17

The people of Judah were steeped in idolatry. They had Asherah poles and altars to Baal. Jeremiah confronts them about keeping the Sabbath.





VERSE 1. “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond. It is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars.

on the tablet of their heart. Our own sins are engraved on our conscience.


VERSE 2. Even their children remember their altars and their Asherah poles by the green trees on the high hills.

their altars and their Asherah poles. In Jeremiah’s day the people of Judah were steeped in idolatry. They had Asherah poles and altars to Baal.


VERSE 3. My mountain in the field, I will give your substance and all your treasures for a plunder, and your high places, because of sin, throughout all your borders.


VERSE 4. You, even of yourself, will discontinue from your heritage that I gave you. I will cause you to serve your enemies in the land which you don’t know, for you have kindled a fire in my anger which will burn forever.”


VERSE 5. The LORD says: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man, relies on strength of flesh, and whose heart departs from the LORD.


VERSE 6. For he will be like a bush in the desert, and will not see when good comes, but will inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, an uninhabited salt land.


VERSE 7. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose confidence is in the LORD.


VERSE 8. For he will be as a tree planted by the waters, who spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes, but its leaf will be green, and will not be concerned in the year of drought. It won’t cease from yielding fruit.

Psalm 1:3. He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that produces its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper.

Proverbs 12:3. A man shall not be established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.


VERSE 9. The heart is deceitful above all things and it is exceedingly corrupt. Who can know it?

NAB translation. More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy, who can understand it?

Can we ever understand our own heart? Can we ever really understand the heart of another person?

There is a tool in psychology called the Johari window. Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham created it in 1955. It depicts what you know about yourself as well as what others know about you. See the Wikipedia page for a detailed explanation and sketches.


VERSE 10. “I, the LORD, search the mind. I try the heart, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”


VERSE 11. As the partridge that sits on eggs which she has not laid, so is he who gets riches, and not by right. In the middle of his days, they will leave him. At his end, he will be a fool.


VERSE 12. A glorious throne, set on high from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.


VERSE 13. LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be disappointed. Those who depart from me will be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living waters.


VERSE 14. Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed. Save me, and I will be saved; for you are my praise.

The Bible seems to promise healing of our illnesses. We should expect miraculous healing. It should be commonplace. But it is not. Why? Read more »


VERSE 15. Behold, they ask me, “Where is the LORD’s word? Let it be fulfilled now.”

NLT translation. People scoff at me and say, “What is this ‘message from the Lord’ you talk about? Why don’t your predictions come true?”

People scoff at me. To be a prophet can be difficult. Very difficult.


VERSE 16. As for me, I have not hurried from being a shepherd after you. I haven’t desired the woeful day. You know. That which came out of my lips was before your face.


VERSE 17. Don’t be a terror to me. You are my refuge in the day of evil.


VERSE 18. Let them be disappointed who persecute me, but let not me be disappointed. Let them be dismayed, but don’t let me be dismayed. Bring on them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.




VERSE 19. The LORD said this to me: “Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, through which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem.

NLT translation. This 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.”

Go and stand in the gates of Jerusalem. Jeremiah was to go out and confront people. In public. To their face. He was like a street preacher, but with a very gloomy message. He didn’t hide in an Upper Room like the twelve apostles.


VERSE 20. Tell them, ‘Hear the LORD’s word, you kings of Judah, all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates:


VERSE 21. The LORD says, “Be careful, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem.


VERSE 22. Don’t carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day. Don’t do any work, but make the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers.


VERSE 23. But they didn’t listen. They didn’t turn their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, and might not receive instruction.


VERSE 24. It will happen, if you diligently listen to me,” says the LORD, “to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but to make the Sabbath day holy, to do no work therein;


VERSE 25. then there will enter in by the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on David’s throne, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city will remain forever.


VERSE 26. They will come from the cities of Judah, and from the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the lowland, from the hill country, and from the South, bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, meal offerings, and frankincense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving, to the LORD’s house.


VERSE 27. But if you will not listen to me to make the Sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem. It will not be quenched.” ’ ”


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.