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Jeremiah 17

1 ‘All the people in Judah are full of sin.

It is deep in every part of their bodies.

It is like something that someone has written with a pen of iron.

And they use their altars to sin against me.

It is like something that someone has written on those altars too.

2 Even their children

use their altars and sticks that they call gods.

They put those tall sticks on high hills

and under big trees.

3 Enemies will come to my mountain that is in your country.

They will take away all the valuable things from there.

They will take away all the things that make you rich.

I will do that because of the sin of the people in all my country.

4 You will lose the country that I gave to your ancestors.

You will lose it because of your own sin.

Your enemies will make you their slaves.

You will live in a country that you do not know.

You have made me very angry,

and you cannot stop me being angry.’

17:4Verses 1-4 These verses talk about Judah's sin.

5 The LORD spoke again.

‘Some people trust human people.

I will punish everyone who thinks like that.

They think that human people can make them strong.

They do not ask the LORD for help.

6 Those people will be like a bush in a wild place.

They will not become rich when other people become rich.

They will stay in dry salty places where nobody lives.

7 The person who lets the LORD lead him is not like that.

The LORD will bless the man who follows him.

8 He will be like a tree near water

that drinks from the river.

He will not be afraid of the sun's heat.

He will be like a tree that is always green.

The tree gives much fruit and it always has enough water.

9 A man's mind can decide what he will do.

But that can cause trouble for him.

I do not know anybody except me who can understand the things in a man's mind.

It is bad and sick and nobody can make it better.

10 But I, the LORD, can look inside a man.

I can see what he feels. And I can see what he thinks.

I will give good gifts to him if he does good things.

And I will punish him if he does bad things.

11 A man may get rich because he is not fair to other people.

He is like a bird that sits on eggs. But the eggs are not its own.

He will lose his riches before he is old.

At the end of his life, people will see that he is a fool.’

12 Our God's throne was from the beginning.

It is high up in the holy place.

17:12The holy place is the temple on Mount Zion.

13 LORD, Israel's people are your people. And they trust you.

All who go away from you will be ashamed.

Those who turn away from you will die.

They will die because they have gone away from the LORD.

He is the living water that gives life to them.

Jeremiah tells the LORD about his troubles.

14 LORD, make me well, and I will be well.

Save me and I will be safe.

Save me because I praise you.

15 People keep asking me questions.

‘Where are the words of the LORD?

When will they come true?’

16 LORD, I have not stopped giving help to your people who are like your sheep.

You know that I did not want bad things to happen to them.

You know that I have spoken your words.

17 Please do not make me afraid!

When bad things happen, I run to you to hide me.

18 I want you to make the people ashamed who hurt me.

Please make them very afraid.

But help me not to be afraid.

Cause them to have a lot of trouble.

Destroy them again and again.

The LORD tells Jeremiah about his rules for the Sabbath.

19 ‘Go and stand in the gate of the city’, the LORD said to me. ‘Stand in the gate that the kings of Judah use to go in and out of the city. And stand at the other city gates, too. 20 Speak to the people. Say, “Listen, you kings of Judah, people of Judah, and everyone who lives in Jerusalem. Hear the message from the LORD. 21 This is what the LORD says. ‘Do not carry anything on the Sabbath day. Do not carry anything through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Do not carry anything out of your houses and do not do any work on the Sabbath day. You must keep the Sabbath day holy as I told your ancestors. 23 But they did not listen to me and they did not obey me. They thought that my words did not have any value. They would not listen when I corrected them. 24 But you must be careful to listen to me and to obey me. Then you will neither carry things through these gates nor work on the Sabbath. You will keep the Sabbath day holy’, says the LORD. 25 ‘Then kings who sit on David's throne will come to the city. They will come through the gates with their officers. Some kings will ride on horses. Some kings will ride in beautiful chariots that horses are pulling. The men of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem will come with them. Then people will always live in this city. 26 People will come from the towns and villages in Judah. They will come from the land that belongs to Benjamin. They will come from the hills and the little hills in the west. They will come from the south. They will bring animals, grain and oils with nice smells. They will offer those things to the LORD in his temple. They will offer them to the LORD to thank him. They will thank him for all the good things that he has done. 27 If you do not obey me, I will punish you. You must not carry things on the Sabbath day. You must not even take them through the gates. If you do not obey me, I will send fire to the gates of Jerusalem. You will not be able to put it out. Your strong city will burn down.’ ” ’