1“Judah’s sin is carved with an iron tool.
It is written with the flint point of the tool.
It is carved on the tablets of their hearts.
It is written on the horns that stick out
from the corners of their altars.
2Even their children offer sacrifices
to other gods on those altars.
They use the poles that were made
to worship the female god named Asherah.
They worship strange gods beside the green trees
and on the high hills.
3I will give away my holy Mount Zion to the Babylonians.
Your enemies will carry off your wealth
and all your treasures.
I will give away your high places.
That will happen because you have sinned.
You have done it throughout your country.
4You will lose the land I gave you.
And it will be your own fault.
I will make you slaves to your enemies.
You will serve them in a land you didn’t know about before.
You have set my anger on fire.
It will burn forever.”
5The Lord says,
“Those who trust in human beings are under my curse.
They depend on human strength.
Their hearts turn away from me.
6They will be like a bush in a dry and empty land.
They will not enjoy success when it comes.
They will live in dry places in the desert.
It is a land of salt where no one else lives.
7“But I will bless anyone who trusts in me.
I will do good things for the person who depends on me.
8They will be like a tree planted near water.
It sends out its roots beside a stream.
It is not afraid when heat comes.
Its leaves are always green.
It does not worry when there is no rain.
It always bears fruit.”
9A human heart is more dishonest than anything else.
It can’t be healed.
Who can understand it?
10The Lord says, “I look deep down inside human hearts.
I see what is in people’s minds.
I reward each person in keeping with their conduct.
I bless them based on what they have done.”
11Some people get rich by doing sinful things.
They are like a partridge that hatches eggs it didn’t lay.
When their lives are half over, their riches will desert them.
In the end they will prove how foolish they have been.
12Our temple is where the Lord’s glorious throne is.
From the beginning it has been high and lifted up.
13Lord, you are Israel’s only hope.
Everyone who deserts you will be put to shame.
The names of those who turn away from you will be listed among the dead.
Lord, they have deserted you.
You are the spring of water that gives life.
14Lord, heal me. Then I will be healed.
Save me from my enemies. Then I will be saved.
You are the one I praise.
15They keep saying to me,
“What has happened to the message the Lord gave you?
Let it come true right now!”
16I haven’t run away from being the shepherd of your people.
You know I haven’t wanted the day of Jerusalem’s fall to come.
You are aware of every word that comes from my lips.
17Don’t be a terror to me.
When I’m in trouble, I go to you for safety.
18Let those who attack me be put to shame.
But keep me from shame.
Let them be terrified.
But keep me from terror.
Bring the day of trouble on them.
Destroy them once and for all.
Keep the Sabbath Day Holy
19The Lord said to me, “Go. Stand at the city gate called the Gate of the People. That is where the kings of Judah go in and out. Then stand at all the other gates of Jerusalem. 20Say, ‘Listen to the Lord’s message, you kings of Judah and all you people of Judah and Jerusalem. You always come through these gates. 21The Lord says, “Make sure you do not carry a load on the Sabbath day. Do not bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22Do not bring a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day. Do not do any work on that day. Instead, keep the Sabbath day holy. Do as I commanded your people of long ago. 23But they did not listen. They did not pay any attention to me. They were stubborn. They would not listen or pay attention when I corrected them. 24Be careful to obey me,” announces the Lord. “Do not bring a load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day. Instead, keep the Sabbath day holy. Do not do any work on it. 25Then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this city. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses. The people of Judah and Jerusalem will come along with them. And this city will always have people living in it. 26Some will come from the towns of Judah. And some will come in from the villages around Jerusalem. Others will come from the territory of Benjamin. And others will come in from the western hills. Still others will come from the central hill country and the Negev Desert. All of them will bring burnt offerings and sacrifices. They will come bringing grain offerings, incense and thank offerings. They will take all these offerings to my house. 27But what if you do not obey me? Suppose you do not keep the Sabbath day holy. And suppose you carry a load through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. Then I will start a fire that can’t be put out. It will begin at the gates of Jerusalem. It will destroy its mighty towers.” ’ ”