Jeremiah 17

1The guilt of Yehuda is inscribed1 With a stylus of iron, Engraved with an adamant point On the tablet of their hearts, And on the horns of their altars,

אחַטַּאת יְהוּדָה כְּתוּבָה בְּעֵט בַּרְזֶל בְּצִפֹּרֶן שָׁמִיר חֲרוּשָׁה עַל־לוּחַ לִבָּם וּלְקַרְנוֹת מִזְבְּחוֹתֵיכֶם׃

2While their children remember Their altars and sacred posts, By verdant trees, Upon lofty hills.

בכִּזְכֹּר בְּנֵיהֶם מִזְבְּחוֹתָם וַאֲשֵׁרֵיהֶם עַל־עֵץ רַעֲנָן עַל גְּבָעוֹת הַגְּבֹהוֹת׃

3Because of the sin of your shrines Throughout your borders, I will make your rampart a heap in the field, And all your treasures a spoil.

גהֲרָרִי בַּשָּׂדֶה חֵילְךָ כָל־אוֹצְרוֹתֶיךָ לָבַז אֶתֵּן בָּמֹתֶיךָ בְּחַטָּאת בְּכָל־גְּבוּלֶיךָ׃

4You will forfeit, by your own act, The inheritance I have given you; I will make you a slave to your enemies In a land you have never known. For you have kindled the flame of My wrath Which shall burn for all time.

דוְשָׁמַטְתָּה וּבְךָ מִנַּחֲלָתְךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לָךְ וְהַעֲבַדְתִּיךָ אֶת־אֹיְבֶיךָ בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָדָעְתָּ כִּי־אֵשׁ קְדַחְתֶּם בְּאַפִּי עַד־עוֹלָם תּוּקָד׃

5Thus said Hashem: Cursed is he who trusts in man, Who makes mere flesh his strength, And turns his thoughts from Hashem.

הכֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה אָרוּר הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בָּאָדָם וְשָׂם בָּשָׂר זְרֹעוֹ וּמִן־יְהֹוָה יָסוּר לִבּוֹ׃

6He shall be like a bush in the desert, Which does not sense the coming of good: It is set in the scorched places of the wilderness, In a barren land without inhabitant.

v'-ha-YAH k'-ar-AR ba-a-ra-VAH v'-LO yir-EH kee ya-VO TOV v'-sha-KHAN kha-ray-REEM ba-mid-BAR E-retz m'-lay-KHAH v'-LO tay-SHAYV

ווְהָיָה כְּעַרְעָר בָּעֲרָבָה וְלֹא יִרְאֶה כִּי־יָבוֹא טוֹב וְשָׁכַן חֲרֵרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר אֶרֶץ מְלֵחָה וְלֹא תֵשֵׁב׃

 17:6   He shall be like a bush in the desert

Shrubs grow at Tamrur Cliff in the Dead Sea region.

To illustrate the difference between trusting in Hashem and trusting in man, Yirmiyahu paints a strong contrast between two vivid images. One who relies on man is compared to a small shrub in the barren and rocky desert. The Hebrew name for this plant is arar (ערער), similar to the Hebrew word for ‘childless,’ areeree (ערירי), invoking feelings of lifelessness and emptiness. Someone who relies on Hashem, however, is likened to a majestic tree with deep roots beside an ever-flowing river, growing tall and whose branches provide shelter from the heat (verse 8). Israel has two choices: They can trust in God and remain secure in their land, flourishing like the tree by the river, or they can cut themselves off from the Divine Presence and choose to be exiled to the wilderness of the arar.

7Blessed is he who trusts in Hashem, Whose trust is Hashem alone.

זבָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּיהֹוָה וְהָיָה יְהֹוָה מִבְטַחוֹ׃

8He shall be like a tree planted by waters, Sending forth its roots by a stream: It does not sense the coming of heat, Its leaves are ever fresh; It has no care in a year of drought, It does not cease to yield fruit.

חוְהָיָה כְּעֵץ שָׁתוּל עַל־מַיִם וְעַל־יוּבַל יְשַׁלַּח שָׁרָשָׁיו וְלֹא ירא [יִרְאֶה] כִּי־יָבֹא חֹם וְהָיָה עָלֵהוּ רַעֲנָן וּבִשְׁנַת בַּצֹּרֶת לֹא יִדְאָג וְלֹא יָמִישׁ מֵעֲשׂוֹת פֶּרִי׃

9Most devious is the heart; It is perverse—who can fathom it?

טעָקֹב הַלֵּב מִכֹּל וְאָנֻשׁ הוּא מִי יֵדָעֶנּוּ׃

10I Hashem probe the heart, Search the mind— To repay every man according to his ways, With the proper fruit of his deeds.

יאֲנִי יְהֹוָה חֹקֵר לֵב בֹּחֵן כְּלָיוֹת וְלָתֵת לְאִישׁ כדרכו [כִּדְרָכָיו] כִּפְרִי מַעֲלָלָיו׃

11Like a partridge hatching what she did not lay, So is one who amasses wealth by unjust means; In the middle of his life it will leave him, And in the end he will be proved a fool.

יאקֹרֵא דָגַר וְלֹא יָלָד עֹשֶׂה עֹשֶׁר וְלֹא בְמִשְׁפָּט בַּחֲצִי ימו [יָמָיו] יַעַזְבֶנּוּ וּבְאַחֲרִיתוֹ יִהְיֶה נָבָל׃

12O Throne of Glory exalted from of old, Our Sacred Shrine!

יבכִּסֵּא כָבוֹד מָרוֹם מֵרִאשׁוֹן מְקוֹם מִקְדָּשֵׁנוּ׃

13O Hope of Yisrael! Hashem! All who forsake You shall be put to shame, Those in the land who turn from You Shall be doomed men, For they have forsaken Hashem, The Fount of living waters.

יגמִקְוֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהֹוָה כָּל־עֹזְבֶיךָ יֵבֹשׁוּ יסורי [וְסוּרַי] בָּאָרֶץ יִכָּתֵבוּ כִּי עָזְבוּ מְקוֹר מַיִם־חַיִּים אֶת־יְהֹוָה׃

14Heal me, Hashem, and let me be healed; Save me, and let me be saved; For You are my glory.

ידרְפָאֵנִי יְהֹוָה וְאֵרָפֵא הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי וְאִוָּשֵׁעָה כִּי תְהִלָּתִי אָתָּה׃

15See, they say to me: “Where is the prediction of Hashem? Let it come to pass!”

טוהִנֵּה־הֵמָּה אֹמְרִים אֵלָי אַיֵּה דְבַר־יְהֹוָה יָבוֹא נָא׃

16But I have not evaded Being a shepherd in your service, Nor have I longed for the fatal day. You know the utterances of my lips, They were ever before You.

טזוַאֲנִי לֹא־אַצְתִּי מֵרֹעֶה אַחֲרֶיךָ וְיוֹם אָנוּשׁ לֹא הִתְאַוֵּיתִי אַתָּה יָדָעְתָּ מוֹצָא שְׂפָתַי נֹכַח פָּנֶיךָ הָיָה׃

17Do not be a cause of dismay to me; You are my refuge in a day of calamity.

יזאַל־תִּהְיֵה־לִי לִמְחִתָּה מַחֲסִי־אַתָּה בְּיוֹם רָעָה׃

18Let my persecutors be shamed, And let not me be shamed; Let them be dismayed, And let not me be dismayed. Bring on them the day of disaster, And shatter them with double destruction.

יחיֵבֹשׁוּ רֹדְפַי וְאַל־אֵבֹשָׁה אָנִי יֵחַתּוּ הֵמָּה וְאַל־אֵחַתָּה אָנִי הָבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם יוֹם רָעָה וּמִשְׁנֶה שִׁבָּרוֹן שָׁבְרֵם׃

19Thus said Hashem to me: Go and stand in the People's Gate, by which the kings of Yehuda enter and by which they go forth, and in all the gates of Yerushalayim,

יטכֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי הָלֹךְ וְעָמַדְתָּ בְּשַׁעַר בְּנֵי־עם [הָעָם] אֲשֶׁר יָבֹאוּ בוֹ מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה וַאֲשֶׁר יֵצְאוּ בוֹ וּבְכֹל שַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

20and say to them: Hear the word of Hashem, O kings of Yehuda, and all Yehuda, and all the inhabitants of Yerushalayim who enter by these gates!

כוְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר־יְהֹוָה מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה וְכָל־יְהוּדָה וְכֹל יֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם הַבָּאִים בַּשְּׁעָרִים הָאֵלֶּה׃

21Thus said Hashem: Guard yourselves for your own sake against carrying burdens on the Shabbat day, and bringing them through the gates of Yerushalayim.

כאכֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִשָּׁמְרוּ בְּנַפְשׁוֹתֵיכֶם וְאַל־תִּשְׂאוּ מַשָּׂא בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וַהֲבֵאתֶם בְּשַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

22Nor shall you carry out burdens from your houses on the Shabbat day, or do any work, but you shall hallow the Shabbat day, as I commanded your fathers.

כבוְלֹא־תוֹצִיאוּ מַשָּׂא מִבָּתֵּיכֶם בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וְכָל־מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם אֶת־יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֶת־אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם׃

23But they would not listen or turn their ear; they stiffened their necks and would not pay heed or accept discipline.

כגוְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ וְלֹא הִטּוּ אֶת־אָזְנָם וַיַּקְשׁוּ אֶת־עָרְפָּם לְבִלְתִּי שומע [שְׁמוֹעַ] וּלְבִלְתִּי קַחַת מוּסָר׃

24If you obey Me—declares Hashem—and do not bring in burdens through the gates of this city on the Shabbat day, but hallow the Shabbat day and do no work on it,

כדוְהָיָה אִם־שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּן אֵלַי נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה לְבִלְתִּי הָבִיא מַשָּׂא בְּשַׁעֲרֵי הָעִיר הַזֹּאת בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וּלְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת־יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְבִלְתִּי עֲשׂוֹת־בה [בּוֹ] כָּל־מְלָאכָה׃

25then through the gates of this city shall enter kings who sit upon the throne of David, with their officers—riding on chariots and horses, they and their officers—and the men of Yehuda and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim. And this city shall be inhabited for all time.

כהוּבָאוּ בְשַׁעֲרֵי הָעִיר הַזֹּאת מְלָכִים וְשָׂרִים יֹשְׁבִים עַל־כִּסֵּא דָוִד רֹכְבִים בָּרֶכֶב וּבַסּוּסִים הֵמָּה וְשָׂרֵיהֶם אִישׁ יְהוּדָה וְיֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם וְיָשְׁבָה הָעִיר־הַזֹּאת לְעוֹלָם׃

26And people shall come from the towns of Yehuda and from the environs of Yerushalayim, and from the land of Binyamin, and from the Shephelah, and from the hill country, and from the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, meal offerings and frankincense, and bringing offerings of thanksgiving to the House of Hashem.

כווּבָאוּ מֵעָרֵי־יְהוּדָה וּמִסְּבִיבוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם וּמֵאֶרֶץ בִּנְיָמִן וּמִן־הַשְּׁפֵלָה וּמִן־הָהָר וּמִן־הַנֶּגֶב מְבִאִים עוֹלָה וְזֶבַח וּמִנְחָה וּלְבוֹנָה וּמְבִאֵי תוֹדָה בֵּית יְהֹוָה׃

27But if you do not obey My command to hallow the Shabbat day and to carry in no burdens through the gates of Yerushalayim on the Shabbat day, then I will set fire to its gates; it shall consume the fortresses of Yerushalayim and it shall not be extinguished.

כזוְאִם־לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ אֵלַי לְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת־יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וּלְבִלְתִּי שְׂאֵת מַשָּׂא וּבֹא בְּשַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וְהִצַּתִּי אֵשׁ בִּשְׁעָרֶיהָ וְאָכְלָה אַרְמְנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם וְלֹא תִכְבֶּה׃