Jeremiah 17
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  The sin of Yehudah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond; it is graven upon the tablet of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars.

א  חַטַּאת יְהוּדָה כְּתוּבָה בְּעֵט בַּרְזֶל בְּצִפֹּרֶן שָׁמִיר חֲרוּשָׁה עַל לוּחַ לִבָּם וּלְקַרְנוֹת מִזְבְּחוֹתֵיכֶם.

2  Like the symbols of their sons are their altars, and their Asherim are by the leafy trees, upon the high hills.

ב  כִּזְכֹּר בְּנֵיהֶם מִזְבְּחוֹתָם וַאֲשֵׁרֵיהֶם עַל עֵץ רַעֲנָן עַל גְּבָעוֹת הַגְּבֹהוֹת.

3  O thou that sittest upon the mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures for a spoil, and thy high places, because of sin, throughout all thy borders.

ג  הֲרָרִי בַּשָּׂדֶה חֵילְךָ כָל אוֹצְרוֹתֶיךָ לָבַז אֶתֵּן בָּמֹתֶיךָ בְּחַטָּאת בְּכָל גְּבוּלֶיךָ.

4  And thou, even of thyself, shalt discontinue from thy heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not; for ye have kindled a fire in My nostril, which shall burn for ever.

ד  וְשָׁמַטְתָּה וּבְךָ מִנַּחֲלָתְךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לָךְ וְהַעֲבַדְתִּיךָ אֶת אֹיְבֶיךָ בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדָעְתָּ כִּי אֵשׁ קְדַחְתֶּם בְּאַפִּי עַד עוֹלָם תּוּקָד.

5  Thus saith Hashem: Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from Hashem.

ה  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אָרוּר הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בָּאָדָם וְשָׂם בָּשָׂר זְרֹעוֹ וּמִן יְהוָה יָסוּר לִבּוֹ.

6  For he shall be like a tamarisk in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land and not inhabited.

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

ו  וְהָיָה כְּעַרְעָר בָּעֲרָבָה וְלֹא יִרְאֶה כִּי יָבוֹא טוֹב וְשָׁכַן חֲרֵרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר אֶרֶץ מְלֵחָה וְלֹא תֵשֵׁב.

17:6   For he shall be like a tamarisk in the desert 

 To illustrate the difference between trusting in God and trusting in man, Jeremiah 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 called the tamarisk, with scaly leaves and a gnarled stem. The  Hebrew name for this plant is ‘arar'(עַרְעָר), similar to the Hebrew word for childless ‘areeree’ (עֲרִירִי),  invoking feelings of lifelessness and emptiness. Someone who relies on the Lord, however, is likened to a majestic tree with deep roots beside the ever-flowing river, growing tall and whose branches provide shelter from the heat. Israel has two choices: they could trust in God and remain secure in their Land, flourishing like the tree by the river; or cut themselves off from the Divine presence and choose to be exiled to the wilderness of the tamarisk. 

Comment

7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in Hashem, and whose trust Hashem is.

ז  בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּיהוָה וְהָיָה יְהוָה מִבְטַחוֹ.

8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out its roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but its foliage shall be luxuriant; and shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

ח  וְהָיָה 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.

9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceeding weak–who can know it?

ט  עָקֹב הַלֵּב מִכֹּל וְאָנֻשׁ הוּא מִי יֵדָעֶנּוּ.

10  I Hashem search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

י  אֲנִי יְהוָה חֹקֵר לֵב בֹּחֵן כְּלָיוֹת וְלָתֵת לְאִישׁ כִּדְרָכָו כִּפְרִי מַעֲלָלָיו.

11  As the partridge that broodeth over young which she hath not brought forth, so is he that getteth riches, and not by right; in the midst of his days he shall leave them, and at his end he shall be a fool.

יא  קֹרֵא דָגַר וְלֹא יָלָד עֹשֶׂה עֹשֶׁר וְלֹא בְמִשְׁפָּט בַּחֲצִי יָמָו יַעַזְבֶנּוּ וּבְאַחֲרִיתוֹ יִהְיֶה נָבָל.

12  Thou throne of glory, on high from the beginning, thou place of our sanctuary,

יב  כִּסֵּא כָבוֹד מָרוֹם מֵרִאשׁוֹן מְקוֹם מִקְדָּשֵׁנוּ.

13  Thou hope of Yisrael, Hashem! All that forsake Thee shall be ashamed; they that depart from Thee shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Hashem, the fountain of living waters.

יג  מִקְוֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה כָּל עֹזְבֶיךָ יֵבֹשׁוּ יסורי (וְסוּרַי) בָּאָרֶץ יִכָּתֵבוּ כִּי עָזְבוּ מְקוֹר מַיִם חַיִּים אֶת יְהוָה.

14  Heal me, O Hashem, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for Thou art my praise.

יד  רְפָאֵנִי יְהוָה וְאֵרָפֵא הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי וְאִוָּשֵׁעָה כִּי תְהִלָּתִי אָתָּה.

15  Behold, they say unto me: ‘Where is the word of Hashem? let it come now.’

טו  הִנֵּה הֵמָּה אֹמְרִים אֵלָי אַיֵּה דְבַר יְהוָה יָבוֹא נָא.

16  As for me, I have not hastened from being a shepherd after Thee; neither have I desired the woeful day; Thou knowest it; that which came out of my lips was manifest before Thee.

טז  וַאֲנִי לֹא אַצְתִּי מֵרֹעֶה אַחֲרֶיךָ וְיוֹם אָנוּשׁ לֹא הִתְאַוֵּיתִי אַתָּה יָדָעְתָּ מוֹצָא שְׂפָתַי נֹכַח פָּנֶיךָ הָיָה.

17  Be not a ruin unto me; thou art my refuge in the day of evil.

יז  אַל תִּהְיֵה לִי לִמְחִתָּה מַחֲסִי אַתָּה בְּיוֹם רָעָה.

18  Let them be ashamed that persecute me, but let not me be ashamed; let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed; bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.

יח  יֵבֹשׁוּ רֹדְפַי וְאַל אֵבֹשָׁה אָנִי יֵחַתּוּ הֵמָּה וְאַל אֵחַתָּה אָנִי הָבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם יוֹם רָעָה וּמִשְׁנֶה שִׁבָּרוֹן שָׁבְרֵם.

19  Thus said Hashem unto me: Go, and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Yehudah come in, and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Yerushalayim;

יט  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֵלַי הָלֹךְ וְעָמַדְתָּ בְּשַׁעַר בְּנֵי עם (הָעָם) אֲשֶׁר יָבֹאוּ בוֹ יְהוּדָה וַאֲשֶׁר יֵצְאוּ בוֹ וּבְכֹל שַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלִָם.

20  and say unto them: Hear ye the word of Hashem, ye kings of Yehudah, and all Yehudah, and all the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, that enter in by these gates;

כ  וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר יְהוָה מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה וְכָל יְהוּדָה וְכֹל יֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִָם הַבָּאִים בַּשְּׁעָרִים הָאֵלֶּה.

21  thus saith Hashem: Take heed for the sake of your souls, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Yerushalayim;

כא  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הִשָּׁמְרוּ בְּנַפְשׁוֹתֵיכֶם וְאַל תִּשְׂאוּ מַשָּׂא בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וַהֲבֵאתֶם בְּשַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלִָם.

22  neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work; but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers;

כב  וְלֹא תוֹצִיאוּ מַשָּׂא מִבָּתֵּיכֶם בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וְכָל מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֶת אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם.

23  but they hearkened not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.

כג  וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ וְלֹא הִטּוּ אֶת אָזְנָם וַיַּקְשׁוּ אֶת עָרְפָּם לְבִלְתִּי שומע (שְׁמוֹעַ) וּלְבִלְתִּי קַחַת מוּסָר.

24  And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto Me, saith Hashem, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but to hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein;

כד  וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּן אֵלַי נְאֻם יְהוָה לְבִלְתִּי הָבִיא מַשָּׂא בְּשַׁעֲרֵי הָעִיר הַזֹּאת בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וּלְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְבִלְתִּי עֲשׂוֹת בֹּה כָּל מְלָאכָה.

25  then shall there enter in by the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Yehudah, and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim; and this city shall be inhabited for ever.

כה  וּבָאוּ בְשַׁעֲרֵי הָעִיר הַזֹּאת מְלָכִים וְשָׂרִים יֹשְׁבִים עַל כִּסֵּא דָוִד רֹכְבִים בָּרֶכֶב וּבַסּוּסִים הֵמָּה וְשָׂרֵיהֶם אִישׁ יְהוּדָה וְיֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִָם וְיָשְׁבָה הָעִיר הַזֹּאת לְעוֹלָם.

26  And they shall come from the cities of Yehudah, and from the places round about Yerushalayim, and from the land of Binyamin, and from the Lowland, and from the mountains, and from the South, bringing burnt-offerings, and sacrifices, and meal-offerings, and frankincense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving, unto the house of Hashem.

כו  וּבָאוּ מֵעָרֵי יְהוּדָה וּמִסְּבִיבוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם וּמֵאֶרֶץ בִּנְיָמִן וּמִן הַשְּׁפֵלָה וּמִן הָהָר וּמִן הַנֶּגֶב מְבִאִים עוֹלָה וְזֶבַח וּמִנְחָה וּלְבוֹנָה וּמְבִאֵי תוֹדָה בֵּית יְהוָה.

27  But if ye will not hearken unto Me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden and enter in at the gates of Yerushalayim on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Yerushalayim, and it shall not be quenched.

כז  וְאִם לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ אֵלַי לְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וּלְבִלְתִּי שְׂאֵת מַשָּׂא וּבֹא בְּשַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וְהִצַּתִּי אֵשׁ בִּשְׁעָרֶיהָ וְאָכְלָה אַרְמְנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְלֹא תִכְבֶּה.

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Jeremiah 17