"Judah's sin is carved with an iron tool. It is written with a sharp stone. It is carved on the tablets of their hearts. It is written on the horns that stick out from the corners of their altars.
Even their children offer sacrifices to other gods on those altars. They use the poles that were made to worship the goddess Asherah. They worship strange gods beside the green trees and on the high hills.
I will give away my holy Mount Zion to the Babylonians. Your enemies will carry off your wealth and all of your treasures. I will give away your high places. That will happen because you have sinned. You have done it all through your country.
You 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 have not had anything to do with before. You have set my anger on fire. It will burn forever."
The LORD says, "Those who trust in man are under my curse. They depend on human strength. Their hearts turn away from me.
They 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.
"But I will bless any man who trusts in me. I will show my favor to the one who depends on me.
He will be like a tree that is 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."
A human heart is more dishonest than anything else. It can't be healed. Who can understand it?
The LORD says, "I look deep down inside human hearts. I see what is in people's minds. I reward a man in keeping with his conduct. I bless him based on what he has done."
Some people get rich in the wrong way. 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.
Our temple is where the LORD's glorious throne is. From the beginning it has been high and lifted up.
Lord, 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.
Lord, heal me. Then I will be healed. Save me from my enemies. Then I will be saved. You are the one I praise.
They keep saying to me, "What has happened to the message the LORD gave you? Let it come true right now!"
I 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.
Don't be a terror to me. When I'm in trouble, I go to you for safety.
Let 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.
The LORD said to me, "Go. Stand at the city gate where the people gather together. That is where the kings of Judah go in and out. Also go to all of the other gates of Jerusalem.
Say, 'Listen to the LORD's message, you kings of Judah and all of you people of Judah and Jerusalem. You always come through these gates.
" 'The LORD says, "Make sure you do not carry a load on the Sabbath day. Do not bring it through the gates of Jerusalem.
Do not bring a load out of your houses on the Sabbath. Do not do any work on that day. Instead, keep the Sabbath day holy. Do as I commanded your people long ago.
But 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.
" ' "Be careful to obey me," announces the Lord. "Do not bring a load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath. Instead, keep the Sabbath day holy. Do not do any work on it.
" ' "Then 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.
Some 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 of those offerings to my house.
" ' "But 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. 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." ' "