Jeremiah 17

Chapter 17

17:1 The sin of Judah [is] a written with a pen of iron, [and] with the point of a diamond: [it is] graven upon the b tablet of their heart, and upon the horns of your c altars;

(a) The remembrance of their contempt of God cannot pass, although for a time he defers the punishment, for it will be revealed to men and angels.
(b) Instead of the law of God, they have written idolatry and all abomination in their heart.
(c) Your sins appear in all the altars that you have erected to idols.
17:2 d While their children remember their altars and their idols by the green trees upon the high hills.
(d) Some read, "So that their children remember their altars", that is, follow their fathers wickedness.
17:3 e O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance [and] all thy treasures to the spoil, [and] thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders.
(e) Zion that was my mountain, will now be left as a waste field.
17:4 And thou, even f thyself, shall discontinue from thy heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thy enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in my anger, [which] shall burn for ever.
(f) Because you would not give the land rest, at such times, days and years as I appointed, you will after this be carried away and it will rest for lack of labourers.
17:5 Thus saith the LORD; g Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

(g) The Jews were given to worldly policies and thought to make themselves strong by the friendship of the Egyptians, ( Isaiah 31:3 ) and strangers and in the mean time did not depend on God, and therefore he denounces Gods plagues against them, showing that they prefer corruptible man to God, who is immortal, ( Isaiah 2:22 ; Jeremiah 48:6 Jeremiah 48:7 ).
17:8 h For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

(h) Read ( Psalms 1:3 ).
17:9 i The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

(i) Because the wicked always have some excuse to defend their doings he shows that their own lewd imaginations deceive them and bring them to these hardships: but God will examine their deeds by the malice of their hearts, ( 2:13 ).
17:11 k [As] the partridge sitteth [on eggs], and hatcheth [them] not; [so] he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.
(k) As the patriarch by calling gathered others who forsake her when they see she is not their mother: so the covetous man is forsaken of his riches because he comes by them falsely.
17:12 A glorious l high throne from the beginning [is] the place of our sanctuary.
(l) Showing that the godly ought to glory in nothing, but in God who exalts his, and has left a sign of his favour in his temple.
17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, [and] they that depart from me shall be written m in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.
(m) Their names will not be registered in the book of life.
17:14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; n save me, and I shall be saved: for thou [art] my praise.
(n) He desires God to preserve him that he fall not into temptation, considering the great contempt of Gods word, and the multitude that fall from God.
17:15 Behold, o they say to me, Where [is] the word of the LORD? let it come now.
(o) The wicked say that my prophecy will not come to pass, because you deferred the time of your vengeance.
17:16 As for me, p I have not hastened from [being] a shepherd to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which was uttered by my lips was [right] before thee.
(p) I am assured of my calling, and therefore know that the thing which you speak by me will come to pass, and that I speak not of any worldly affection.
17:17 Be not q a terror to me: thou [art] my hope in the day of evil.
(q) However the wicked deal rigorously with me, yet let me find comfort in you.
17:18 Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, r and destroy them with double destruction.

(r) Read ( Jeremiah 11:20 ).
17:19 Thus said the LORD to me; Go and stand in the s gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in, and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;
(s) While your doctrine may best be understood both by high and low.
17:21 Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the t sabbath day, nor bring [it] in by the gates of Jerusalem;

(t) By naming the Sabbath day, he comprehends the thing that is signified by it, for if they transgressed in the ceremony, they must be guilty of the rest, read ( Exodus 20:8 ) and by the breaking of this one commandment, he makes them transgressors of the whole law, as the first and second table are contained in it.