Jeremiah 17:9-10

9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:9 in Other Translations

KJV
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
ESV
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
NLT
9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
MSG
9 "The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.
CSB
9 The heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick-who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9-10 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 17

This chapter is a further prophecy of the destruction of the Jews, with the causes of it, their sins, as their idolatry, which was notorious; of which their own consciences, their altars, and their children, were witnesses, Jer 17:1,2 for which they are threatened with the spoil of their substance and treasure, and discontinuance in their land, Jer 17:3,4 as also their confidence in an arm of flesh, which brought the curse of God upon them, when such are blessed that trust in him; and the difference between those that trust in men and those that trust in the Lord is illustrated by very apt similes, Jer 17:5-8, the source of which vain confidence is the wicked heart of man, known to none but God, Jer 17:9,10 and the vanity of it is exposed by a partridge sitting on eggs without hatching them, Jer 17:11, and their departure from God, by trusting in the creature, and in outward things, is aggravated by their temple being the throne and seat of the divine Majesty; by what God is to his people that trust in him; and by the shame and ruin that follow an apostasy from him, Jer 17:12,13, wherefore the prophet, sensible of his own backslidings, prays to be healed and saved by the Lord, who should have all the praise and glory, Jer 17:14 and then relates the scoffs of the people at the word of God by him, another cause of their ruin; declares his own innocence and integrity; prays for protection and security from fear in a time of trouble; and for confusion, terror, and destruction to his persecutors, Jer 17:15-18, then follows an order to him from the Lord, to go and stand in the gate of the city, and exhort all ranks of men to the observation of the sabbath, with directions how to keep it, which had not been observed by their fathers, and which was another cause of their ruin, Jer 17:19-23, and the chapter is closed with promises of blessings in city, court, and country, in church and state, should they religiously observe the sabbath day; but if they profaned it, the city of Jerusalem, and its palaces, should be burnt with fire, Jer 17:24-27.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 In-Context

7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay are those who gain riches by unjust means. When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them, and in the end they will prove to be fools.
12 A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.

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Cross References 5

  • 1. S Ecclesiastes 9:3; Matthew 13:15; Mark 7:21-22
  • 2. 1 Samuel 16:7; S Joshua 22:22; S 2 Chronicles 6:30; S Revelation 2:23
  • 3. Psalms 17:3; Psalms 139:23; Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 20:12; Ezekiel 11:5; Ezekiel 38:10; Romans 8:27
  • 4. S Leviticus 26:28; Psalms 62:12; Jeremiah 32:19; S Matthew 16:27
  • 5. Jeremiah 12:13; Jeremiah 14:16; Jeremiah 21:14; Jeremiah 32:19; Romans 2:6
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