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Jeremiah 17:1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars- The sin of Judah was written- both on their hearts and in God's record (Jer. 17:1); their iniquity was "marked before me" (Jer. 2:22). Note how their sin was written both before God and on their hearts. The state of our hearts is actually God's record of us; "the spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord" through which He searches us (Prov. 20:27).

Jeremiah 17:2 While their children remember their altars and their Asherim by the green trees on the high hills-
The idea is as GNB "Your people worship at the altars and the symbols that have been set up for the goddess Asherah by every green tree and on the hilltops". The number of worship places for the idols was amazingly high; whereas Yahweh worship had only one altar, in the Jerusalem temple. This marked absence of religious paraphernalia in Yahweh worship was to inculcate faith. There was visual symbolism in the tabernacle ritual and temple; but this was to be meditated upon in everyday life, rather than actually physically encountered. God wanted the hearts and minds of His people, far more than acts of external obedience.

Jeremiah 17:3 My mountain in the field, I will give your substance and all your treasures for a spoil, and your high places, because of sin, throughout all your borders-
Their idols may have been particularly in their borders, for it was from these that they went to the nations surrounding them, seeking relationship and covenants which are portrayed in the prophets as similar to prostitution. The mention of "treasures" could refer to the temple treasures, "my mountain". But it could be that until the drought, Judah had become prosperous under the reforms of Josiah. Yet their wealth is presented as parallel with their sins, which were to be punished by the loss of wealth. 

Jeremiah 17:4 You, even of yourself, shall discontinue from your inheritance that I gave you; and I will cause you to serve your enemies in the land which you don’t know: for you have kindled a fire in My anger which shall burn forever-
It could be argued that death and remaining dead is in a sense suffering a punishment which has eternal consequences; it is the anger of God forever. But that seems rather forced. I would compare the statement that God's anger here burns for ever with the statements to the effect that God does not keep His anger for ever (Ps. 103:9; Jer. 3:12; Mic. 7:18). Surely this is how God felt at this time; that He would never get over what they had done, and His anger would continue for ever. This is the emotional God with whom we have to do. Likewise the threat to be discontinued from the inheritance was revised; in that Judah will finally eternally inherit the land. "Discontinue" is however the word used for the land having "rest" in the Sabbath year (Ez. 23:11), and the exile was so that the land might "rest" for all the Sabbath years she had not been rested for (Lev. 26:34,43).

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus says Yahweh: Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from Yahweh-
It could be that the "man" in view is Egypt, upon whom Judah was trusting for deliverance from Babylon- rather than Yahweh. The same words are used in Jer. 5:23 of how the people's heart had departed from Yahweh. Always in the Old Testament it is the state of the heart which is so significant to God; and this continues in the New Testament with the huge focus upon the spirit. The chapter goes on to suddenly condemn the man who seeks to get wealth wrongfully (:11); this would be the man who made flesh- his own flesh- his strength, and filled his mind with ways of doing so.

Jeremiah 17:6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land and not inhabited-
The people who trust the flesh or the world for "good" rather than Yahweh will "not see when good comes". The true good that comes only from Yahweh will not be perceived if we are focused all the time upon the "good" we think we can get from trusting in the flesh. We will not perceive the beauty of a sunrise because we are so caught up in hoping that news of a lottery win is about to come through. Such people stay in the land of condemnation ["a salt land"] by their own choice. And so many of the exiles remain in Babylon, failing to perceive the "good" which was being brought about by the "good hand of God" at the restoration (s.w. Ezra 7:9; 8:18 etc.). The very phrase "good comes" is used of the good things God would do at the restoration from Babylon (Jer. 32:42).

Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man who trusts in Yahweh, and whose trust Yahweh is-
So often Yahweh is portrayed as the only "confidence" or trust of His people. Judah's confidence in nations like Egypt was therefore a betrayal of their relationship with Yahweh. This rejection of trust / hope in foreign alliances is behind this comment that the man who hoped / had confidence in Yahweh alone would be blessed. The immediate context referred to having Egypt and other nations as their hope / confidence (Ez. 29:16 s.w.).

Jeremiah 17:8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, who spreads out its roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat comes, but its leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit-
"Drought" is s.w. only in Jer. 14:1. The drought was brought as judgment upon Judah to bring about their repentance; but those who truly trusted in Yahweh (:7) would be unaffected by it in real terms. The "heat" of judgment would not ultimately affect the righteous.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?-
This has commonly been read as a generic statement about the heart of every man by nature. However, we must remember that whatever we posit about human nature, we posit about the Lord Jesus; who despite having our nature, achieved a state of being holy, perfect and undefiled, and in whose spirit or heart was no guile. But the context is of Jeremiah continually emphasizing Judah's state of heart as being critically important. See on :5. It was Judah's heart which was so corrupt; :10 suggests that God could search their hearts and potentially find good things there, but in this case He found only corruption. "Exceedingly corrupt" is the wound used about the "incurable wound" of Judah (Jer. 15:18), which by grace would be healed. It describes a state of mind gotten into, and not how things are by nature within every human being [including the Lord Jesus].
The LXX gives: "The heart is deep beyond all things, and it is the man, and who can know him?". This would explain the parallel in :10 between the man, the mind, the heart and the doings. A man is his mind.

Jeremiah 17:10 I, Yahweh, search the mind, I try the heart, even to give every man according to his works, according to the fruit of his doings-
The 'testing' of Judah was to be through melting them in the furnace of Jerusalem, caused by the fire of Babylonian judgment (Jer. 9:7; Zech. 13:9). We learn here that the essential purpose of that was to try / test / purify / reveal their heart and mind; for that was and is of utterly paramount importance to God.

In likely allusion to the descriptions of God searching and trying our hearts in the Psalms, Jeremiah says that we should "search and try our hearts" (Lam. 3:40)- we should seek to know ourselves as God does. David's invitations to God to search and try him (Ps. 17:3; 26:2; 139;23) imply he has done so himself (cp. Ps. 77:6). God now searches and tries the hearts, and will [at judgment day] give every man as his work shall be (Jer. 17:10 cp. Rev. 22:12). The spirit of man is [i.e. is intended to be] the candle which God also uses for His examination of men (Prov. 20:27); there is thus a link intended between our self-examination and the way God looks at us. His judgment must be ours. As sin is condemned by Him, so we should examine ourselves to the point of self-condemnation.

Jeremiah 17:11 As the partridge that sits on eggs which she has not laid, so is he who gets riches, and not by right; in the midst of his days they shall leave him, and at his end he shall be a fool-
This warning against materialism and dishonesty in order to gain more wealth continue the warning begun in :5 about not trusting in flesh, even our own flesh.
All the idolatry and poor behaviour in Judah was in fact rooted in this desire for quick blessing and wealth. The materialist "at his end [rejection at the judgment] shall be a fool" (Jer. 17:11). The utter folly  of the rejected is a major theme (Prov. 14:8,18; Ps. 5:5; 49:13; Mt. 7:26; 25:8). Their folly will be manifest to all- not least themselves (2 Tim. 3:9). Parables like that of the rich fool, the foolish virgins... they will all be crystal clear to them. Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be likened to wise and foolish virgins (Mt. 25:1), after the judgment experience.

Jeremiah 17:12 A glorious throne, set on high from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary-
GNB "Our Temple is like a glorious throne, standing on a high mountain from the beginning". This interjection from Jeremiah is out of step with Yahweh's position about the temple. He has made clear in Jer. 7 that it will be destroyed and His sanctuary and glory is in Heaven, not in the temple. Hence Jeremiah's bitter disappointment in Lamentations when the temple is destroyed.
But at least we can say that Jeremiah's though about God's glory and throne was in order to lift himself far above the terrible lowness of his immediate theme- men who trust in their own strength to get a little bit more glory and wealth than the man next to them.

Jeremiah 17:13 Yahweh, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be disappointed. Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Yahweh, the spring of living waters-
The next verse and the first half of this verse are clearly Jeremiah talking. But the second half of :13 is Yahweh's response; and it is repeating what Jeremiah has just said in different words and with more detail. We marvel at the dialogue and intimacy possible between God and man. The people Jeremiah had in mind may be his persecutors, for he uses the same word "disappointed" ["ashamed"] about them in :18. Being "written in the earth" may contrast with being written in heaven (Heb. 12:23). But the idea may be that because they forsook the living waters by rejecting Jeremiah's prophetic word, they would remain written in the dust. The Lord would then be alluding to this when He wrote in the dust when rescuing the woman taken in adultery (Jn. 9). Perhaps He wrote the names of the accusers in the dust, or their names and their own sins. Jeremiah still speaks of Yahweh as "the hope of Israel", as it there were still (in his opinion)  true Israel who hoped in their God.

Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, O Yahweh, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for You are my praise- Jeremiah was perhaps physically ill; but he expresses his affliction in terms of Israel's being smitten with judgment and then their salvation. Repeatedly, the wound of Judah is described as incurable (Jer. 15:18; 30:12,15; Mic. 1:9). Only by God's amazing and paradoxical grace could this be cured. And he had the faith and vision to believe it was possible. He saw himself as representative of the people, even though God had told him that he could not "stand before Me" for Israel in the way other intercessors had. For Israel were just too evil and rebellious against Him. "You are my praise" could mean that Jeremiah solely praised Yahweh, unlike the other Jews who praised various gods along with Yahweh.

Jeremiah 17:15 Behold, they tell me, Where is the word of Yahweh? let it come now-
As noted on :13, the "they" here refers to Jeremiah's persecutors who had departed from Yahweh and would be ashamed. Despite the deteriorating situation with regards to Babylon's strengthening, Egypt's weakening and the terrible drought, they mocked Jeremiah's words of judgment. Even though there was every evidence that they were about to come true.

Jeremiah 17:16 As for me, I have not hurried from being a shepherd after you-
LXX "But I have not been weary of following thee
"; the continual background noise had not made him give up. And that is a thought to inspire us for all time. Or the idea may be that he had continued to try to shepherd and pastor those who so mocked him and God's word which was in his mouth.

Neither have I desired the woeful day; you know: that which came out of my lips was before Your face- GNB: "LORD, I never urged you to bring disaster on them; I did not wish a time of trouble for them". But the reality was that Jeremiah had done so; indeed he calls for such disaster upon them in :18 "Bring disgrace on those who persecute me, but spare me, LORD. Fill them with terror, but do not terrify me. Bring disaster on them and break them to pieces". He seems to have never quite put this matter straight in his own mind, for in Lamentations, Jeremiah likewise laments the Lord's actions in judging- when it was Jeremiah who had stated that these things should happen.

Jeremiah 17:17 Don’t be a terror to me: You are my refuge in the day of evil-
Is. 28:15,17 had used this word "refuge" to describe the refuge of lies in which the believers in false prophets and idols trusted. Jeremiah could sense the large scale of destruction to come, but often expresses his faith that somehow he will be saved.

Jeremiah 17:18 Let them be disappointed who persecute me, but let not me be disappointed; let them be dismayed, but don’t let me be dismayed-
Jeremiah remembered the command not to be dismayed in Jer. 1:17 and quotes it back to himself in Jer. 17:18. This is how we should act- quoting scripture to ourselves as encouragement. "Dismay" was a punishment from God upon them but as with all Divine judgments, this was just an extension of what the people had done to themselves. For they had dismayed themselves (Jer. 10:2).

Bring on them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction- God desired to punish them "double", and so did Jeremiah, because he had the mind and feelings of God (Jer. 16:18; 17:18). But Ezra 9:13 states that God punished them less than their iniquities deserved- and not double punishment. So again we have God, through Jeremiah, speaking in the fire of His anger; but this didn't actually work out like this. The pole of His pity and grace is finally far stronger than that of His anger and judgment.

Jeremiah 17:19 Thus said Yahweh to me: Go, and stand in the gate of the children of the people through which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem-
He was to firstly announce in "the People's gate", what is now the Jaffa Gate, and then subsequently at every gate of Jerusalem. Any attempt to directly engage the leadership of a nation at war by implicitly criticizing them... is doomed to many problematic reactions. And so it was for Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 17:20 And tell them, Hear the word of Yahweh, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates-
The leadership ["kings" plural] and common people are paralleled. A leadership do what the masses want, or what they perceive they want. And the masses pressurize the leadership, however subconsciously. This is why the entire society was addressed and was culpable to judgment.

Jeremiah 17:21 Thus says Yahweh, Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem-
The emphasis upon the Sabbath is appropriate because the land is depicted as having missed out on 70 Sabbaths of rest during the period of 490 years from the time of Saul to the captivity. Therefore the land had to rest for 70 years. The Sabbath was the sign of covenant between God and Israel. To not keep it meant to despise the covenant. 

Jeremiah 17:22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do any work: but make the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers-
Carrying burdens out of their private homes is paralleled with carrying them out of the gates or doors of Jerusalem (:21). Their private behaviour in their own homes was to be repeated on the scale of the whole city.

Jeremiah 17:23 But they didn’t listen neither turn their ear-
Inclining or humbling / bowing down the ear means that true response to God's word ought to be a humbling experience. We cannot come away from engagement with God's word without being humbled. And this very phrase is used of how God bows down / inclines His ear to human prayer (2 Kings 19:16; Ps. 17:6; 31:2; 71:2 and often). We see here the mutuality possible between God and man, and the interplay between Bible reading and God's response to our prayers. We speak to God in line with our understanding of His word, and He responds to our prayers. Bible reading and prayer therefore mesh together in the Christian life, as part of the upward spiral of spirituality. God is not silent to our prayers- He reveals Himself in response through His word.

But made their neck stiff that they might not hear and might not receive instruction- The instruction given and refused was the previous incursions of Judah's enemies and the drought God had brought upon them (Jer. 2:30; Zeph. 3:7).

Jeremiah 17:24 It shall happen, if you diligently listen to Me, says Yahweh, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but to make the Sabbath day holy, to do no work therein-
I noted on :22 the difference between carrying burdens out of the city, and out of their own homes. It seems that if on the level of the city it was obeyed, even if some individuals refused, then God would have restored the Kingdom.

Jeremiah 17:25 Then shall there enter in by the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever-
If they had kept the Sabbath etc. as required, then the temple would have been a joyous center of worship. The language is clearly to be connected with other descriptions of the Messianic Kingdom. And this indicates that Ez. 40-48 is likewise a conditional prophecy. If they didn't carry anything out of the gates, then into the gates would come the Messianic rulers. Not carrying things out meant not trusting in their own works. If they accepted God's work rather than their own, and were obedient to the Sabbath as the sign of the covenant... then it seems that a form of the Messianic, restored Kingdom could have then begun permanently. To be obedient to the Sabbath regulations was not a big issue; and so much, even "forever", could have been achieved. They were that close, but their refusal to respond to such simple requirements indicated so much about them.

Jeremiah 17:26 They shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places around Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the lowland, and from the hill country, and from the South, bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, meal offerings and frankincense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of Yahweh-
This is the scene of Ez. 40-48. If Judah had been obedient, then they would have built and sacrificed in the temple there described. But they didn't.

Jeremiah 17:27 But if you will not listen to Me to make the Sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day-
The offer of an eternally established city was predicated upon simply obeying this painless law about the Sabbath (:25). Their refusal to do it would therefore speak volumes- it would be tantamount to saying that they didn't want the things of God's Kingdom. Hence the severe judgment.

Then will I kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched- The prophetic word in Jeremiah's mouth was like fire, and it was the people who were to be "devoured" by it (Ez. 15:5; s.w. Jer. 5:14; 17:27; 21:14). The amazing grace explained in Ez. 15 was in the fact that the 'devoured by fire' vine twig would be refined in Babylon and still used by God to reestablish His Kingdom.

The Bible is written from a Jewish perspective; the Gentile reader is ‘expected’ to understand that Gehenna and the concept of “eternal fire” are Jewish idioms for total destruction (Jer. 17:27; Jude 7). Although see on :4. Again, the point has to be made that much misunderstanding has arisen in ‘Christian’ circles on the issue of hell through failing to appreciate that God is writing in Jewish terms. The New Testament is literally packed with phrases and other language which depend on an appreciation of Old Testament theology to make sense of (e.g. Christ calling himself “the bread of life”). Nowhere, however, are we explicitly told that we must understand the New Testament’s language by reference to the Old. We need to keep all these points in mind when considering the language of demons.