Jeremiah 17:10
I, the LORD, search the heart; I examine the mind to reward a man according to his way, by what his deeds deserve.
God Searching the Human HeartFootsteps of Truth.Jeremiah 17:10
God, the Inspector of the HeartD. Bees.Jeremiah 17:10
God's Rule of JudgmentC. Simeon, M. A.Jeremiah 17:10
Heart Mysteries and Their InterpreterA.F. Muir Jeremiah 17:9, 10
The Searching and Knowing of the HeartD. Young Jeremiah 17:9, 10

The repudiation of his charges by Judah and Jerusalem leads the prophet to advert to the causes of this behavior. They not only declare their innocence when guilty, but pursue after unholy aims on the plea of serving God. How are such ignorance and infatuation produced? The reply is that the natural heart is deceitful and corrupt above everything else.


1. It is a "mystery of iniquity." The heart is affected by what it contains. It is itself the greatest dupe and sufferer. And, being so inextricably bound up with evil, it is involved in its danger and judgment.

2. Exceeding human diagnosis. No one is so ignorant of his own depravity as the sinner himself; and no earthly eye can read the true significance of the symptoms.

3. Preeminent in this respect. It is the source of it all The master is greater than his work. The center contains all the threads of connection.


1. Jehovah. Because

(1) he made it;

(2) he is related to it in its constitution and conscience;

(3) "All things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do."

2. This qualifies and authorizes him to judge. It is not his only qualification, nor is that the sole reason for his knowledge. But it is obvious that, as knowing man so intimately, he also is able to judge of his state. And he alone has the standard of perfect righteousness. - M.

I the Lord search the heart.

1. "The heart is deceitful above all things." There is scarcely a truth, for instance, revealed in the Bible, which it has not, at one time or other, led some men to call in question. But the deceitfulness of the heart appears nowhere, perhaps, so striking as in the case of many who sit under the faithful ministry of the Gospel, or are visited with some severe attack of sickness. How many are there who, in these circumstances, form the most serious resolutions of repentance and reformation! Their goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it passeth away.

2. The heart is desperately wicked. We must take the heart as it is to the Physician of souls, or remain forever without a cure.

3. "Who can know it?" Its deceitfulness is an ocean which we cannot fathom, its wickedness a worm which we cannot explore.


1. He "searches the heart, and tries the reins." He is acquainted with our principles and motives, our dispositions and affections. However small the measure of good, or the measure of evil, which may be lurking within, He must instantly see it. Though it should be only as a grain of mustard seed sown in a garden, or as a grain of wheat sown in a field, His piercing eye cannot fall to discover it.

2. The object which He has in view in doing this, or the important reason which He assigns for thus searching the heart and trying the reins; — "even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."(1) The ways of men, in some respects, are various as the leaves of the forest; but in the sight of God they are all either good or bad, righteous or wicked, godly or ungodly and according as their ways answer to this character will men be rewarded or punished by the Judge of quick and dead.(2) There is scarcely anything we do or say but is attended with either a beneficial or an injurious effect upon others as well as ourselves; and in settling our everlasting destiny, God will not fail to take into account the good or the evil which may thus have resulted from our actions: for He will give every man, not only according to his ways, but also according to the fruit of his doings.Conclusion —

1. If the heart is deceitful above all things, let us learn to distrust it for evermore.

2. If the heart is desperately wicked, let us see the necessity of having a new heart created within us.

3. Though we cannot fathom all the depths of deceit and wickedness contained in the human heart, we may yet obtain a much more extensive knowledge of these things than we generally possess.

4. Since God searches the heart, and tries the reins of the children of men, let us know the utter impossibility of imposing upon Him.

5. Since God will give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness!

(D. Bees.)

Taken by the gardener into a gentleman's garden, I saw long rows of beautiful chrysanthemums, preparing for a flower show. "Each one of those has to be examined every day, said he, lest earwigs get into the tender tops and eat out the young buds." And while I watched I saw the under-gardener going from one to another, gently opening the top shoots, and seeing that no hidden evil lurked within. "Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom" (Psalm 51:6). What earwigs of thought, desire, imagination get into the heads of the Lord's plants, their best parts! How jealous Paul was of young converts, lest earwigs of false doctrine, or evil practice, should destroy his labour. The head Gardener sees to this. "I the Lord search the heart" (Jeremiah 17:10).

(Footsteps of Truth.)

To give every man according to his ways.

1. He continually marks the ways of men.




2. He records everything in the book of His remembrance.


1. The sentence will be according to every man's works (Galatians 6:7, 8; 2 Corinthians 9:6).

2. Rightly understood, this strongly declares the equity of God's future judgments. Everything that can affect the quality of an action will be taken into account.

(C. Simeon, M. A.)

Benjamin, David, Jeremiah
Jerusalem, Negeb, People's Gate, Shephelah
Conduct, Deeds, Deserve, Doings, Examine, Fruit, Heart, Keeping, Mind, Reins, Results, Reward, Search, Searcher, Test, Tester, Thoughts, Try
1. The captivity of Judah for her sin.
5. Trust in man is cursed;
7. in God is blessed.
9. The deceitful heart cannot deceive God.
12. The salvation of God.
15. The prophet complains of the mockers of his prophecy.
19. He is sent to renew the covenant in hallowing the Sabbath.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Jeremiah 17:10

     1020   God, all-knowing
     1075   God, justice of
     1310   God, as judge
     5027   knowledge, God's of humanity
     5166   liver and kidneys
     5499   reward, divine
     5882   impartiality
     5940   searching

Jeremiah 17:9-10

     5016   heart, fallen and redeemed
     5052   responsibility, to God
     5943   self-deception
     6185   imagination, desires
     8310   morality, and creation
     8776   lies

Sin's Writing and Its Erasure
'The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars.'--JER. xvii. 1. 'Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.'-2 COR. iii. 3. 'Blotting out the handwriting that was against us.'---COL .ii. 14. I have put these verses together because they
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Soul Gazing on God
'A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.'--JER. xvii. 12. I must begin by a word or two of explanation as to the language of this passage. The word 'is' is a supplement, and most probably it ought to be omitted, and the verse treated as being, not a statement, but a series of exclamations. The next verse runs thus, 'O Lord! the hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed'; and the most natural and forcible understanding of the words of my text is reached
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Two Lists of Names
'They that depart from Me shall be written in the earth'--JER. xvii. 13. 'Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.'--LUKE x. 20. A name written on earth implies that the bearer of the name belongs to earth, and it also secondarily suggests that the inscription lasts but for a little while. Contrariwise, a name written in heaven implies that its bearer belongs to heaven, and that the inscription will abide. We find running throughout Scripture the metaphor of books in which men's names are
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Heath in the Desert and the Tree by the River
'He shall be like the heath 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...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 careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.'--JER. xvii. 6, 8. The prophet here puts before us two highly finished pictures. In the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Nation's Duty in a War for Freedom.
(Preached March 28th, 1813.) TEXT: JEREMIAH xvii. 5-8, AND xviii. 7-10. MY devout hearers! Through an extraordinary occurrence we find the order of our discourses on the suffering Saviour interrupted, and our to-day's meeting devoted to a very different subject. How deeply have we all been moved by the events of the last weeks! We saw march forth from our gates the army of a people nominally allied to us, but our feeling was not that of parting with friends; with thankful joy did we feel at last
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

"The Carnal Mind is Enmity against God for it is not Subject to the Law of God, Neither Indeed Can Be. So Then they that Are
Rom. viii. s 7, 8.--"The carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." It is not the least of man's evils, that he knows not how evil he is, therefore the Searcher of the heart of man gives the most perfect account of it, Jer. xvii. 12. "The heart is deceitful above all things," as well as "desperately wicked," two things superlative and excessive in it, bordering upon an infiniteness, such
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Severinus in Germany.
As the Lord ever sends his angels when there is most need of help, so in the midst of the desolation and destruction which ensued on that irruption of the barbarians by which the Roman empire was broken in pieces after the death of Attila, the great desolator and exterminator, (A. D. 453,) He sent to the aid of the oppressed people of Germany, on the banks of the Danube, in their sore need, a man endowed with an extraordinary energy of love. His whole appearance has in it something enigmatical. As
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Trust of the Wicked, and the Righteous Compared. Jer 17:5-8

John Newton—Olney Hymns

But in Order that we Fall not Away from Continence...
10. But in order that we fall not away from Continence, we ought to watch specially against those snares of the suggestions of the devil, that we presume not of our own strength. For, "Cursed is every one that setteth his hope in man." [1838] And who is he, but man? We cannot therefore truly say that he setteth not his hope in man, who setteth it in himself. For this also, to "live after man," what is it but to "live after the flesh?" Whoso therefore is tempted by such a suggestion, let him hear,
St. Augustine—On Continence

Epistle i. To the Roman Citizens.
To the Roman Citizens. Gregory, servant of the servants of God, to his most beloved sons the Roman citizens. It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as to forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call these but preachers of Antichrist, who, when he comes, will cause the Sabbath day as well as the Lord's day to be kept free from all work. For, because he pretends to die and rise
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

"And if any Man Sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,",
1 John ii. 1.--"And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father,", &c. There is here a sad supposition, but too certain, that any man may sin, yea, that all men will sin, even those who have most communion with God, and interest in the blood of Christ. Yet they are not altogether exempted from this fatal lot of mankind. It is incident even to them to sin, and too frequently incident, but yet we have a happy and sweet provision, for indemnity from the hazard of sin,--"we have an advocate
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"For what the Law could not Do, in that it was Weak through the Flesh, God Sending his Own Son in the Likeness of Sinful Flesh,
Rom. viii. 3.--"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh." For what purpose do we meet thus together? I would we knew it,--then it might be to some better purpose. In all other things we are rational, and do nothing of moment without some end and purpose. But, alas! in this matter of greatest moment, our going about divine ordinances, we have scarce any distinct or deliberate
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Appendix xvii. The Ordinances and Law of the Sabbath as Laid Down in the Mishnah and the Jerusalem Talmud.
The terribly exaggerated views of the Rabbis, and their endless, burdensome rules about the Sabbath may best be learned from a brief analysis of the Mishnah, as further explained and enlarged in the Jerusalem Talmud. [6476] For this purpose a brief analysis of what is, confessedly, one of the most difficult tractates may here be given. The Mishnic tractate Sabbath stands at the head of twelve tractates which together from the second of the six sections into which the Mishnah is divided, and which
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Fourth Commandment
Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day and hallowed it. Exod 20: 8-11. This
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

The First Part
Of the Apocalyptical Commentaries, according to the Rule of the Apocalyptical Key, on the First Prophecy which is contained in the Seals and Trumpets; with an Introduction concerning the Scene of the Apocalypse. As it is my design to investigate the meaning of the Apocalyptical visions, it is requisite for me to treat, in the first place, of that celestial theatre to which John was called, in order to behold them, exhibited as on a stage, and afterwards of the prophecies in succession, examined by
Joseph Mede—A Key to the Apocalypse

Moral Depravity.
In discussing the subject of human depravity, I shall,-- I. Define the term depravity. The word is derived from the Latin de and pravus. Pravus means "crooked." De is intensive. Depravatus literally and primarily means "very crooked," not in the sense of original or constitutional crookedness, but in the sense of having become crooked. The term does not imply original mal-conformation, but lapsed, fallen, departed from right or straight. It always implies deterioration, or fall from a former state
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

Inward Witness to the Truth of the Gospel.
"I have more understanding than my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my study; I am wiser than the aged, because I keep Thy commandments."--Psalm cxix. 99, 100. In these words the Psalmist declares, that in consequence of having obeyed God's commandments he had obtained more wisdom and understanding than those who had first enlightened his ignorance, and were once more enlightened than he. As if he said, "When I was a child, I was instructed in religious knowledge by kind and pious friends, who
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII

The True Manner of Keeping Holy the Lord's Day.
Now the sanctifying of the Sabbath consists in two things--First, In resting from all servile and common business pertaining to our natural life; Secondly, In consecrating that rest wholly to the service of God, and the use of those holy means which belong to our spiritual life. For the First. 1. The servile and common works from which we are to cease are, generally, all civil works, from the least to the greatest (Exod. xxxi. 12, 13, 15, &c.) More particularly-- First, From all the works of our
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

But Concerning True Patience, Worthy of the Name of this virtue...
12. But concerning true patience, worthy of the name of this virtue, whence it is to be had, must now be inquired. For there are some [2650] who attribute it to the strength of the human will, not which it hath by Divine assistance, but which it hath of free-will. Now this error is a proud one: for it is the error of them which abound, of whom it is said in the Psalm, "A scornful reproof to them which abound, and a despising to the proud." [2651] It is not therefore that "patience of the poor" which
St. Augustine—On Patience

What the Scriptures Principally Teach: the Ruin and Recovery of Man. Faith and Love Towards Christ.
2 Tim. i. 13.--"Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." Here is the sum of religion. Here you have a compend of the doctrine of the Scriptures. All divine truths may be reduced to these two heads,--faith and love; what we ought to believe, and what we ought to do. This is all the Scriptures teach, and this is all we have to learn. What have we to know, but what God hath revealed of himself to us? And what have we to do, but what
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Jewish views on Trade, Tradesmen, and Trades' Guilds
We read in the Mishnah (Kidd. iv. 14) as follows: "Rabbi Meir said: Let a man always teach his son a cleanly and a light trade; and let him pray to Him whose are wealth and riches; for there is no trade which has not both poverty and riches, and neither does poverty come from the trade nor yet riches, but everything according to one's deserving (merit). Rabbi Simeon, the son of Eleazer, said: Hast thou all thy life long seen a beast or a bird which has a trade? Still they are nourished, and that
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Secret of Its Greatness
[Illustration: (drop cap G) The Great Pyramid] God always chooses the right kind of people to do His work. Not only so, He always gives to those whom He chooses just the sort of life which will best prepare them for the work He will one day call them to do. That is why God put it into the heart of Pharaoh's daughter to bring up Moses as her own son in the Egyptian palace. The most important part of Moses' training was that his heart should be right with God, and therefore he was allowed to remain
Mildred Duff—The Bible in its Making

Division of Actual Grace
Actual grace may be divided according to: (1) the difference existing between the faculties of the human soul, and (2) in reference to the freedom of the will. Considered in its relation to the different faculties of the soul, actual grace is either of the intellect, or of the will, or of the sensitive faculties. With regard to the free consent of the will, it is either (1) prevenient, also called cooeperating, or (2) efficacious or merely sufficient. 1. THE ILLUMINATING GRACE OF THE INTELLECT.--Actual
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

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