Linen Underwear

13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy yourself a linen undergarment(A) and put it on.[a] But do not put it in water.” So I bought underwear as the Lord instructed me and put it on.

Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: “Take the underwear that you bought and are wearing,[b] and go at once to the Euphrates[c] and hide it in a rocky crevice.”(B) So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.

A long time later the Lord said to me, “Go at once to the Euphrates and get the underwear that I commanded you to hide there.” So I went to the Euphrates and dug up the underwear and got it from the place where I had hidden it, but it was ruined—of no use at all.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord says: Just like this I will ruin the great pride of both Judah and Jerusalem.(C) 10 These evil people, who refuse to listen to me, who follow the stubbornness of their own hearts,(D) and who have followed other gods to serve and bow in worship—they will be like this underwear, of no use at all. 11 Just as underwear clings to one’s waist, so I fastened the whole house of Israel and of Judah to me”(E)—this is the Lord’s declaration—“so that they might be my people for my fame, praise, and glory,(F) but they would not obey.

The Wine Jars

12 “Say this to them: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every jar should be filled with wine.’ Then they will respond to you, ‘Don’t we know that every jar should be filled with wine?’ 13 And you will say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to fill all who live in this land—the kings who reign for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the residents of Jerusalem—with drunkenness. 14 I will smash them against each other, fathers and sons alike—this is the Lord’s declaration. I will allow no mercy, pity, or compassion to keep me from destroying them.’”(G)

The Lord’s Warning

15 Listen and pay attention. Do not be proud,
for the Lord has spoken.
16 Give glory to the Lord your God(H)
before he brings darkness,
before your feet stumble
on the mountains at dusk.
You wait for light,
but he brings darkest gloom[d]
and makes total darkness.
17 But if you will not listen,
my innermost being will weep in secret
because of your pride.
My eyes will overflow with tears,
for the Lord’s flock(I) has been taken captive.

18 Say to the king and the queen mother:(J)
Take a humble seat,
for your glorious crowns
have fallen from your heads.
19 The cities of the Negev are under siege;
no one can help them.
All of Judah has been taken into exile,
taken completely into exile.
20 Look up and see
those coming from the north.(K)
Where is the flock entrusted to you,
the sheep that were your pride?

The Destiny of Jerusalem

21 What will you say when he appoints
close friends as leaders over you,
ones you yourself trained?
Won’t labor pains seize you,(L)
as they do a woman in labor?
22 And when you ask yourself,
“Why have these things happened to me?”
it is because of your great guilt(M)
that your skirts have been stripped off,(N)
your body exposed.[e]
23 Can the Cushite change his skin,
or a leopard his spots?
If so, you might be able to do what is good,(O)
you who are instructed in evil.
24 I will scatter you[f] like drifting chaff(P)
before the desert wind.
25 This is your lot,
what I have decreed for you—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
because you have forgotten me(Q)
and trusted in lies.(R)
26 I will pull your skirts up over your face
so that your shame might be seen.(S)
27 Your adulteries and your lustful neighing,(T)
your depraved prostitution
on the hills, in the fields—
I have seen your abhorrent acts.
Woe to you, Jerusalem!
You are unclean—
for how long yet?(U)


  1. 13:1 Lit around your waist
  2. 13:4 Lit wearing around your waist
  3. 13:4–7 Perhaps a place near Anathoth with the same spelling as the river
  4. 13:16 Or brings a shadow of death
  5. 13:22 Lit your heels have suffered violence
  6. 13:24 Lit them

A Linen Belt

13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water.” So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist.

Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time:(A) “Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath[a](B) and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.” So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me.(C)

Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there.” So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride(D) of Jerusalem. 10 These wicked people, who refuse to listen(E) to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts(F) and go after other gods(G) to serve and worship them,(H) will be like this belt—completely useless!(I) 11 For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown(J) and praise and honor.(K) But they have not listened.’(L)


12 “Say to them: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every wineskin should be filled with wine.’ And if they say to you, ‘Don’t we know that every wineskin should be filled with wine?’ 13 then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to fill with drunkenness(M) all who live in this land, including the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets and all those living in Jerusalem. 14 I will smash them one against the other, parents and children alike, declares the Lord. I will allow no pity(N) or mercy or compassion(O) to keep me from destroying(P) them.’”

Threat of Captivity

15 Hear and pay attention,
    do not be arrogant,
    for the Lord has spoken.(Q)
16 Give glory(R) to the Lord your God
    before he brings the darkness,
before your feet stumble(S)
    on the darkening hills.
You hope for light,
    but he will turn it to utter darkness
    and change it to deep gloom.(T)
17 If you do not listen,(U)
    I will weep in secret
    because of your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly,
    overflowing with tears,(V)
    because the Lord’s flock(W) will be taken captive.(X)

18 Say to the king(Y) and to the queen mother,(Z)
    “Come down from your thrones,
for your glorious crowns(AA)
    will fall from your heads.”
19 The cities in the Negev will be shut up,
    and there will be no one to open them.
All Judah(AB) will be carried into exile,
    carried completely away.

20 Look up and see
    those who are coming from the north.(AC)
Where is the flock(AD) that was entrusted to you,
    the sheep of which you boasted?
21 What will you say when the Lord sets over you
    those you cultivated as your special allies?(AE)
Will not pain grip you
    like that of a woman in labor?(AF)
22 And if you ask yourself,
    “Why has this happened to me?”(AG)
it is because of your many sins(AH)
    that your skirts have been torn off(AI)
    and your body mistreated.(AJ)
23 Can an Ethiopian[b] change his skin
    or a leopard its spots?
Neither can you do good
    who are accustomed to doing evil.(AK)

24 “I will scatter you like chaff(AL)
    driven by the desert wind.(AM)
25 This is your lot,
    the portion(AN) I have decreed for you,”
declares the Lord,
“because you have forgotten(AO) me
    and trusted in false gods.(AP)
26 I will pull up your skirts over your face
    that your shame may be seen(AQ)
27 your adulteries and lustful neighings,
    your shameless prostitution!(AR)
I have seen your detestable acts
    on the hills and in the fields.(AS)
Woe to you, Jerusalem!
    How long will you be unclean?”(AT)


  1. Jeremiah 13:4 Or possibly to the Euphrates; similarly in verses 5-7
  2. Jeremiah 13:23 Hebrew Cushite (probably a person from the upper Nile region)

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