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The Linen Loincloth

13 Thus said the Lord to me, ‘Go and buy yourself a linen loincloth, and put it on your loins, but do not dip it in water.’ So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, ‘Take the loincloth that you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Euphrates,[a] and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.’ So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates,[b] as the Lord commanded me. And after many days the Lord said to me, ‘Go now to the Euphrates,[c] and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.’ Then I went to the Euphrates,[d] and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. But now the loincloth was ruined; it was good for nothing.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord: Just so I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own will and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. 11 For as the loincloth clings to one’s loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, in order that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. But they would not listen.

Symbol of the Wine-Jars

12 You shall speak to them this word: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Every wine-jar should be filled with wine. And they will say to you, ‘Do you think we do not know that every wine-jar should be filled with wine?’ 13 Then you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness. 14 And I will dash them one against another, parents and children together, says the Lord. I will not pity or spare or have compassion when I destroy them.

Exile Threatened

15 Hear and give ear; do not be haughty,
    for the Lord has spoken.
16 Give glory to the Lord your God
    before he brings darkness,
and before your feet stumble
    on the mountains at twilight;
while you look for light,
    he turns it into gloom
    and makes it deep darkness.
17 But if you will not listen,
    my soul will weep in secret for your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears,
    because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.

18 Say to the king and the queen mother:
    ‘Take a lowly seat,
for your beautiful crown
    has come down from your head.’[e]
19 The towns of the Negeb are shut up
    with no one to open them;
all Judah is taken into exile,
    wholly taken into exile.

20 Lift up your eyes and see
    those who come from the north.
Where is the flock that was given you,
    your beautiful flock?
21 What will you say when they set as head over you
    those whom you have trained
    to be your allies?
Will not pangs take hold of you,
    like those of a woman in labour?
22 And if you say in your heart,
    ‘Why have these things come upon me?’
it is for the greatness of your iniquity
    that your skirts are lifted up,
    and you are violated.
23 Can Ethiopians[f] change their skin
    or leopards their spots?
Then also you can do good
    who are accustomed to do evil.
24 I will scatter you[g] like chaff
    driven by the wind from the desert.
25 This is your lot,
    the portion I have measured out to you, says the Lord,
because you have forgotten me
    and trusted in lies.
26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,
    and your shame will be seen.
27 I have seen your abominations,
    your adulteries and neighings, your shameless prostitutions
    on the hills of the countryside.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
    How long will it be
    before you are made clean?

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 13:4 Or to Parah; Heb perath
  2. Jeremiah 13:5 Or by Parah; Heb perath
  3. Jeremiah 13:6 Or to Parah; Heb perath
  4. Jeremiah 13:7 Or to Parah; Heb perath
  5. Jeremiah 13:18 Gk Syr Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. Jeremiah 13:23 Or Nubians; Heb Cushites
  7. Jeremiah 13:24 Heb 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)

Wineskins

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)

Footnotes

  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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