Jeremiah 13

Linen Underwear

1This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy yourself a linen undergarment and put it on. But do not put it in water.” 2So I bought underwear as the Lord instructed me and put it on.

3Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: 4“Take the underwear that you bought and are wearing, and go at once to the Euphrates and hide it in a rocky crevice.” 5So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.

6A 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.” 7So 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.

8Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9“This is what the Lord says: Just like this I will ruin the great pride of both Judah and Jerusalem. 10These evil people, who refuse to listen to me, who follow the stubbornness of their own hearts, and who have followed other gods to serve and bow in worship — they will be like this underwear, of no use at all. 11Just as underwear clings to one’s waist, so I fastened the whole house of Israel and of Judah to me” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “so that they might be my people for my fame, praise, and glory, 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?’ 13And 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. 14I 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.’”

The Lord’s Warning

15Listen and pay attention. Do not be proud,

for the Lord has spoken.

16Give glory to the Lord your God

before he brings darkness,

before your feet stumble

on the mountains at dusk.

You wait for light,

but he brings darkest gloom

and makes total darkness.

17But 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 has been taken captive.

18Say to the king and the queen mother:

Take a humble seat,

for your glorious crowns

have fallen from your heads.

19The cities of the Negev are under siege;

no one can help them.

All of Judah has been taken into exile,

taken completely into exile.

20Look up and see

those coming from the north.

Where is the flock entrusted to you,

the sheep that were your pride?

The Destiny of Jerusalem

21What will you say when he appoints

close friends as leaders over you,

ones you yourself trained?

Won’t labor pains seize you,

as they do a woman in labor?

22And when you ask yourself,

“Why have these things happened to me?”

it is because of your great guilt

that your skirts have been stripped off,

your body exposed.

23Can the Cushite change his skin,

or a leopard his spots?

If so, you might be able to do what is good,

you who are instructed in evil.

24I will scatter you like drifting chaff

before the desert wind.

25This is your lot,

what I have decreed for you —

this is the Lord’s declaration —

because you have forgotten me

and trusted in lies.

26I will pull your skirts up over your face

so that your shame might be seen.

27Your adulteries and your lustful neighing,

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?