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Jeremiah's Linen Shorts
1The Lord told me, “Go and buy a pair of linen shorts. Wear them for a while, but don't wash them.” 2So I bought a pair of shorts and put them on.
3Then the Lord said, 4“Take off the shorts. Go to Parah#13.4 Parah: Or “the Euphrates River.” Parah was a village about nine kilometers northeast of Jerusalem. and hide the shorts in a crack between some large rocks.” 5And that's what I did.
6Some time later the Lord said, “Go back and get the shorts.” 7I went back and dug the shorts out of their hiding place, but the cloth had rotted, and the shorts were ruined.
8Then the Lord said:
9Jeremiah, I will use Babylonia to#13.9 I will use Babylonia to: Or “that's how I'm going to.” destroy the pride of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 10The people of Judah are evil and stubborn. So instead of listening to me, they do whatever they want and even worship other gods. When I am finished with these people, they will be good for nothing, just like this pair of shorts. 11These shorts were tight around your waist, and that's how tightly I held onto the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. I wanted them to be my people. I wanted to make them famous, so that other nations would praise and honor me, but they refused to obey me.
Wine Jars
The Lord said:
12Jeremiah, tell the people of Judah, “The Lord God of Israel orders you to fill your wine jars with wine.”
They will answer, “Of course we fill our wine jars with wine! Why are you telling us something we already know?”
13Then say to them:
I am the Lord, and what I'm going to do will make everyone in Judah and Jerusalem appear to be full of wine. And the worst ones will be the kings of David's family and the priests and the prophets. 14Then I will smash them against each other like jars. I will have no pity on the young or the old, and they will all be destroyed. I, the Lord, have spoken.
The People of Judah Will Be Taken Away
15People of Judah,
don't be too proud to listen
to what the Lord has said.
16You hope for light,
but God is sending darkness.
Evening shadows already deepen
in the hills.
So return to God
and confess your sins to him
before you trip and fall.
17If you are too proud to listen,
I will weep alone.
Tears will stream from my eyes
when the Lord's people
are taken away as prisoners.
18The Lord told me to tell you
that your king and his mother#13.18 mother: The king's mother usually had an important position in the royal court.
must surrender their thrones
and remove their crowns.#13.18 and remove their crowns: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
19The cities in the Southern Desert
are surrounded;
no one can get in or out.
Everyone in Judah
will be taken away.
20Jerusalem, you were so proud
of ruling the people of Judah.
But where are they now?
Look north, and you will see
your enemies approaching.
21You once trusted them to help,
but now I'll let them rule you.#13.21 You once … rule you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
What do you say about that?
You will be in pain
like a woman giving birth.
22Do you know why
your clothes were torn off
and you were abused?
It was because
of your terrible sins.
23Can you ever change
and do what's right?
Can people change the color
of their skin,
or can a leopard
remove its spots?
If so, then maybe you can change
and learn to do right.
24I will scatter you,
just as the desert wind
blows husks from grain
tossed in the air.
25I won't change my mind.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
You rejected me
and worshiped false gods.
* 26You were married to me,
but you were unfaithful.
You even became a prostitute#13.26 prostitute: See the note at 2.20.
by worshiping disgusting gods
on hilltops and in fields.
27So I'll rip off your clothes
and leave you naked and ashamed
for everyone to see.
You are doomed!
Will you ever be worthy
to worship me again?
Jeremiah’s Linen Belt
1This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt. Then put it around your waist. Don’t let the belt get wet.”
2So I bought a linen belt, just as the Lord told me. And I put it around my waist. 3Then the Lord spoke his word to me a second time: 4“Take the belt you bought and are wearing. Go to Perath. Hide the belt there in a crack in the rocks.” 5So I went to Perath and hid the belt there, just as the Lord told me.
6Many days later the Lord said to me, “Now go to Perath. Get the belt that I told you to hide there.” 7So I went to Perath and dug up the belt. I took it from where I had hidden it. But now it was ruined. It was good for nothing.
8Then the Lord spoke his word to me. 9This is what the Lord said: “In the same way I will ruin the pride of the people of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10These evil people refuse to listen to my warnings. They stubbornly do only what they want to do. They follow other gods to serve and worship them. So they will become like this linen belt. They will be good for nothing. 11A belt is wrapped tightly around a man’s waist. In the same way I wrapped the families of Israel and Judah around me,” says the Lord. “I did that so they would be my people. Then they would bring fame, praise and honor to me. But my people would not listen to me.
Warnings About Leather Wine Bags
12“Say to them: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: All leather bags for holding wine should be filled with wine.’ People will say to you: ‘Of course, we know all wine bags should be filled with wine.’ 13Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will make everyone in this land like a drunken man. I am talking about the kings who sit on David’s throne. I am also talking about the priests and the prophets. I am talking about all the people who live in Jerusalem. 14I will make the people of Judah stumble and fall into one another. Fathers and sons will fall into one another, says the Lord. I will not feel sorry or have pity for them. My mercy will not stop me from destroying them!’”
Threat of Slavery
15Listen and pay attention.
Don’t be too proud.
The Lord has spoken to you.
16Honor the Lord your God.
Give him glory before he brings darkness.
Praise him before you fall
on the dark hills.
You hope for light.
But the Lord will turn it into thick darkness.
He will change it into deep gloom.
17If you don’t listen to the Lord,
I will cry secretly.
Your pride will cause me to cry.
I will cry painfully.
My eyes will overflow with tears.
This is because the Lord’s people will be captured.
18Tell this to the king and queen mother:
“Come down from your thrones.
Your beautiful crowns
have fallen from your heads.”
19The cities in the desert of southern Judah are shut up.
No one can open them.
All Judah will be taken as captives to a foreign land.
They will be carried away completely.
20Jerusalem, look up and see.
Someone comes from the north.
Where is the flock God gave to you to care for?
It is the flock you bragged about.
21What will you say when they appoint as your heads
those you had thought were your friends?
Won’t you have much pain and trouble?
Your pain will be like that of a woman having a baby.
22You might ask yourself,
“Why has this happened to me?”
It happened because of your many sins.
Because of your sins, your skirt was torn off
and your body has been treated badly.
23A black man from Cush cannot change the color of his skin.
A leopard cannot change his spots.
In the same way, Jerusalem, you cannot change and do good.
You always do evil.
24“I will scatter you like chaff that is blown away by the desert wind.
25This is what will happen to you.
This is your part in my plans,” says the Lord.
“This will happen because you forgot me.
You have trusted in false gods.
26Jerusalem, I will pull your skirts up over your face.
Everyone will see you, and you will be ashamed.
27I have seen the terrible things you have done.
I know your acts of adultery and your snorting.
I have seen you acting like a prostitute.
I have seen your hated acts
on the hills and in the fields.
How terrible it will be for you, Jerusalem.
How long will you continue being unclean?”