The Linen Loincloth
1Thus 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.”2So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins.3And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying,4“Take the loincloth that you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.”5So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.6And after many days the Lord said to me, “Go now to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.”7Then I went to the Euphrates, 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.8Then the word of the Lord came to me:9Thus says the Lord: Just so I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.10This 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.11For 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
12You 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?”13Then 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.14And 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.
15Hear and give ear; do not be haughty,
for the Lord has spoken.16Give 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.17But 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.
18Say to the king and the queen mother;
“Take a lowly seat,
for your beautiful crown
has come down from your head.”19The towns of the Negeb are shut up
with no one to open them;
all Judah is taken into exile,
wholly taken into exile.
20Lift up your eyes and see
those who come from the north.
Where is the flock that was given you,
your beautiful flock?21What 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 labor?22And 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.23Can Ethiopians change their skin
or leopards their spots?
Then also you can do good
who are accustomed to do evil.24I will scatter you like chaff
driven by the wind from the desert.25This is your lot,
the portion I have measured out to you, says the Lord,
because you have forgotten me
and trusted in lies.26I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,
and your shame will be seen.27I 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?
Chapter 14The Great Drought
1The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:2Judah mourns
and her gates languish;
they lie in gloom on the ground,
and the cry of Jerusalem goes up.3Her nobles send their servants for water;
they come to the cisterns,
they find no water,
they return with their vessels empty.
They are ashamed and dismayed
and cover their heads,4because the ground is cracked.
Because there has been no rain on the land
the farmers are dismayed;
they cover their heads.5Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn
because there is no grass.6The wild asses stand on the bare heights,
they pant for air like jackals;
their eyes fail
because there is no herbage.
7Although our iniquities testify against us,
act, O Lord, for your name's sake;
our apostasies indeed are many,
and we have sinned against you.8O hope of Israel,
its savior in time of trouble,
why should you be like a stranger in the land,
like a traveler turning aside for the night?9Why should you be like someone confused,
like a mighty warrior who cannot give help?
Yet you, O Lord, are in the midst of us,
and we are called by your name;
do not forsake us!
10Thus says the Lord concerning this people:
Truly they have loved to wander,
they have not restrained their feet;
therefore the Lord does not accept them,
now he will remember their iniquity
and punish their sins.
11The Lord said to me: Do not pray for the welfare of this people.