Old Testament

Jeremiah 13
A Linen Undergarment
131This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and purchase a linen undergarment[] for yourself. Put it around your waist. Do not let it touch water.” 2So I bought an undergarment as the Lord said, and I put it on.
3Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: 4“Take the undergarment you purchased, the one you are wearing around your waist, and go right now to Perath[] and hide it there in a cleft in the rocks.” 5So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord commanded me.
6Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go to Perath and retrieve the undergarment I told you to hide there.” 7So I went to Perath and searched. I took the undergarment from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and worthless.
8Then the word of the Lord came to me.
9This is what the Lord says. I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem in the same way. 10These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They follow their own stubborn hearts. They follow after other gods by serving them and worshipping them. They are all like this worthless undergarment. 11Just as an undergarment fits tightly around a man's waist, in the same way I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the Lord. I did this so that they would be my people, and that they would bring praise and honor to my name, but they would not listen.
The Broken Wine Jar
12Give this message to them.
This is what the Lord God of Israel says: “Every clay jar will be filled with wine.” Then they will say to you, “We know that every clay jar will be filled with wine.”
13So say to them: “This is what the Lord says. I will certainly make everyone who lives in this land drunk. The kings who sit on David's throne, the priests, the prophets, and all those who live in Jerusalem will become drunk. 14Then I will smash them to pieces—a man against his brother, fathers, and sons, declares the Lord. I will not spare them. I will destroy them without pity or compassion.”
15Listen and pay attention!
Do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken.
16Honor the Lord your God before he brings darkness,
and before your feet stumble on the mountains at dusk.
You will look for light,
but he will turn it into the shadow of death
and change it into deep darkness.
17If you will not listen,
I will cry for you in secret because of your arrogance.
My eyes will weep bitterly and overflow with tears,
because the Lord's flock will be taken captive.
18Say to the king and to the queen mother,
“Come down from your thrones,
because your crowns will fall from your heads.”[]
19The cities of the Negev are under siege,
and no one can get through to them.
All of Judah will be taken into exile.
They will be carried away completely.
20Look up and see those who are coming from the north.
Where is the flock entrusted to you,
the sheep you were so proud of?
The Future of Jerusalem
21What will you say when associates whom you yourself have taught are appointed as masters over you? Won't pain seize you like a woman in labor? 22If you ask yourself, “Why has this happened to me?” you should know that it is because of your great guilt that your skirt has been torn off, and you have been violated.
23Can an Ethiopian[] change the color of his skin?
Can a leopard change its spots?
Just as little can you, who are disciples of evil, do good.
24I will scatter you like chaff blown by the desert wind.
25This is your lot.
This is what I have assigned to you,
declares the Lord.
This will take place because you have forgotten me
and trusted in falsehood.
26I myself will lift your skirt over your head,
so that your shame can be seen—
27your adulteries, your lust-filled neighing,
and your shameless prostitution.
I have seen your detestable acts on the hills and in the countryside.
Woe to you, Jerusalem!
You are unclean.
After this, will you ever be clean again?


  • 13:1 Suggested translations include loincloth, shorts, wrap, and belt. It was probably a skirt-like garment reaching from the waist to the knees.
  • 13:4 Or the Euphrates. The Hebrew name Perath is often used in the Old Testament as the name for the river Euphrates, which was about 350 miles away. Was Jeremiah told to make the long journey to the Euphrates or to go to a nearby location whose name served as a symbol of the Euphrates? We do not have enough information to answer the question.
  • 13:18 The Greek and other versions support the reading fall from your heads. The meaning of the reading in the Hebrew text is uncertain.
  • 13:23 Hebrew Cushite. Cush was the territory just south of Egypt, present-day Sudan. Cushite refers to black Africans.