The Linen Loincloth
1Thus says the Lord to me, "Go and buy a linen waistcloth, and put it on your loins, and do not dip it in water." 2So I bought a waistcloth 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, 4"Take the waistcloth which you have bought, which is upon your loins, and arise, go to the Euphra'tes, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock." 5So I went, and hid it by the Euphra'tes, as the Lord commanded me. 6And after many days the Lord said to me, "Arise, go to the Euphra'tes, and take from there the waistcloth which I commanded you to hide there." 7Then I went to the Euphra'tes, and dug, and I took the waistcloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the waistcloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing.
8Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9"Thus says the Lord: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this waistcloth, which is good for nothing. 11For as the waistcloth clings to the loins of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, 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 jar shall be filled with wine." ' And they will say to you, 'Do we not indeed know that every jar will be filled with wine?' 13Then you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will fill with drunkenness all the inhabitants of this land: the kings who sit on David's throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 14And I will dash them one against another, fathers and sons together, says the Lord. I will not pity or spare or have compassion, that I should not destroy them.' "
15Hear and give ear; be not proud,
for the Lord has spoken.
16Give glory to the Lord your God
before he brings darkness,
before your feet stumble
on the twilight mountains,
and 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."a
19The cities of the Negeb are shut up,
with none 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?
21What will you say when they set as head over you
those whom you yourself have taught
to be friends to you?
Will not pangs take hold of you,
like those of a woman in travail?
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 suffer violence.
23Can the Ethiopian change his skin
or the leopard his spots?
Then also you can do good
who are accustomed to do evil.
24I will scatter youb 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 lewd harlotries,
on the hills in the field.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
How long will it be
before you are made clean?"