Jeremiah 13

1 Thus says the Lord to me: “Go, and obtain for yourself a linen waistcloth. And you shall place it over your loins, and you shall not put it into water.” 2 And so I obtained a waistcloth, according to the word of the Lord, and I placed it around my loins. 3 And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying: 4 “Take the waistcloth, which you obtained, which is around your loins, and, rising up, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in an opening of the rock.” 5 And so I went, and I hid it by the Euphrates, just as the Lord had instructed me. 6 And it happened that, after many days, the Lord said to me: “Rise up, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the waistcloth, which I instructed you to hide there.” 7 And so I went to the Euphrates, and I dug up and took the waistcloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the waistcloth had rotted, so that it was not fit for any use. 8 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 9 “Thus says the Lord: In the same way, I will cause the arrogance of Judah and the arrogance of Jerusalem to rot. 10 This most wicked people, they are not willing to listen to my words, for they walk in the depravity of their own heart, and they have gone after strange gods, so as to serve them and to adore them. And so, they will become like this waistcloth, which is not fit for any use. 11 For just as the waistcloth clings to the loins of a man, so have I brought close to me the entire house of Israel and the entire house of Judah, says the Lord, so that they would be to me: a people, and a name, and a praise, and a glory. But they did not listen. 12 Therefore, you shall speak to them this word: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Every bottle will be filled with wine.’ And they will say to you: ‘Are we ignorant that every bottle will be filled with wine?’ 13 And you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, and the kings from the stock of David who sit upon his throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, unto inebriation. 14 And I will scatter them, a man from his brother, and fathers and sons similarly, says the Lord. I will not spare them, and I will not pardon them, and I will not take pity, so as not to destroy them.” 15 Hear and pay close attention. Do not choose to lift yourself up, for the Lord has spoken. 16 Give glory to the Lord your God, before darkness falls, and before your feet stumble on the darkened mountains. You will expect light, but he will turn it into the shadow of death and into utter darkness. 17 But if you will not listen to this, then my soul will weep in secret before the face of your pride. It will weep bitterly, and my eyes will flow with tears, because the flock of the Lord has been taken captive. 18 “Say to the king and to the female ruler: Humble yourselves, sit down. For the crown of your glory has gone down from your head. 19 The cities of the south have been closed, and there is no one who may open them. All of Judah has been taken away into complete captivity. 20 Lift up your eyes and see, you who are arriving from the north. Where is the flock that was given to you, your famous cattle? 21 What will you say when he visits upon you? For you have taught them against you, and you have instructed them with your own head. Will not pains take hold of you, as with a woman in labor? 22 But if you say in your heart, ‘Why have these things happened to me?’ it is because of the greatness of your iniquity that your shame has been uncovered and the soles of your feet have been defiled. 23 If the Ethiopian is able to change his skin, or the leopard is able to change his spots, then you also may be able to do well, though you have learned evil. 24 And I will scatter them like chaff, which is carried away by the wind in the desert. 25 This is your lot, and this is the portion of your measure from me, says the Lord, because you have forgotten me, and you have had confidence in what is false. 26 Therefore, I have even bared your thighs before your face, and your shame has been seen. 27 For I have seen your adulteries, and your neighing for the wickedness of your fornication, and your abominations upon the hills in the field. Woe to you, Jerusalem! How much longer before you will be made clean after me?”