Jeremiah 12 – New International Version (NIV)
A Linen Belt
- This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water.”
- So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist.
- Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time:
- “Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath[a] and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.”
- So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me.
- Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there.”
- So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.
- Then the word of the Lord came to me:
- “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.
- These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless!
- For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’
- “Say to them: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every wineskin should be filled with wine.’ And if they say to you, ‘Don’t we know that every wineskin should be filled with wine?’
- then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to fill with drunkenness all who live in this land, including the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets and all those living in Jerusalem.
- I will smash them one against the other, parents and children alike, declares the Lord. I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them.’”
Threat of Captivity
- Hear and pay attention, do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken.
- Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings the darkness, before your feet stumble on the darkening hills. You hope for light, but he will turn it to utter darkness and change it to deep gloom.
- If you do not listen, I will weep in secret because of your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly, overflowing with tears, because the Lord’s flock will be taken captive.
- Say to the king and to the queen mother, “Come down from your thrones, for your glorious crowns will fall from your heads.”
- The cities in the Negev will be shut up, and there will be no one to open them. All Judah will be carried into exile, carried completely away.
- Look up and see those who are coming from the north. Where is the flock that was entrusted to you, the sheep of which you boasted?
- What will you say when the Lord sets over you those you cultivated as your special allies? Will not pain grip you like that of a woman in labor?
- And if you ask yourself, “Why has this happened to me?”— it is because of your many sins that your skirts have been torn off and your body mistreated.
- Can an Ethiopian[b] change his skin or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.
- “I will scatter you like chaff driven by the desert wind.
- This is your lot, the portion I have decreed for you,” declares the Lord, “because you have forgotten me and trusted in false gods.
- I will pull up your skirts over your face that your shame may be seen—
- your adulteries and lustful neighings, your shameless prostitution! I have seen your detestable acts on the hills and in the fields. Woe to you, Jerusalem! How long will you be unclean?”
Jeremiah 12 – King James Version (KJV)
Parable of the Girdle
- Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.
- So I got a girdle according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins.
- And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying,
- Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock.
- So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.
- And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.
- Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.
- Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
- Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.
- This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
- For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.
Parable of the Girdle
- Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?
- Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness.
- And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
- Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.
- Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
- But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock is carried away captive.
- Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.
- The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive.
The Leopard’s Spots
- Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?
- What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?
- And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare.
- Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
- Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness.
- This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.
- Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear.
- I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?