So I went and hid it at Perath, as the LORD told me.16
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 pride2 of Jerusalem.
These wicked people, who refuse to listen3 to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts4 and go after other gods5 to serve and worship them,6 will be like this belt--completely useless!711
For as a belt is bound around a man's waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me,' declares the LORD, 'to be my people for my renown8 and praise and honor.9 But they have not listened.'10
"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 drunkenness11 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, fathers and sons alike, declares the LORD. I will allow no pity12 or mercy or compassion13 to keep me from destroying14 them.' "