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 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.’