This is what the Lord said to me: "Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist. Don't let the belt get wet."
So I bought a linen belt, just as the Lord told me, and put it around my waist.
Then the Lord spoke his word to me a second time:
"Take the belt you bought and are wearing, and go to Perath. Hide the belt there in a crack in the rocks."
So I went to Perath and hid the belt there, just as the Lord told me.
Many days later the Lord said to me, "Now go 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 where I had hidden it. But now it was ruined; it was good for nothing.
Then the Lord spoke his word to me.
This is what the Lord said: "In the same way I will ruin the pride of the people of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.
These evil people refuse to listen to my warnings. They stubbornly do only what they want to do, and they follow other gods to serve and worship them. So they will become like this linen belt -- good for nothing.
As a belt is wrapped tightly around a person's waist, I wrapped the families of Israel and Judah around me," says the Lord. "I did that so they would be my people and bring fame, praise, and honor to me. But my people would not listen.