Jeremiah 13:1-11

The Ruined Loincloth

1 Thus says the LORD to me, "Go and buy a linen loincloth and 1put it around your waist, and do not dip it in water."
2 So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the LORD, and put it around my waist.
3 And the word of the LORD came to me a second time,
4 "Take the loincloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, 2go to the Euphrates and hide it there in 3a cleft of the rock."
5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.
6 And after many days the LORD said to me, "Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there 4the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there."
7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took 5the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was 6spoiled; it was 7good for nothing.
8 Then the word of the LORD came to me:
9 "Thus says the LORD: 8Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great 9pride of Jerusalem.
10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, 10who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is 11good for nothing.
11 For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, 12that they might be for me a people, 13a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.

Jeremiah 13:1-11 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 13

In this chapter, under the similes of a girdle and bottles of wine, the destruction of the Jews is set forth. Some exhortations are given them to repent and humble themselves, even men of all ranks and degrees among them; and their sins, the source of their calamities, are pointed out to them. An order is given to the prophet to get him a linen girdle, with instructions what to do with it, and which he observed, Jer 13:1,2, a fresh order to take it and hide it in the hole of a rock by the river Euphrates, which he accordingly did, Jer 13:3-5 and he is bid a third time to go and take it from thence, which he did; when he found it spoiled, and good for nothing, Jer 13:6,7, then follows the application of this simile, or the signification of this sign; that in like manner the pride of Judah and Jerusalem should be marred, and for their wickedness and idolatry should become good for nothing, like that girdle; whereas they ought to have cleaved to the Lord, as a girdle does to a man's loins, and to have been an honourable people to him, Jer 13:8-11. By the simile of bottles filled with wine is signified that all the inhabitants of the land, king, priests, prophets, and common people, should be like drunken men, that should dash one against another, and destroy each other, which the mercy of God would not prevent, Jer 13:12-14, some exhortations are made to the people in general, to be humble, and confess their sins, and give glory to God, before it was too late; which are enforced by the prophet's affectionate concern for them, Jer 13:15-17 and to the king and queen in particular, since their crown and kingdom were about to be taken from them; the cities, in the southern parts, going to be shut up, and not opened; and even the whole land of Judea, and all its inhabitants, in a little time would be carried captive, Jer 13:18,19, and, to certify them of the truth of these things, they are bid to look to the north, from whence the enemy was coming to carry them captive, even the beautiful flock committed to their care, Jer 13:20, and to consider what they could say for themselves, when their punishment should come upon them suddenly, as the sorrows of a woman in travail, Jer 13:21 and should they ask the reason of this, it was owing to the multitude of their iniquities, and to their habit and custom of sinning, which made their case desperate, Jer 13:22,23, wherefore a resolution is taken to disperse them among the nations, and that this should be their lot and portion, because of their many abominations, and yet not without some concern that they might be purged from their iniquities, Jer 13:24-27.

Jeremiah 13:1-11 In-Context

1 Thus says the LORD to me, "Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it around your waist, and do not dip it in water."
2 So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the LORD, and put it around my waist.
3 And the word of the LORD came to me a second time,
4 "Take the loincloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a cleft of the rock."
5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.
6 And after many days the LORD said to me, "Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there."
7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing.
8 Then the word of the LORD came to me:
9 "Thus says the LORD: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.
10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing.
11 For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.
12 "You shall speak to them this word: 'Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, "Every jar shall be filled with wine."' And they will say to you, 'Do we not indeed know that every jar will be filled with wine?'
13 Then you shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD: Behold, I will fill with drunkenness all the inhabitants of this land: the kings who sit on David's throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
14 And I will dash them one against another, fathers and sons together, declares the LORD. I will not pity or spare or have compassion, that I should not destroy them.'"
15 Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the LORD has spoken.

Cross References 13

  • 1. Exodus 28:39; Leviticus 16:4; [Acts 21:11]
  • 2. [Jeremiah 51:59, 63]
  • 3. Isaiah 7:19
  • 4. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 5. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 6. Jeremiah 18:4
  • 7. [Ezekiel 15:4, 5]
  • 8. [Psalms 137:1]
  • 9. Leviticus 26:19
  • 10. [Jeremiah 3:17; Jeremiah 16:11, 12]
  • 11. [See ver. 7 above]
  • 12. [Exodus 19:5]
  • 13. Jeremiah 33:9; Isaiah 55:13; Zephaniah 3:20