“My people have committed two evils.
They have forsaken me.
I am the fountain of living waters.
They dug out cisterns for themselves.
These broken cisterns cannot hold water.”
The Israelites had committed two evils. First, they gave up on the living fountain of water, Yahweh, in forsaking him. Then secondly, they relied on their own dug out wells or cisterns for water. But their leaky cisterns could not even hold stagnant water in them. They gave up on God and relied on themselves, but even that was not successful.
“Then Yahweh said to me.
‘Out of the north,
Disaster shall break out
Upon all the inhabitants of the land.
I am calling
All the tribes of the kingdoms of the north.’
‘They shall come.
All of them shall set their thrones
At the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem,
Against all its surrounding walls,
Against all the cities of Judah.
I will utter my judgments against them.
All their wickedness is in forsaking me.
They have burned incense
To other gods.
They have worshiped
The works of their own hands.’”
Once again Jeremiah presents how Yahweh spoke directly to him. Disaster was going to happen in the north, however, it had already happened a century earlier in the 8th century BCE, not the 7th century BCE of Jeremiah. All the kings of the north would leave their thrones at the gates or the walls of Jerusalem. They would leave some in the cities of Judah. They suffered this judgment because they had become wicked in forsaking Yahweh. They had sacrificed with incense to false gods that they had made with their own hands.