The pride of Judah and Jerusalem (Jer 13:8-13:11)

“Then the word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Thus says Yahweh.

I will ruin the pride of Judah.

I will ruin the great pride of Jerusalem.

This is an evil people.

They refuse to hear my words.

They stubbornly follow their own will.

They have gone after other gods.

They serve them.

They worship them.

They shall be like this loincloth,

That is good for nothing.

Just as the loincloth clings

To one’s loins,

So I made the whole house of Israel

With the whole house of Judah

Cling to me.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Thus they might be for me

A people,

A name,

A praise,

A glory.

But they would not listen.’”

Now Yahweh explains to Jeremiah the problem and story of the loincloth. Just as the loincloth was ruined, so too would the great pride of Judah and Jerusalem also be ruined. These were evil people who would not listen to the words of Yahweh. They would rather follow their own will and ways. Besides, they have gone after other gods serving and worshipping them. Thus they will be like Jeremiah’s ruined loincloth, good for nothing. Just as the loincloth clung to Jeremiah’s loins, both the house of Judah and Israel had clung to Yahweh. He wanted to make them a great people with a great name that everyone would praise and glory, but they would not listen.

The ruined linen loincloth (Jer 13:6-13:7)

“After many days,

Yahweh said to me.

‘Go now to the Euphrates!

Take from there the loincloth

That I commanded you to hide there.’

Then I went to the Euphrates.

I dug it up.

I took the loincloth

From the place where I had hidden it.

But now the loincloth was ruined.

It was good for nothing.”

After many days, Yahweh came to Jeremiah. Once again, he told Jeremiah to go to the Euphrates or Parah to get the loincloth that he had hidden there. So Jeremiah willing went there to dig up the hidden loincloth. He then found it. He noticed that it was ruined and good for nothing. What did he expect? This was probably a symbolic way of talking about the corrupt practices of King Jehoiakim, as well as the people of Judah and Jerusalem, that were good for nothing.