New English Translation
An Object Lesson from Ruined Linen Shorts
1 The LORD said to me, "Go and buy some linen shorts and put them on. Do not put them in water." 2 So I bought the shorts as the LORD had told me to do and put them on. 3 Then the LORD spoke to me again and said, 4 "Take the shorts that you bought and are wearing and go at once to Perath. Bury the shorts there in a crack in the rocks." 5 So I went and buried them at Perath as the LORD had ordered me to do. 6 Many days later the LORD said to me, "Go at once to Perath and get the shorts I ordered you to bury there." 7 So I went to Perath and dug up the shorts from the place where I had buried them. I found that they were ruined; they were good for nothing.
8 Then the LORD said to me, 9 "I, the LORD, say: 'This shows how I will ruin the highly exalted position in which Judah and Jerusalem take pride. 10 These wicked people refuse to obey what I have said. They follow the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts and pay allegiance to other gods by worshiping and serving them. So they will become just like these linen shorts which are good for nothing. 11 For, ' I say, 'just as shorts cling tightly to a person's body, so I bound the whole nation of Israel and the whole nation of Judah tightly to me.' I intended for them to be my special people and to bring me fame, honor, and praise. But they would not obey me.
12 "So tell them, 'The LORD, the God of Israel, says, "Every wine jar is made to be filled with wine."' And they will probably say to you, 'Do you not think we know that every wine jar is supposed to be filled with wine?' 13 Then tell them, 'The LORD says, "I will soon fill all the people who live in this land with stupor. I will also fill the kings from David's dynasty, the priests, the prophets, and the citizens of Jerusalem with stupor. 14 And I will smash them like wine bottles against one another, children and parents alike. I will not show any pity, mercy, or compassion. Nothing will keep me from destroying them,' says the LORD."
15 Then I said to the people of Judah, "Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant! For the LORD has spoken.
16 Show the LORD your God the respect that is due him. Do it before he brings the darkness of disaster. Do it before you stumble into distress like a traveler on the mountains at twilight. Do it before he turns the light of deliverance you hope for into the darkness and gloom of exile.
17 But if you will not pay attention to this warning, I will weep alone because of your arrogant pride. I will weep bitterly and my eyes will overflow with tears because you, the LORD's flock, will be carried into exile."
18 The LORD told me, "Tell the king and the queen mother, 'Surrender your thrones, for your glorious crowns will be removed from your heads.
19 The gates of the towns in southern Judah will be shut tight. No one will be able to go in or out of them. All Judah will be carried off into exile. They will be completely carried off into exile.'"
20 Then I said, "Look up, Jerusalem, and see the enemy that is coming from the north. Where now is the flock of people that were entrusted to your care? Where now are the 'sheep' that you take such pride in?
21 What will you say when the LORD appoints as rulers over you those allies that you, yourself, had actually prepared as such? Then anguish and agony will grip you like that of a woman giving birth to a baby.
22 You will probably ask yourself, 'Why have these things happened to me? Why have I been treated like a disgraced adulteress whose skirt has been torn off and her limbs exposed?' It is because you have sinned so much.
23 But there is little hope for you ever doing good, you who are so accustomed to doing evil. Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard remove its spots?
24 "The LORD says, 'That is why I will scatter your people like chaff that is blown away by a desert wind.
25 This is your fate, the destiny to which I have appointed you, because you have forgotten me and have trusted in false gods.
26 So I will pull your skirt up over your face and expose you to shame like a disgraced adulteress!
27 People of Jerusalem, I have seen your adulterous worship, your shameless prostitution to, and your lustful pursuit of, other gods. I have seen your disgusting acts of worship on the hills throughout the countryside. You are doomed to destruction! How long will you continue to be unclean?'"
King James Version
1 Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.
2 So I got a girdle according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins.
3 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying,
4 Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock.
5 So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.
6 And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.
7 Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.
8 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
9 Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.
10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.
12 ¶ Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?
13 Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David's throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness.
14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
15 ¶ Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.
16 Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive.
18 Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.
19 The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive.
20 Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?
21 What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?
22 ¶ And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare.
23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
24 Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness.
25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.
26 Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear.
27 I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?