Study Guide

Book of Jeremiah Chapter 13

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Chapter 13

Q: How Are the Judeans Like Dirty Underwear?

  • God tells Jeremiah to buy a linen loincloth and wear it, but tells him not to wash it.
  • Then he tells Jeremiah to take the loincloth and hide it in a cleft in some rocks by the Euphrates.
  • After a while, God sends Jeremiah to get the loincloth, which is totally filthy and disgusting.
  • God says that this is what's happened to Judah and Jerusalem. They were originally supposed to be like God's own loincloth, clinging to him in righteousness. But their disobedience has rendered them useless and ruined.
  • This may be the only underwear analogy in the Hebrew bible. We sure hope so.
  • God gives Jeremiah another fun task: this time, he is supposed to tell the people that every wine-jar should be full of wine.
  • When they're like, "Yeah—tell us something we don't know," Jeremiah's to tell them that God's going to fill everyone in the land with a mad drunkenness, and then smash them all together, parents and children. There'll be no mercy.
  • Again, Jeremiah begs the people to change their ways before it's too late.
  • He says that he'll secretly weep for them if they don't repent.
  • He sees all of Judah taken into exile, and sees the crown of the king and the queen mother knocked off their heads.
  • If the people ask why all these bad things are happening, they should know that it's punishment for their sins. Jeremiah compares what's happening to Judah to a rape.
  • Jeremiah asks if Ethiopians can change the color of their skins or leopards can change their spots. (So that's where that expression comes from…)
  • Obviously the answer is no, and that applies to the evil Judeans, too. They're incapable of change.
  • God says he'll scatter his people and publicly expose Judah to the world, lifting up its skirts for everyone to see.
  • The chapter concludes with God saying that he's seen Jerusalem's adulteries and lust and wondering if it will ever make itself clean.

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