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1The LORD said to me, “Go, and buy yourself a linen belt, and put it on your waist, and don’t put it in water.”

2So I bought a belt according to the LORD’s word, and put it on my waist.

3The LORD’s word came to me the second time, saying, 4“Take the belt that you have bought, which is on your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.”

5So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.

6After many days, the LORD said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take the belt from there, which I commanded you to hide there.”

7Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and took the belt from the place where I had hidden it; and behold, the belt was ruined. It was profitable for nothing.

8Then the LORD’s word came to me, saying, 9“The LORD says, ‘In this way I will ruin the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and have gone after other gods to serve them and to worship them, will even be as this belt, which is profitable for nothing. 11For as the belt clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to me,’ says the LORD; ‘that they may be to me for a people, for a name, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.’

12“Therefore you shall speak to them this word: ‘The LORD, the God of Israel says, “Every container should be filled with wine.” ’ They will tell you, ‘Do we not certainly know that every container should be filled with wine?’ 13Then tell them, ‘The LORD says, “Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. 14I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together,” says the LORD: “I will not pity, spare, or have compassion, that I should not destroy them.” ’ ”

15Hear, and give ear.

Don’t be proud,

for the LORD has spoken.

16Give glory to the LORD your God,

before he causes darkness,

and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains,

and while you look for light,

he turns it into the shadow of death,

and makes it deep darkness.

17But if you will not hear it,

my soul will weep in secret for your pride.

My eye will weep bitterly,

and run down with tears,

because the LORD’s flock has been taken captive.

18Say to the king and to the queen mother,

“Humble yourselves.

Sit down, for your crowns have come down,

even the crown of your glory.

19The cities of the South are shut up,

and there is no one to open them.

Judah is carried away captive: all of them.

They are wholly carried away captive.

20Lift up your eyes,

and see those who come from the north.

Where is the flock that was given to you,

your beautiful flock?

21What will you say when he sets over you as head those whom you have yourself taught to be friends to you?

Won’t sorrows take hold of you, as of a woman in travail?

22If you say in your heart,

“Why have these things come on me?”

Your skirts are uncovered because of the greatness of your iniquity,

and your heels suffer violence.

23Can the Ethiopian change his skin,

or the leopard his spots?

Then may you also do good,

who are accustomed to do evil.

24“Therefore I will scatter them

as the stubble that passes away

by the wind of the wilderness.

25This is your lot,

the portion measured to you from me,” says the LORD,

“because you have forgotten me,

and trusted in falsehood.”

26Therefore I will also uncover your skirts on your face,

and your shame will appear.

27I have seen your abominations, even your adulteries

and your neighing, the lewdness of your prostitution,

on the hills in the field.

Woe to you, Jerusalem!

You will not be made clean.

How long will it yet be?”

This public domain Bible translation is brought to you courtesy of

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