Israel is likened to a dirty loincloth worn by Jeremiah. Yahweh promises the king and queen mother that their people will be exiled. Yahweh berates the people for their inability to change.
Yahweh gives up hope on his people: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? If so you can do good.” (v. 23)
III. Select Verses
1-2: Thus the LORD said to me: “Go buy yourself a loincloth of linen, and put it around your loins, but do not dip it into water.” So I bought the loincloth in accordance with the LORD’s command, and put it about my loins.
11: For as the loincloth clings close to the loins of a man, so I brought close to Me the whole House of Israel and the whole House of Judah — declares the LORD — that they might be My people, for fame, and praise, and splendor. But they would not obey.
18: Say to the king and the queen mother, “Sit in a lowly spot; For your diadems are abased, Your glorious crowns.”
20: Where are the sheep entrusted to you, The flock you took pride in?
22: And when you ask yourself, “Why have these things befallen me?” It is because of your great iniquity That your skirts are lifted up, Your limbs exposed.
23-24: Can the Ethiopian change his skin, Or the leopard his spots? Just as much can you do good, Who are practiced in doing evil! So I will scatter you like straw that flies Before the desert wind.
1-11. Metaphoric action #1: Israel is like a sullied loincloth
12-14. Metaphoric action #2: the people will be filled with drunkenness
15-16. Call to repent
17. Jeremiah will lament wickedness
18-22. Future message for the king and queen mother (Jehoiachin and Nehusta?): all will be lost
23. The people cannot change
26. Future shame
27. Condemnation and challenge
No comment today. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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