Jeremiah 13 – “Symbolic Actions; Message for the Royals; Censure”

leopard spotsHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

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.

II. Photo

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.

IV. Outline

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

23-27. Oracle

    23. The people cannot change

    24-25. Exile

    26. Future shame

    27. Condemnation and challenge


V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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