1Yahweh said this to me, 'Go and buy a linen waistcloth and put it round your waist. But do not dip it inwater.' 2And so, as Yahweh had ordered, I bought a waistcloth and put it round my waist. 3A second time the word of Yahweh came to me, 4'Take the waistcloth that you have bought and are wearing round your waist. Up, go to the Euphratesand hide it there in a hole in the rock.' 5So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as Yahweh had ordered me. 6A long time later, Yahweh said to me, 'Up, go to the Euphrates and fetch the waistcloth I ordered you tohide there.' 7So I went to the Euphrates, and I searched, and I took the waistcloth from the place where I had hiddenit. And there was the waistcloth ruined, no use for anything. 8Then the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, 9'Yahweh says this, "In the same way I shal ruin the pride of Judah, the immense pride of Jerusalem. 10This evil people, these people who refuse to listen to my words, who fol ow their own stubborninclinations and run after other gods, serving and worshipping them -- this people wil become like this waistcloth,no good for anything. 11For just as a waistcloth clings to a man's waist, so I made the whole House of Israel and the wholeHouse of Judah cling to me, Yahweh declares, to be my people, my glory, my honour and my pride. But theyhave not listened." 12'You wil also say this to them, "Yahweh, God of Israel, says this: Any jug can be fil ed with wine." And if they answer you, "Do you think we do not know that any jug can be fil ed with wine?" 13you are to say, "Yahweh says this: Look, I shal fil al the inhabitants of this country, the kings whooccupy the throne of David, the priests, the prophets and al the citizens of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. 14Then I shal smash them one against the other, parents and children al together, Yahweh declares.Mercilessly, relentlessly, pitilessly, I shal destroy them." ' 15Listen and pay attention, do not be proud: Yahweh is speaking! 16Give glory to Yahweh your God before the darkness comes, before your feet stumble on the darkenedmountains. You hope for light, but he wil turn it to shadow dark as death, wil change it to blackness. 17If you do not listen to this warning, I shal weep in secret for your pride; my eyes wil weep bitterly andstream with tears, for Yahweh's flock is being led into captivity. 18Tel the king and the queen mother, 'Sit in a lower place, since your glorious crown has fal en fromyour head. 19The towns of the Negeb are shut off with no one to give access to them. Al Judah has been deported,deported wholesale.' 20Raise your eyes and look at these now coming from the north. Where is the flock once entrusted toyou, the flock which was your pride? 21What wil you say when they come and punish you, you yourself having taught them? Against you, inthe lead, wil come your friends. Then will not anguish grip you as it grips a woman in labour? 22And should you ask yourself, 'Why is al this happening to me?' it is because of your great guilt thatyour skirts have been pulled up and you have been manhandled. 23Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? And you, can you do right, being soaccustomed to wrong? 24'I shall scatter you like chaff on the desert wind. 25This is your share, the part allotted you, from me, Yahweh declares, because you have forgotten meand put your trust in Delusion. 26I am the one who pul s your skirts up over your face to let your shame be seen. 27Oh! Your adulteries, your shrieks of pleasure, your vile prostitution! On the hills, in the fields, I haveseen your Horrors. Jerusalem, disaster is coming for you! How much longer till you are made clean?'
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