THE PEOPLE WILL BECOME LIKE THIS LOINCLOTH, GOOD FOR NOTHING.
The Lord said this to me, “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it round your waist. But do not dip it in water.” And so, as the Lord had ordered, I bought a loincloth and put it round my waist. A second time the word of the Lord was spoken to me, “Take the loincloth that you have bought and are wearing round your waist; up! Go to the Euphrates and hide it in a hole in the rock.” So I went and hid it near the Euphrates as the Lord had ordered me.
Many days afterwards the Lord said to me, “Get up and go to the Euphrates and fetch the loincloth I ordered you to hide there.”
So I went to the Euphrates, and I searched, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. The loincloth was spoilt, good for nothing. Then the word of the Lord was addressed to me, “Thus says the Lord: In the same way I will spoil the arrogance of Judah and Jerusalem. This evil people who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the dictates of their own hard hearts, who have followed alien gods, and served them and worshipped them, let them become like this loincloth, good for nothing. For just as a loincloth clings to a man’s waist, so I had intended the whole House of Judah to cling to me – it is the Lord who speaks – to my people, my glory, my honour and my boast. But they have not listened.”
V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.