Jeremiah 2:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

New Living Translation
"For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me--the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!

English Standard Version
for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

New American Standard Bible
"For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.

King James Bible
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.

International Standard Version
"Indeed, my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and they have dug cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."

NET Bible
"Do so because my people have committed a double wrong: they have rejected me, the fountain of life-giving water, and they have dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns which cannot even hold water."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"My people have done two things wrong. They have abandoned me, the fountain of life-giving water. They have also dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that can't hold water.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters to hew them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

King James 2000 Bible
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed themselves out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

American King James Version
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

American Standard Version
For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For my people have done two evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and have digged to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Darby Bible Translation
For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, to hew them out cisterns, broken cisterns that hold no water.

English Revised Version
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Webster's Bible Translation
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

World English Bible
"For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters, and cut them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Young's Literal Translation
For two evils hath My people done, Me they have forsaken, a fountain of living waters, To hew out for themselves wells -- broken wells, That contain not the waters.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:9-13 Before God punishes sinners, he pleads with them, to bring them to repentance. He pleads with us, what we should plead with ourselves. Be afraid to think of the wrath and curse which will be the portion of those who throw themselves out of God's grace and favour. Grace in Christ is compared to water from a fountain, it being cooling and refreshing, cleansing and making fruitful: to living water, because it quickens dead sinners, revives drooping saints, supports and maintains spiritual life, and issues in eternal life, and is ever-flowing. To forsake this Fountain is the first evil; this is done when the people of God neglect his word and ordinances. They hewed them out broken cisterns, that could hold no water. Such are the world, and the things in it; such are the inventions of men when followed and depended on. Let us, with purpose of heart, cleave to the Lord only; whither else shall we go? How prone are we to forego the consolations of the Holy Spirit, for the worthless joys of the enthusiast and hypocrite!

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - Two evils. Israel has not merely offended, like the heathen, by idolatry, but by deserting the only God who can satisfy the needs of human nature. The fountain of living waters. So Jeremiah 17:13 (comp. Psalm 36:9). Fountain; literally, tank or reservoir. Such reservoirs were "dug in the ground (see on Jeremiah 6:7), and chiefly intended for storing living waters, i.e. those of springs and rivulets" (Payne Smith). Cisterns, broken cisterns. A cistern, by its very nature, will only hold a limited amount, and the water "collected from clay roofs or from marly soil, has the color of weak soapsuds, the taste of the earth or the stable." Who would prefer such an impure supply to the sweet, wholesome water of a fountain? But these cisterns cannot even be depended upon for this poor, turbid drink. They are "broken," like so many even of the best rock-hewn cisterns (Thomson, 'The Land and the Book,' p. 287). How fine a description of the combined attractiveness and disappointingness of heathen religions, qualities the more striking in proportion to the scale on which the religions problem is realized (e.g. in Hinduism)!

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For my people have committed two evils,.... Not but that they had committed more, but there were two principal ones they were guilty of, hereafter mentioned; and it was an aggravation of these crimes, that they were the professing people of God who had committed them: and it may be observed, that such sin; they are not without it, nor the commission of it; and may be left to fall into great sins, and yet remain his people; covenant interest cannot be dissolved; this should be considered not as an encouragement to sin, but as a relief under a sense of sin:

they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters; this is said of Christ, Sol 4:15, grace in him is compared to "water", it being cooling and refreshing, cleansing and fructifying; and to living water, because it quickens dead sinners, revives drooping saints, supports and maintains spiritual life, and issues in eternal life; and because it is perpetual and ever flowing; and to a "fountain", denoting that the original of it is in Christ, and the great abundance of it which is in him; it is as water in a fountain, in us as in streams: now to forsake this fountain is the first of these evils; which is done when the people of God are remiss in the exercise of faith on Christ; grow cold in their affections to him, and neglect his word and ordinances.

And hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water; this is the other evil; and such are the world, and the things in it, when cleaved unto, and rest and satisfaction are taken in them; the inventions and ordinances of men, when followed and attended to; moral duties, and evangelical services, when depended on; and even spiritual frames, when these are lived upon, and put in the room of Christ; yea, acts of faith, when they are rested in, and the object not so much regarded as should be: moreover, what may principally be intended are, in the first place, forsaking the worship of God, as the Targum interprets it, the assembling of themselves together to attend his service and ordinances, which is to forsake their own mercies; and, in the next place, following after idols, as the same paraphrase explains it, which have no divinity in them, and can yield no help and relief, or give any comfort, or afford any supply in time of distress and need. It is egregious folly to leave a fountain for a cistern, and especially a broken one: in a fountain the water is living, and always running, and ever springing up; not so in a cistern, and in a broken cistern there is none at all.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. two evils—not merely one evil, like the idolaters who know no better; besides simple idolatry, My people add the sin of forsaking the true God whom they have known; the heathen, though having the sin of idolatry, are free from the further sin of changing the true God for idols (Jer 2:11).

forsaken me—The Hebrew collocation brings out the only living God into more prominent contrast with idol nonentities. "Me they have forsaken, the Fountain," &c. (Jer 17:13; Ps 36:9; Joh 4:14).

broken cisterns—tanks for rain water, common in the East, where wells are scarce. The tanks not only cannot give forth an ever-flowing fresh supply as fountains can, but cannot even retain the water poured into them; the stonework within being broken, the earth drinks up the collected water. So, in general, all earthly, compared with heavenly, means of satisfying man's highest wants (Isa 55:1, 2; compare Lu 12:33).

Jeremiah 2:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
Israel has Forsaken God
12"Be appalled, O heavens, at this, And shudder, be very desolate," declares the LORD. 13"For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.
Cross References
John 4:10
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

John 4:11
"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?

John 4:14
but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Deuteronomy 31:16
And the LORD said to Moses: "You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them.

Judges 10:13
But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you.

Psalm 36:9
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

Isaiah 12:3
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Jeremiah 14:3
The nobles send their servants for water; they go to the cisterns but find no water. They return with their jars unfilled; dismayed and despairing, they cover their heads.

Jeremiah 17:13
LORD, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water.

Jeremiah 19:4
For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.

Ezekiel 47:1
The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar.

Zechariah 13:1
"On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
Treasury of Scripture

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

for my

Jeremiah 2:31,32 O generation, see you the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness …

Jeremiah 4:22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are silly …

Jeremiah 5:26,31 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that …

Psalm 81:11-13 But my people would not listen to my voice; and Israel would none of me…

Isaiah 1:3 The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master's crib: but Israel …

Isaiah 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no …

Isaiah 63:8 For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: …

Micah 2:8 Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy…

Micah 6:3 O my people, what have I done to you? and wherein have I wearied …

forsaken

Jeremiah 2:17 Have you not procured this to yourself, in that you have forsaken …

Jeremiah 1:16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, …

Jeremiah 15:6 You have forsaken me, said the LORD, you are gone backward: therefore …

Judges 10:13 Yet you have forsaken me, and served other gods: why I will deliver you no more.

1 Samuel 12:10 And they cried to the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we …

the fountain

Jeremiah 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake you shall be ashamed, …

Jeremiah 18:14 Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which comes from the rock of the field?…

Psalm 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life: in your light shall we see light.

John 4:14 But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst…

John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, …

Revelation 21:6 And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning …

Revelation 22:1,17 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, …

broken cisterns

Jeremiah 2:11,26 Has a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people …

Psalm 115:4-8 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands…

Psalm 146:3,4 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there …

Ecclesiastes 1:2,14 Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity…

Ecclesiastes 2:11,21,26 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked, and on the …

Ecclesiastes 4:4 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this …

Ecclesiastes 12:8 Vanity of vanities, said the preacher; all is vanity.

Isaiah 44:9-20 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable …

Isaiah 46:6,7 They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, …

Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor …

2 Peter 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; …

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