New Heart English Bible
1Thus says the LORD to me, "Go, and buy yourself a linen belt, and put it on your waist, and do not put it in water." 2So I bought a belt according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my waist. 3The word of the LORD came to me the second time, saying, 4"Take the belt that you have bought, which is on your waist, and arise, go to the Perath, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock." 5So I went, and hid it by the Perath, as the LORD commanded me. 6It happened after many days, that the LORD said to me, "Arise, go to the Perath, and take the belt from there, which I commanded you to hide there." 7Then I went to the Perath, and dug, and took the belt from the place where I had hidden it; and look, the belt was marred, it was profitable for nothing.
8Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9"Thus says the LORD, 'In this way I will mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and are gone after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this belt, which is profitable for nothing. 11For as the belt clings to the waist of a man, so have I caused to cling to me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah,' says the LORD; 'that they might be my people, for a name, for praise, and for glory. But they would not listen.
12Therefore you shall speak to them this word: 'Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, "Every jar shall be filled with wine."' And if they shall say to you, 'Do we not certainly know that every jar shall be filled with wine?' 13Then you shall tell them, 'Thus says the LORD, "Look, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings who sit on David's throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. 14I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, says the LORD. I will not pity, nor spare, nor have compassion, that I should not destroy them."'"
15"Hear, and give ear; do not be proud; for the LORD has spoken.
16Give glory to the LORD your God, before he causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, he turns it into the shadow of death, and makes it gross darkness.
17But if you will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret for your pride; and my eye shall weep bitterly, and run down with tears, because the LORD's flock is taken captive."
18"Say to the king and to the queen mother, 'Take a lowly seat, for your glorious crowns have come down from your heads.
19The cities toward the Negev are shut, and there is no one to open them: Judah is carried away into exile, all of it; it is wholly carried away into exile.'"
20"Lift up your eyes, and see those who come from the north: where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock?
21What will you say, when he shall set over you as head those whom you have yourself taught to be friends to you? Shall not sorrows take hold of you, as of a woman in travail?
22If you say in your heart, 'Why are these things come on me?' for the greatness of your iniquity are your skirts uncovered, and your heels suffer violence.
23Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil.
24'therefore I will scatter them, as the stubble that passes away, by the wind of the wilderness.
25This is your lot, the portion measured to you from me,' says the LORD; 'because you have forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.
26therefore I will also uncover your skirts on your face, and your shame shall appear.
27I have seen your abominations, even your adulteries, and your neighing, the lewdness of your prostitution, on the hills in the field. Woe to you, Jerusalem. You will not be made clean; how long shall it yet be?'"