Jeremiah 13:10
These evil people, who refuse to listen to My words, who follow the stubbornness of their own hearts, and who go after other gods to serve and worship them, they will be like this loincloth--of no use at all.
Cleaving unto GodChristian CommonwealthJeremiah 13:10
God's GirdleW. Whale.Jeremiah 13:10
Good for NothingW. Whale.Jeremiah 13:10
Rejecters of God's WordJohn Hall, D. D.Jeremiah 13:10
The Unprofitableness of a Sinful LifeJeremiah 13:10
Good Reasons for Singular ConductJeremiah 13:1-11
Nearness to God Destroyed by SinE. Jerman.Jeremiah 13:1-11
The Cast-Off GirdleJeremiah 13:1-11
The Marred GirdleA.F. Muir Jeremiah 13:1-11
The Marred GirdleD. Young Jeremiah 13:1-11
The Ruined Girdle; Or, it May be Too Late to MendS. Conway Jeremiah 13:1-12

This and the following emblem are intended to symbolize the characters and punishment of pride in spiritual and carnal men respectively. The "girdle" of linen cloth worn by the priest represents the close relation of Judah and Jerusalem to Jehovah. He had chosen them, and taken them into closest fellowship. They were as his cincture to declare his character and glory to men. But they had abused his confidence. For them, therefore, the fate was reserved which is described in connection with the girdle. Where the cleft of the rock was, in Ephrath or Euphrates, is not quite plain; but the probability is that the last-mentioned is really meant, and that a journey to it was indeed made by the prophet.

I. THE DIGNITY AND IDEAL CHARACTER OF GOD'S PEOPLE THUS SET FORTH. The linen girdle worn by the priests was a portion of their appointed and consecrated garments. It represented, therefore, the idea of consecration arising from nearness and closeness. They were highly favored amongst the nations as being brought into immediate relation with Jehovah. "As the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord" (Ver. 11). And as the girdle, by bracing the body, becomes a means of strength, so Israel was to be the power of God amongst the nations of the world. They were to be as kings and priests before God, to show forth his righteousness and to execute his will.

II. THE CONDITION UPON WHICH THESE HAVE TO BE MAINTAINED. Simply because they had been so designed in the eternal purpose. They had no security for this position being retained. It would not do for them to rely upon prestige. With spiritual strength relaxed and moral pretty lost, they were no longer fit for the honorable service to which they had been called. It was only as their spiritual life rose to the height of their calling, and maintained itself from age to age by means of Divine truth and continual exercise of faith, that they could expect to retain their privileges. But this Israel was far from seeing. She required, therefore, to be taught the truth of it by experience, and nothing would do this better than that which the symbol suggested. Their outward circumstances and position would be made to correspond with their inward character, so that all men, and even they themselves, would cease to be deceived. This is ever the order of the Divine government. He will set our secret sins in the light of his countenance.

II. THE MESSENGER OF GOD SHOULD SPARE NO EFFORT TO EMBODY AND ENFORCE THE TRUTH HE HAS TO DECLARE. Whether Ephrath in Israel or Euphrates was meant, a journey of considerable length had to be taken, and much trouble was involved. But the prophet did not grudge this if thereby he might appeal through the imagination the more forcibly to the heart of his people. So sometimes ancient prophets had to submit to themselves being made signs that were spoken against. There can be no question that the manner adopted by the prophet of illustrating his message was most effective and striking. And it was clear even to the simplest understanding. An illustrative style of discourse is carefully to be distinguished from a florid one; and anything which conveys more vivid impressions to one's self is more likely to add impressiveness and vivid force to what one has to say to others. This going to Euphrates on the part of the prophet was quite an important business, but it was justified by its result. And so preachers should spare no pains to link the truth of God with the actions, the experiences, and the interests of men. - M.

This evil people which refuse to hear My words.
I. SENSATIONAL PREACHING: IN WHAT SENSE TO BE APPROVED. The style of this teaching of Jeremiah looks sensational. He is bidden to take a fine, new linen girdle — a most important and ornamental part of an Oriental gentleman's garments — and bury it for a time near the Euphrates. Taking it up afterwards, he was to exhibit it to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, with all the marks of injury and decay upon it, as a sign and type of the decline and decay that the Lord would bring on them in Babylon, when, parted from Him to whom they had been bound as a girdle to a man's body, they should be buried under the oppression and contempt of their proud and domineering captors.


1. Even the most highly favoured persons may reject God's Word.

2. The transgressors in such cases prefer their own imagination to God's revelations. Religion says to God, "Thy will be done." The natural heart says, "My will be done" — "Who is the Lord that I should obey Him?"

3. The moral influence of such perverseness is bad, progressively bad. Having cast off God, the human nature cannot stand up alone. It needs a support. It must worship. So it goes after other, and of course false, gods. Every sin has three distinct effects, apart from the punishment of the future:(1) It depraves and deteriorates the nature that sins. The brain is not broken, but strained; the marble is not fractured, but the eye of omniscience sees the flaw.(2) It familiarises with evil and goes so far towards making an evil habit.(3) It renders some other sin not only easier, but apparently necessary. "Having done one thing," says the sinner, "of course I had to do the other."

4. The effect of rejecting God's Word is lamentable in the extreme. If the fire of Divine anger burnt up that vine which He had planted, how will it be with the common tree of the forest?


1. In a certain strict and literal sense every unbeliever is an infidel, i.e. he is without faith. But many are without faith who yet assent to the general truths of God's Word. Many infidels have made it their own interest to impugn and deny Divine revelation. A man has broken its precepts — perhaps suffered socially in consequence — has not repented, but only been embittered, begins to count those who censure or condemn him first bigoted, narrow-minded, then pharisaical, and hypocritical or fanatical. They justify their action by the Scriptures, and he begins to transfer his dislike to the Scriptures, feels a pleasure in any doubt cast on them, flatters himself that to weaken them is to strengthen his case, and that contempt poured on them is respect won back for him. Hence the bitterest scoffers have often been the religiously trained sinners.

2. Sceptics are included among the rejecters of God's Word. Not that they are necessarily irreligious, or deniers of a Divine Being and of obligation to Him; but they deny the Scriptures as an authoritative revelation from Him and make nature a sufficient teacher.

3. If I include Romanism among the rejecters of God's Word, it must be with a qualification. That system admits the inspiration, Divine origin, and partial authority of God's Word, and so far as it can appeal to Scripture does so. Its sins in this regard are:(1) Putting up beside the Word tradition, which, like that of the Pharisees, makes the Word of God of no effect.(2) Making the authorisation of the Scripture depend on the Church, and constituting the Church the only expounder of Scripture.(3) And following from this, she withholds the Scriptures from her people.

4. The indifferent and unbelieving reject God's Word. You have heard it explained, read it, had it urged on you by beloved ones, now praising God in the rest of the saints. Have you believed it? Received Christ? Are you resting on Him? Doing His will? For if not, your condemnation is doubly sure.

(John Hall, D. D.)


1. Unto His person for favour.

2. Unto His Word for direction and teaching.

3. Unto His promise for encouragement.

4. Unto His worship for devotion.

II. ISRAEL AND JUDAH WERE THEN A PRAISE AND GLORY TO JEHOVAH. A girdle of strength and honour before the nations.

1. As opposed to the idolatries of the world.

2. As expressing obedience to Divine law.

3. As exhibiting the beneficial effects of true religion.


1. An evil people refusing to hear the Word.

2. A stubborn people going their own way.

3. A deluded people in vain imaginations.

4. An idolatrous people, like the nations less favoured, going after other gods to serve and worship them.

IV. ISRAEL AND JUDAH BECOMING FAITHLESS, BECAME ALSO WEAK AND WORTHLESS. Went from prominence to obscurity, from freedom to captivity, from privilege to punishment.

(W. Whale.)

Christian Commonwealth.
In Trinidad there are small oysters to be found that grow upon trees, or rather cluster round the roots of trees, in the river mouths. The little bivalves are so firmly attached that it is usual to saw down the trees in order to obtain the oysters, and such an attachment is typical of the ideal life of a Christian. He should love the Lord his God, and obey His voice, that he may cleave unto Him. God, who is the source of all life, will indeed be his life and the light of his days. As the strength of the tree is placed at the disposal of the oyster, so is the omnipotence of God offered to all who will trust Him.

(Christian Commonwealth.)

Which is good for nothing.
I. DWELL UPON A PAINFUL FACT. All was done for them that could be, and yet good for nothing.


1. They refused to hear the Word of the Lord.

2. They followed the imagination of their hearts.

3. They became idolaters.


1. Separated from the nations as peculiarly the people of God.

2. Before the nations for the glory of Jehovah, as opposed to idols.

3. Among the nations as witnesses and examples.


1. Refusing to hear God's Word is proof that the people are all evil people.

2. An evil people will substitute a false worship for that which is true.

3. A false worship will produce and foster an erroneous religious life.

4. A people walking according to the imagination of their own hearts must be useless to themselves, to the world, to the Church, or to God.

(W. Whale.)

I heard the other day a Sunday school address which pleased me much. The teacher, speaking to the boys, said, "Boys, here is a watch; what is it for?" "To tell the time." "Well," said he, "suppose my watch does not tell the time, what is it good for? Good for nothing, sir." Then he took out a pencil. "What is this pencil for?" "It is to write with, sir." "Suppose this pencil won't make a mark, what is it good for?" "Good for nothing, sir." Then he took out a pocket knife. "Boys, what is this for?" They were American boys, so they shouted, "To whittle with," — that is, to experiment on any substance that came in their way, by cutting a notch in it. "But," said he, "suppose it will not cut, what is the knife good for?" "Good for nothing, sir." Then the teacher said, "What is the chief end of man?" and they replied, "To glorify God." "But suppose a man does not glorify God, what is he good for?" "Good for nothing, sir."

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Euphrates River, Jerusalem, Negeb
Anything, Band, Belt, Bow, Completely, Ear, Evil, Follow, Girdle, Gods, Heart, Hearts, Imagination, Listen, Nothing, Pride, Profitable, Refuse, Servants, Serve, Stubbornly, Stubbornness, Themselves, Totally, Useless, Waistband, Waistcloth, Walk, Wicked, Worship, Worshippers, Worthless, Yea
1. By the type of a linen belt, hidden at Euphrates,
9. God prefigures the destruction of his people.
12. By the parable of bottles filled with wine he foretells their drunkenness in misery.
15. He exhorts to prevent their future judgments.
22. He shows their abominations are the cause thereof.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Jeremiah 13:10

     5864   futility
     6178   hardness of heart
     6185   imagination, desires
     6194   impenitence, warnings
     6245   stubbornness
     8761   fools, in teaching of Christ

Jeremiah 13:1-11

     5131   belt

An Impossibility Made Possible
'Can the Ethiopian change his skin?'--JER. xiii. 23. 'If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.'--2 COR. v. 17. 'Behold, I make all things new.'--REV. xxi. 5. Put these three texts together. The first is a despairing question to which experience gives only too sad and decisive a negative answer. It is the answer of many people who tell us that character must be eternal, and of many a baffled man who says, 'It is of no use--I have tried and can do nothing.' The second text is the grand Christian
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Notion of Inability.
PROPER METHOD OF ACCOUNTING FOR IT. I have represented ability, or the freedom of the will, as a first-truth of consciousness, a truth necessarily known to all moral agents. The inquiry may naturally arise, How then is it to be accounted for, that so many men have denied the liberty of the will, or ability to obey God? A recent writer thinks this denial a sufficient refutation of the affirmation, that ability is a first-truth of consciousness. It is important that this denial should be accounted
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

On Earthly Things
The earth is man himself; in the gospel: another has fallen into the good earth. The same in a bad part about the sinner: you devour the earth all the days of your life. [Mark 4:18; Genesis 3:14] The dry lands are the flesh of a fruitless man; in Ecclesiastes, to work in a dry land with evil and sorrow. [Ecclesiastes 37:3] The dust is a sinner or the vanity of the flesh; in the psalm: like the dust, which the wind blows about. [Ps. 1:4 Vulgate] The mud is the gluttony of sinners; in the psalm: tear
St. Eucherius of Lyons—The Formulae of St. Eucherius of Lyons

The Cavils of the Pharisees Concerning Purification, and the Teaching of the Lord Concerning Purity - the Traditions Concerning Hand-Washing' and Vows. '
As we follow the narrative, confirmatory evidence of what had preceded springs up at almost every step. It is quite in accordance with the abrupt departure of Jesus from Capernaum, and its motives, that when, so far from finding rest and privacy at Bethsaida (east of the Jordan), a greater multitude than ever had there gathered around Him, which would fain have proclaimed Him King, He resolved on immediate return to the western shore, with the view of seeking a quieter retreat, even though it were
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

On the Animals
The birds are the saints, because they fly to the higher heart; in the gospel: and he made great branches that the birds of the air might live in their shade. [Mark 4:32] Flying is the death of the saints in God or the knowledge of the Scriptures; in the psalm: I shall fly and I shall be at rest. [Ps. 54(55):7 Vulgate] The wings are the two testaments; in Ezekiel: your body will fly with two wings of its own. [Ez. 1:23] The feathers are the Scriptures; in the psalm: the wings of the silver dove.
St. Eucherius of Lyons—The Formulae of St. Eucherius of Lyons

Covenanting Confers Obligation.
As it has been shown that all duty, and that alone, ought to be vowed to God in covenant, it is manifest that what is lawfully engaged to in swearing by the name of God is enjoined in the moral law, and, because of the authority of that law, ought to be performed as a duty. But it is now to be proved that what is promised to God by vow or oath, ought to be performed also because of the act of Covenanting. The performance of that exercise is commanded, and the same law which enjoins that the duties
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Meditations on the Hindrances which Keep Back a Sinner from the Practice of Piety.
Those hindrances are chiefly seven:-- I. An ignorant mistaking of the true meaning of certain places of the holy Scriptures, and some other chief grounds of Christian religion. The Scriptures mistaken are these: 1. Ezek. xxxiii. 14, 16, "At what time soever a sinner repenteth him of his sin, I will blot out all," &c. Hence the carnal Christian gathers, that he may repent when he will. It is true, whensoever a sinner does repent, God will forgive; but the text saith not, that a sinner may repent whensoever
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

The interest of the book of Jeremiah is unique. On the one hand, it is our most reliable and elaborate source for the long period of history which it covers; on the other, it presents us with prophecy in its most intensely human phase, manifesting itself through a strangely attractive personality that was subject to like doubts and passions with ourselves. At his call, in 626 B.C., he was young and inexperienced, i. 6, so that he cannot have been born earlier than 650. The political and religious
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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