John T. Willis

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Swimming Trunks and Wine Jars--Jeremiah 13:1-14

Yahweh through Jeremiah continues to declare that he is about to punish his people because they persistently sin against him. Jeremiah 13:1-14 portrays two symbolic acts of Jeremiah.

I. Jeremiah's "Swimming Trunks"=Linen Loincloth--Jeremiah 13:1-11.
a. Yahweh commands Jeremiah to BUY a linen loincloth, put it on his loins, do not dip it in water, then take it to the Euphrates River, and hide it in the cleft of the rock. Jeremiah does this. Later, Yahweh commands Jeremiah to return and retrieve his loincloth from the cleft of the rock. When Jeremiah does this, the loincloth is "ruined, good for nothing." 13:1-7.
b. Yahweh explains that Yahweh "clings to" the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah JUST AS the loincloth clings to one's loins. Yahweh is the loins, and the loincloth Israel and Judah. Yahweh desires to be very close to his people that they might be for Yahweh "a people, a name, a praise, and a glory."
c. However, Israel and Judah constantly refused to hear Yahweh's words, stubbornly followed their own will and gone after other gods to serve and worship them rather than Yahweh. Hence, they are like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. 13:10.
d. As a result of this, Yahweh declares that he will ruin the PRIDE of Judah and the GREAT PRIDE of Jerusalem. Throughout human history, we all focus on ourselves rather than on God. We follow our own will rather than God's will. 13:8-9.

II. Jeremiah's Wine Jars. Jeremiah 13:12-14.
a. Yahweh tells Jeremiah to tell God's people that every wine jar should be filled with wine. The people immediately respond, saying, We already know this, evidently referring to an annual festival, possibly the Festival of Booths. 13:12.
b. Yahweh responds that he is about to fill all the inhabitants of the land of Canaan [the kings, the priests, the prophets, and the people] with drunkenness. Yahweh will dash them one against another and destroy them. The figure of drunkenness to denote Yahweh's punishment occurs often in scripture. See e. g., Jeremiah 25:15-29; Isaiah 28:1-8.

Yahweh's severe punishment is his last effort to being sinful people to repentance. Out of love, Yahweh must discipline those who insist on rebelling against him. Hebrews 12:4-11.

Share YOUR insights and concepts to others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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