Jeremiah 13

Talks for Growing Christians

The Rebellious People

Jeremiah 13

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Lesson Number 13

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God’s rebellious people are like a ruined linen sash.
  2. God’s rebellious people are like smashed wine bottles.
  3. God’s rebellious people are like a scattered flock of sheep.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s not be heartless preachers and prophets!


  1. In Jeremiah’s object lesson, what was represented by the sash, the linen material of the sash, the wearing of the sash, and the ruination of the sash?
  2. Most likely Jeremiah presented the message of the wine bottles as a parable. What was represented by the filled wine bottles and the broken wine bottles?
  3. What was Jeremiah’s message of prophecy when he spoke of “the darkness” and “the dark mountain” in verse 16?
  4. The king and queen in verse 18 are most likely King ________________ and his mother, _____________.
  5. In the midst of Jeremiah’s prophecy of God’s judgment, why would Jeremiah, in verse 20, refer to “beautiful sheep”?


  1. In his object lesson, Jeremiah used the sash to represent all of Israel. Linen material was used to make priestly garments, and God intended Israel to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex. 19:6). Jeremiah’s wearing of the sash represented God’s desire to have His people in close fellowship (vs. 11). The ruined sash represented the failed nation of Israel as they had broken their fellowship with God, and would become a ruined and worthless nation as they were taken into captivity.
  2. The filled wine bottles, contrary to giving the image of prosperity, represented the drunken, irrational behavior of the people (vs. 13). The breaking of the wine bottles represented the destruction that came when the Babylonians conquered Judah (vs. 14).
  3. Jeremiah was speaking of the darkness which would overtake the nation as they were conquered by the Babylonian armies who would strike from the north (vs. 20).
  4. The king and queen in verse 18 are most likely King Jehoiachin and his mother, Nahusta. We read about them in 2 Kings 24:8.
  5. In verse 17, Jeremiah says he would weep for the people because they would be like sheep without a shepherd. They were once beautiful sheep (vs. 20), but now they would be scattered and captured and ruled over by the foreigners on whom Judah had once relied (vs. 21).


  1. There have been several alternative views proposed to answer the question about Jeremiah’s travels in verses 1-11. One view is that this was all part of a vision that the Lord gave Jeremiah. Another is that Jeremiah did indeed travel to the Euphrates River in Babylon, staying in that area (between verses 4 and 6). A third and more likely interpretation is that Jeremiah traveled only a few miles north of his home town of Anathoth to the site of Parah where there was a deep wadi. In the Hebrew text, there is no word “River” here, and “to Euphrates” and “to Parah” are the same in Hebrew.


  1. In verse 17 we see that Jeremiah was not aloof or indifferent toward the people he had been called to warn. Rather, his heart was moved and his literal tears demonstrated his compassion toward them. Will you be courageous enough to share the truth while being compassionate and not heartless toward those to whom you speak?

Key Verses

  • “Give glory to the LORD your God before He causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains . . .” Jeremiah 13:16a

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