The Prophet Jeremiah used many illustrations which came from the land around him. The Lord’s command to bury a sash in the cracks of a spring is a great example:
Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks. —Jeremiah 13:4
Many modern translations render the Hebrew term, prt, in this verse as the “Euphrates River.” Unfortunately, that would have required Jeremiah a 700-mile journey (twice) to perform a visual lesson Judah would never see. There’s a better translation in context that offered a lesson to the Hebrews at a place much closer to home.
The lesson hits us close to home as well—reminding us why we should cling to God.
Welcome to Ein Parath
A better translation of the Hebrew prt is Parath—sometimes transliterated as “Prat” or “Perat.” It refers to a spring that flowed only a few miles east of Jerusalem in Jeremiah’s home territory of Benjamin.
The beautiful oasis of water and shade trees at Ein Parath offer an excellent example of King David’s famous Psalm 23: “He leads me beside quiet waters.”
Through the centuries, Ein Parath provided water to a number of ancient aqueducts and monasteries, some of which have remains still visible today.
After Jeremiah bought the sash and wore it a while, God told him to go to Ein Parath and bury it in a crevice of the rocks. After a time, the Lord directed Jeremiah to return and dig up the sash.
So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless. —Jeremiah 13:7 NIV
God told Jeremiah that the sash represented His people. When they clung to Him, like the sash, they had a place of honor and renown. But when they departed from Him they became “completely useless.” The Lord’s words at Ein Parath remind us of the words of Jesus, who would later remind His disciples:
Apart from me you can do nothing. —John 15:5
How essential that we cling to God more today—trusting Him by obedience—and refuse to place our confidence anywhere else.
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