Skip to main content

Jeremiah 2:13 & meaning...


people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters, and cut them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Jeremiah 2:13


Jeremiah 2 [10.] For pass over to the islands of Kittim, and see;

    and send to Kedar, and consider diligently;

    and see if there has been such a thing.

Has a nation changed its gods,

    which really are no gods?

    But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.

“Be astonished, you heavens, at this,

    and be horribly afraid.

    Be very desolate,” says Yahweh.

For my people have committed two evils:

    they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters,

    and cut them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Is Israel a slave?

    Is he a born into slavery?

    Why has he become a captive?


  • Metaphor of Living Waters: 

God portrays Himself as the "spring of living waters," emphasizing His role as the ultimate source of spiritual refreshment, sustenance, and life. This imagery conveys the abundance and vitality that come from a relationship with God (Jeremiah 17:13; Revelation 21:6).

  • Forsaking God: 

The primary sin of the people of Israel is their forsaking of God. Despite His faithfulness and provision, they have turned away from Him, seeking satisfaction and security elsewhere. This act of spiritual adultery is the root of their rebellion and the cause of their spiritual decay (Jeremiah 2:5; Hosea 13:6).

  • Broken Cisterns: 

In contrast to the spring of living waters, the people have sought to satisfy their spiritual thirst by digging cisterns—man-made reservoirs for storing water. However, these cisterns are described as "broken cisterns that can hold no water." They are inadequate and unreliable sources of sustenance, unable to satisfy the deep longings of the human soul (Isaiah 55:2).

  • Symbolism of Broken Cisterns: 

The broken cisterns represent the false gods and idols that the people of Israel have pursued in place of the true God. These idols offer empty promises of security and satisfaction but ultimately fail to deliver. They are sources of deception and disappointment, incapable of providing the abundant life found only in God (Psalm 115:4-8).

  • Universal Principle: 

While Jeremiah's message was directed specifically to the people of Israel, the principle of forsaking the true God for false gods applies universally. Humanity has a tendency to seek fulfillment and meaning in things other than God, whether it be wealth, power, pleasure, or success. Yet, like broken cisterns, these pursuits leave us empty and unsatisfied (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

Cross References:

Isaiah 55:1-2: "Come, everyone who thirsts, to the waters! Come, he who has no money, buy, and eat! Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which doesn’t satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in richness." Isaiah extends an invitation to all who thirst to come to the true source of satisfaction and life.

John 4:13-14: "Jesus answered her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.'" Jesus echoes the imagery of living water, offering Himself as the ultimate source of satisfaction and eternal life.

In summary, Jeremiah 2:13 serves as a powerful reminder of the folly of forsaking the true God for false idols and pursuits. It challenges us to examine our own hearts and priorities, ensuring that we seek satisfaction and fulfillment in the spring of living waters—God Himself—rather than in broken cisterns that can never satisfy.

Christ - live - quaff - saved

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


Chat    Topics     Index     WorldWideWitness