Jeremiah 2:13
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13  For My people have done a twofold wrong:They have forsaken Me, the Fount of living waters, And hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, Which cannot even hold water.

kee sh’-TA-yim ra-OT a-SAH a-MEE o-TEE a-z’-VU m’-KOR MA-yim kha-YEEM lakh-TZOV la-HEM bo-ROT bo-ROT nish-ba-REEM a-SHER lo ya-KHI-lu ha-MA-yim

יג  כִּי־שְׁתַּיִם רָעוֹת עָשָׂה עַמִּי אֹתִי עָזְבוּ מְקוֹר מַיִם חַיִּים לַחְצֹב לָהֶם בֹּארוֹת בֹּארֹת נִשְׁבָּרִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָכִלוּ הַמָּיִם׃

2:13   They have forsaken Me, the Fount of living waters 

Water is a precious resource. While in some locations there were natural springs that provided water for the ancient Israelites, the people also carved out many cisterns in which to store rain water, to ensure they would have enough to drink. Although ancient workers developed a special kind of plaster that was used to line the inside of the cisterns to prevent the water from seeping out, cracks would often develop, causing the water to be lost. Yirmiyahu compares Hashem to a fountain of natural spring water, while the false gods are likened to cracked and broken cisterns. Though the fountains provide life-giving waters, the people foolishly choose to drink from cisterns which cannot contain their water, relying on meaningless idols rather than God, the true source of life.

Goats enjoying a drink from a natural pool in the En Prat Nature Reserve. By Yehoshua Halevi.

Plastered water cistern found at Qumran

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Jeremiah 2:13

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