Chapter thirteen contains a physical illustration for Jeremiah. God told him to “buy some linen shorts” (Jeremiah 13:1-7). He was to wear them but not wash them. Then God told him to hide them in a rock crevice at Perath. After a while he retrieved them only to find them destroyed and unusable. The location of Perath could be anywhere from just a couple of miles from Anatoth all the way to the Euphrates River, about 500 miles away in Assyrian country. If it was the latter, then Jeremiah walked 2,000 miles (two round-trips) for this illustration. Given some of the things God had Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea do, this would not be unusual. God explained that the illustration described how closely he had brought Israel and Judah to himself but was about to hide them away until they were of no use (Jeremiah 13:8-11).
A second illustration was of a wine bottle (Jeremiah 13:12-14). Rather than being filled with good wine (a normal representation of blessing), God would cause them to be like foolish drunks, and they would be shattered like broken wine bottles. Once again, Jeremiah wept as he begged the nation to return to God before it was too late (Jeremiah 13:15-17). Sadly, God prophesied that they would not return, and he would follow through with his punishment of them, using a variety of metaphors (Jeremiah 13:18-27).