Warning: SPOILERS ahead for US
Jordan Peele's chilling new movie Us features repeated references to the Bible verse Jeremiah 11:11 - and many moviegoers may be wondering what this means. In short, Jeremiah 11:11 is a prophecy of people being punished for their sins by having evil brought upon them, which makes it very fitting for Us' themes and revelations.
We first see the sign saying "Jeremiah 11:11" being held by a character called Alan, whom young Adelaide passes as a child when she walks down to the beach. We later see Alan again, having been murdered by his doppelganger, and finally we see his doppelganger on the night that Adelaide went down to the beach. Instead of holding a sign, Alan's Tethered half (who is called Jeremiah in the credits) actually has 1111 carved into his forehead.
Jeremiah 11:11 has multiple meanings, the most obvious one being that "11:11" is a palindrome (the same backwards as forwards). Mirrors are used symbolically throughout Us, most notably in the hall of mirrors that Adelaide wanders into as a child, and are naturally associated with the experience of meeting one's doppelganger. However, this is the actual Bible passage that Jeremiah 11:11 refers to:
"Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them."
The Book of Jeremiah is part of the Old Testament, and is taken from the writings of a Judaean prophet called Jeremiah, who is also believed to have authored the Book of Kings and the Book of Lamentations. Jeremiah's writings include accounts of how he was persecuted and mocked for his prophecies, but he couldn't help but speak them because the word of God was like "a burning fire shut up in my bones." Because of this suffering, Jeremiah is also called "the weeping prophet" - which is interesting when coupled with the fact that a signature image of both Get Out and Us is a close-up of the protagonist's face with tears running down it.
Chapter 11 of the Book of Jeremiah, where the quote in Us comes from, warns of a covenant that has been broken between God and the people of Judah and Jerusalem, and the suffering that will follow as a result of this broken covenant. The chapter recalls the agreement made between God and the people of Israel during their Exodus from Egypt that they would be obedient to the word of God: "Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart." This takes us up to Jeremiah 11:11, where God promises to bring evil upon the people as punishment for breaking their ancestors' covenant, and warns that he will not listen to their cries.
Needless to say, the God of the Old Testament can be a little brutal, which makes the quote very fitting for the Tethered in Us. Jeremiah 11:11 captures the themes of both punishment (the Tethered rise up against their other halves, and Red takes revenge on Adelaide for imprisoning her all those years ago) and an absence of mercy (the Tethered are unmoved by their doubles' pleas or attempts to bargain). In a sense, Adelaide fulfils the role of Jeremiah in the movie, as she knows the Tethered will eventually take their brutal revenge, but is helpless to stop it from happening.