The Jeremiah 11:11 Verse In ‘Us’ Has More Than One Ominous Meaning
Major spoilers ahead. Throughout the entirety of Us, a barrage of symbols and horror motifs are thrown at the audiences and, like Pokémon, it's impossible to catch them all. One reference jumps out pretty clearly early on in the horror film, however. The first mention of the Jeremiah 11:11 Bible verse in Us happens in the flashback that opens the movie. And yes, the actual text has a meaning with a creepy application to Jordan Peele's latest.
When a young Adelaide (Madison Curry) wanders away from her parents on a Santa Cruz boardwalk, she passes by a homeless man holding a sign that says "Jeremiah 11:11." If it weren't for the man's leering gaze, it wouldn't seem as significant as it does. But, considering its placement and the way the camera lingers on the man, the verse seems like it could help illuminate the movie's plot.
In the King James Bible, the verse reads, "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." According to Inverse, the verse refers to God's punishment of the Jews after the fall of Babylon.
That very tangible threat perfectly matches the rest of the movie, which shows a whole lot of evil brought upon unsuspecting people, and most are not able to escape. Unless you had the verse memorized previously, you probably planned on going home and Googling afterwards — which provides a delayed spook that you probably hadn't anticipated. Clearly, Peele really wants to mess with your head.
The sign that the homeless man from the beginning of the movie is holding appears again a little bit later too. When the adult Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) returns to the Santa Cruz beach, this time with her husband, Gabe (Winston Duke), her daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph), and son, Jason (Evan Alex), the family drives by an elderly man on a stretcher being loaded onto an ambulance. He looks to be dead, and he's holding the very same sign. In fact, it seems as though he's the very same man.
Later that evening, the numbers 11:11 show up again in different places and form. The score of the game that Gabe watches at the house is announced as "11-11," and then when Adelaide goes to put Jason to bed, he points out the 11:11 time on the clock. Adelaide, having seen the homeless man's sign and heard the score is freaked out. After she says goodnight to Jason, she tries to tell Gabe about her traumatic experience as a child. Then, the murderous doppelgängers show up.
Even without the alarming Biblical reference, the numbers 11:11 works for the movie in other ways. 11:11 could represent two pairs of twins. The number 11 on its own repeats the number one, and 11:11 is double the sets of multiples.
In the context of the plot, the verse comes to mean something even more sinister than its direct interpretation: that the evil coming to the world is coming in the form of us.