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Jeremiah Denounced

20 When the priest Pashhur, Immer’s son, who was the officer in charge[a] of the Lord’s Temple heard Jeremiah prophesying these words, Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet and put him in the stocks that were at the upper Benjamin Gate of the Temple. The next day, Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, and Jeremiah told him, “The Lord has not named you Pashhur, but rather Magor-missabib.[b] For this is what the Lord says: ‘Look, I’m going to make you a terror to yourself and to all your loved ones. They’ll fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes will see it. I’ll give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He will take them into exile to Babylon, and he will execute them with swords. I’ll turn over all the wealth of this city, all its possessions, all its valuables, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah right into the hands of their enemies, and they’ll plunder them, capture them, and take them to Babylon. You, Pashhur, and all those living in your house will go into captivity. You will go to Babylon and there you will die. There you and all your loved ones[c] to whom you have falsely prophesied will be buried.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint to the Lord

You deceived me, Lord,
    and I’ve been deceived.
You overpowered me,
    and you prevailed.
I’ve become a laughing stock all day long,
    and everyone mocks me.
Indeed, as often as I speak, I cry out,
    and shout, “Violence and destruction!”
For this message from the Lord has caused me
    constant[d] reproach and derision.
When I say, “I won’t remember the Lord[e],
    nor will I speak in his name anymore,
then there is this burning fire in my heart.
    It is bound up in my bones,
I grow weary of trying to hold it in,
    and I cannot do it!
10 Indeed, I hear many people whispering,
    “Terror on every side.[f]
Denounce him, let’s denounce him!”
    All my close friends watch my steps and say,
“Perhaps he will be deceived,
    and we can prevail against him
        and take vengeance on him.”

11 But the Lord is with me like a fearsome warrior.
    Therefore, those who pursue me will stumble
        and won’t prevail.
They’ll be put to great shame,
    when they don’t succeed.
        Their everlasting disgrace won’t be forgotten.
12 Lord of the Heavenly Armies,
    who tests the righteous,
    who sees the inner motives[g] and the heart,
let me see you take vengeance on them,
    for I’ve committed my case to you.
13 Sing to the Lord,
    give praise to the Lord!
For he saves the life of the poor
    from the hand of the wicked.

Jeremiah Curses the Day of His Birth

14 Let the day on which I was born be cursed.
    Don’t let the day on which my mother gave birth to me be blessed.
15 Cursed is the person who brought
    the good news to my father,
“A baby boy has been born to you,”
    making him very happy.
16 May that man be like the cities that
    the Lord overthrew without compassion.
Let him hear a cry in the morning,
    and a battle cry at noon,
17 because he didn’t kill me in the womb,
    so that my mother would have been my grave
        and her womb forever pregnant.
18 Why did I ever come out of the womb
    to see trouble and sorrow,
        and to finish my life living in shame?


  1. Jeremiah 20:1 Lit. the Nagid; i.e. a senior officer entrusted with dual roles of operational oversight and administrative authority
  2. Jeremiah 20:3 The Heb. name Magor-missabib means terror on every side; cf. v. 10
  3. Jeremiah 20:6 Or friends, colleagues
  4. Jeremiah 20:8 Lit. all day long
  5. Jeremiah 20:9 Lit. him
  6. Jeremiah 20:10 I.e. in mockery of the prophet’s statement Magor-missabib in v. 3
  7. Jeremiah 20:12 Lit. the liver