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20 Now when Pashhur (son of Immer), the priest in charge of the Temple of the Lord, heard what Jeremiah was saying, he arrested Jeremiah and had him whipped and put in the stocks at Benjamin Gate near the Temple. He left him there all night.

The next day when Pashhur finally released him, Jeremiah said, “Pashhur, the Lord has changed your name. He says from now on to call you ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror.’ For the Lord will send terror on you and all your friends, and you will see them die by the swords of their enemies. I will hand over Judah to the king of Babylon, says the Lord, and he shall take away these people as slaves to Babylon and kill them. And I will let your enemies loot Jerusalem. All the famed treasures of the city, with the precious jewels and gold and silver of your kings, shall be carried off to Babylon. And as for you, Pashhur, you and all your family and household shall become slaves in Babylon and die there—you and those to whom you lied when you prophesied that everything would be all right.”

O Lord, you deceived me when you promised me your help. I have to give them your messages because you are stronger than I am, but now I am the laughingstock of the city, mocked by all. You have never once let me speak a word of kindness to them; always it is disaster and horror and destruction. No wonder they scoff and mock and make my name a household joke. And I can’t quit! For if I say I’ll never again mention the Lord—never more speak in his name—then his word in my heart is like fire that burns in my bones, and I can’t hold it in any longer. 10 Yet on every side I hear their whispered threats and am afraid. “We will report,” they say. Even those who were my friends are watching me, waiting for a fatal slip. “He will trap himself,” they say, “and then we will get our revenge on him.”

11 But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior, and before him, the Mighty, Terrible One, they shall stumble. They cannot defeat me; they shall be shamed and thoroughly humiliated, and they shall have a stigma upon them forever. 12 O Lord Almighty, who knows those who are righteous and examines the deepest thoughts of hearts and minds, let me see your vengeance on them. For I have committed my cause to you. 13 Therefore, I will sing out in thanks to the Lord! Praise him! For he has delivered me, poor and needy, from my oppressors.

14 Yet, cursed be the day that I was born! 15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news that a son was born. 16 Let that messenger be destroyed like the cities of old which God overthrew without mercy. Terrify him all day long with battle shouts 17 because he did not kill me at my birth! Oh, that I had died within my mother’s womb, that it had been my grave! 18 Why was I ever born? For my life has been but trouble and sorrow and shame.

Jeremiah and Pashhur

20 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer,(A) the official(B) in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten(C) and put in the stocks(D) at the Upper Gate of Benjamin(E) at the Lord’s temple. The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name(F) for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side.(G) For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes(H) you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give(I) all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry(J) them away to Babylon or put them to the sword. I will deliver all the wealth(K) of this city into the hands of their enemies—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away(L) as plunder and carry it off to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied(M) lies.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

You deceived[a](N) me, Lord, and I was deceived[b];
    you overpowered(O) me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed(P) all day long;
    everyone mocks(Q) me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out
    proclaiming violence and destruction.(R)
So the word of the Lord has brought me
    insult and reproach(S) all day long.
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
    or speak anymore in his name,”(T)
his word is in my heart like a fire,(U)
    a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;(V)
    indeed, I cannot.
10 I hear many whispering,
    “Terror(W) on every side!
    Denounce(X) him! Let’s denounce him!”
All my friends(Y)
    are waiting for me to slip,(Z) saying,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
    then we will prevail(AA) over him
    and take our revenge(AB) on him.”

11 But the Lord(AC) is with me like a mighty warrior;
    so my persecutors(AD) will stumble and not prevail.(AE)
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;(AF)
    their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
    and probe the heart and mind,(AG)
let me see your vengeance(AH) on them,
    for to you I have committed(AI) my cause.

13 Sing(AJ) to the Lord!
    Give praise to the Lord!
He rescues(AK) the life of the needy
    from the hands of the wicked.(AL)

14 Cursed be the day I was born!(AM)
    May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news,
    who made him very glad, saying,
    “A child is born to you—a son!”
16 May that man be like the towns(AN)
    the Lord overthrew without pity.
May he hear wailing(AO) in the morning,
    a battle cry at noon.
17 For he did not kill me in the womb,(AP)
    with my mother as my grave,
    her womb enlarged forever.
18 Why did I ever come out of the womb(AQ)
    to see trouble(AR) and sorrow
    and to end my days in shame?(AS)


  1. Jeremiah 20:7 Or persuaded
  2. Jeremiah 20:7 Or persuaded