20 Pashhur son of Immer was a priest and the chief of temple security. He heard what I had said, 2 and so he hit me.[a] Then he had me arrested and put in chains[b] at the Benjamin Gate in the Lord’s temple.[c]3 The next day, when Pashhur let me go free, I told him that the Lord had said:
No longer will I call you Pashhur. Instead, I will call you Afraid-of-Everything.[d]4 You will be afraid, and you will bring fear to your friends as well. You will see enemies kill them in battle. Then I will have the king of Babylonia take everyone in Judah prisoner, killing some and dragging the rest away to Babylonia. 5 He will clean out the royal treasury and take everything else of value from Jerusalem.
6 Pashhur, you are guilty of telling lies and claiming they were messages from me. That’s why I will have the Babylonians take you, your family, and your friends as prisoners to Babylonia, where you will all die and be buried.
Jeremiah Complains to the Lord
7 You tricked me, Lord, and I was really fooled. You are stronger than I am, and you have defeated me. People never stop sneering and insulting me. 8 You have let me announce only destruction and death. Your message has brought me nothing but insults and trouble. 9 Sometimes I tell myself not to think about you, Lord, or even mention your name. But your message burns in my heart and bones, and I cannot keep silent.
10 I heard the crowds whisper, “Everyone is afraid. Now’s our chance to accuse Jeremiah!” All of my so-called friends are just waiting for me to make a mistake. They say, “Maybe Jeremiah can be tricked. Then we can overpower him and get even at last.”
11 But you, Lord, are a mighty soldier, standing at my side. Those troublemakers will fall down and fail— terribly embarrassed, forever ashamed.
12 Lord All-Powerful, you test those who do right, and you know every heart and mind. I have told you my complaints, so let me watch you take revenge on my enemies. 13 I sing praises to you, Lord. You rescue the oppressed from the wicked.
14 Put a curse on the day I was born! Don’t bless my mother. 15 Put a curse on the man who told my father, “Good news! You have a son.” 16 May that man be like the towns you destroyed without pity. Let him hear shouts of alarm in the morning and battle cries at noon. 17 He deserves to die for not killing me before I was born. Then my mother’s body would have been my grave. 18 Why did I have to be born? Was it just to suffer and die in shame?
20.2hit me: Or “beat me up” or “had me beaten up.”
20.2in chains: Or “in the stocks” (a wooden frame with holes for the hands, neck, or feet of a prisoner) or “in a prison cell.”
20.2the Benjamin Gate in the Lord’s temple: The Hebrew text has “the upper Benjamin Gate in the temple”; the lower Benjamin Gate may have been the city gate of that name.
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