Jeremiah 20 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Jeremiah and Pashhur
20 Pashhur son of Immer was a priest. He was the highest officer in the Temple of the Lord. When he heard Jeremiah say those things in the Temple yard, 2 he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten. And he had Jeremiah’s hands and feet locked between large blocks of wood. This was at the Upper Gate of Benjamin of the Lord’s Temple. 3 The next day Pashhur took Jeremiah out from between the blocks of wood. Then Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name for you is not Pashhur. Now his name for you is ‘Surrounded by Terror.’ 4 That is your name because of what the Lord says: ‘I will soon make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. You will watch enemies killing your friends with swords. I will give all the people of Judah to the king of Babylon. He will take them away to the country of Babylon, and his army will kill the people of Judah with their swords. 5 The people of Jerusalem worked hard to build things and become wealthy, but I will give all these things to their enemies. The king in Jerusalem has many treasures, but I will give all the treasures to the enemy. The enemy will take them and carry them away to the country of Babylon. 6 And, Pashhur, you and all the people living in your house will be taken away. You will be forced to go and live in the country of Babylon. You will die in Babylon, and you will be buried in that foreign country. You told lies to your friends. You said these things would not happen. But all your friends will also die and be buried in Babylon.’”
Jeremiah’s Fifth Complaint
7 Lord, you tricked me, and I certainly was fooled.
You are stronger than I am, so you won.
I have become a joke.
People laugh at me and make fun of me all day long.
8 Every time I speak, I shout.
I am always shouting about violence and destruction.
I tell the people about the message that I received from the Lord.
But they only insult me and make fun of me.
9 Sometimes I say to myself, “I will forget about him.
I will not speak anymore in his name.”
But when I say that, his message is like a fire burning inside me!
It feels like it is burning deep in my bones!
I get tired of trying to hold his message inside.
And finally, I am not able to hold it in.
10 I hear people whispering against me.
Everywhere, I hear things that frighten me.
Even my friends are speaking against me.
People are just waiting for me to make a mistake.
They are saying, “Let us lie and say that he did something bad.
Maybe we can trick Jeremiah.
Then we will have him.
We will finally be rid of him.
Then we will grab him
and take our revenge on him.”
11 But the Lord is with me.
He is like a strong soldier.
So those who are chasing me will fall.
They will not defeat me.
They will fail.
They will be disappointed.
They will be ashamed,
and they will never forget that shame.
12 Lord All-Powerful, you test good people.
You look deeply into a person’s mind.
I told you my arguments against these people.
So let me see you give them the punishment they deserve.
13 Sing to the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
He saves the lives of the poor!
He saves them from the wicked!
Jeremiah’s Sixth Complaint
14 Curse the day that I was born!
Don’t bless the day my mother had me.
15 Curse the man who told my father the news that I was born.
“It’s a boy!” he said.
“You have a son.”
He made my father very happy
when he told him the news.
16 Let that man be like the cities the Lord destroyed.
He had no pity on them.
Let him hear shouts of war in the morning;
let him hear battle cries at noontime,
17 because he did not kill me
while I was in my mother’s womb.
If he had killed me then,
my mother would have been my grave,
and I would not have been born.
18 Why did I have to come out of her body?
All I have seen is trouble and sorrow,
and my life will end in shame.