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Jeremiah 20 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 20

Now the priest Pashhur, son of Immer, chief officer in the house of the Lord,[a] heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. So he struck the prophet and put him in the stocks at the upper Gate of Benjamin in the house of the Lord. The next morning, after Pashhur had released Jeremiah from the stocks, the prophet said to him: “Instead of Pashhur, the Lord names you ‘Terror on every side.’[b] For thus says the Lord: Indeed, I will hand you over to terror, you and all your friends. Your own eyes shall see them fall by the sword of their enemies. All Judah I will hand over to the power of the king of Babylon,[c] who shall take them captive to Babylon or strike them down with the sword. All the wealth of this city, all its resources and its valuables, all the treasures of the kings of Judah, I will hand over to their enemies, who will plunder it and carry it away to Babylon. You, Pashhur, and all the members of your household shall go into exile. To Babylon you shall go; there you shall die and be buried, you and all your friends, because you have prophesied lies to them.”

Jeremiah’s Interior Crisis

You seduced me,[d] Lord, and I let myself be seduced;
    you were too strong for me, and you prevailed.
All day long I am an object of laughter;
    everyone mocks me.
Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
    violence and outrage I proclaim;
The word of the Lord has brought me
    reproach and derision all day long.
I say I will not mention him,
    I will no longer speak in his name.
But then it is as if fire is burning in my heart,
    imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding back,
    I cannot!
10 Yes, I hear the whisperings of many:
    “Terror on every side!
    Denounce! let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
    are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he can be tricked; then we will prevail,
    and take our revenge on him.”
11 But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion:
    my persecutors will stumble, they will not prevail.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
    to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
12 Lord of hosts, you test the just,
    you see mind and heart,
Let me see the vengeance you take on them,
    for to you I have entrusted my cause.
13 Sing to the Lord,
    praise the Lord,
For he has rescued the life of the poor
    from the power of the evildoers!

14 Cursed be the day[e]
    on which I was born!
May the day my mother gave me birth
    never be blessed!
15 Cursed be the one who brought the news
    to my father,
“A child, a son, has been born to you!”
    filling him with great joy.
16 Let that man be like the cities
    which the Lord relentlessly overthrew;
Let him hear war cries in the morning,
    battle alarms at noonday,
17     because he did not kill me in the womb!
Then my mother would have been my grave,
    her womb confining me forever.
18 Why did I come forth from the womb,
    to see sorrow and pain,
    to end my days in shame?


  1. 20:1 Chief officer in the house of the Lord: head of the Temple police; cf. 29:26. By entering the Temple court (19:14), Jeremiah had put himself under Pashhur’s jurisdiction.
  2. 20:3 Terror on every side: the name indicates the siege that will beset Jerusalem.
  3. 20:4 Babylon: mentioned here for the first time in Jeremiah as the land of exile. The prophecy dates from after 605 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar defeated Egypt and made the Babylonian (Chaldean) empire dominant in Syria and Palestine.
  4. 20:7 You seduced me: Jeremiah accuses the Lord of having deceived him; cf. 15:18.
  5. 20:14–18 Deception, sorrow and terror have brought the prophet to the point of despair; nevertheless he maintains confidence in God (vv. 11–13); cf. Jb 3:3–12.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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