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FRAMEWORKS: Jeremiah 20: Jeremiah and Pashhur & Jeremiah's complaint


[Preliminary Comment: This straight-forward chapter falls easily into two Parts:

Part 1: v.1-6: Jeremiah and Pashhur
Part 2: v.7-18: Jeremiah's complaint

The first Part shows us how opposition to Jeremiah went beyond mere words and found him being beaten and put in the stocks. Whether this left him feeling even more dejected than before, we don't know but in the second Part, in an emotional roller-coaster fashion he complains of being made a mockery and being constantly insulted, he tries to hold back but just can't and he knows they are all watching him, ready to leap on any wrong word, but then something deep down makes him declare for the Lord [v.11] but then [and we don't know if it was written later] he seems to take an emotional nose-dive and the remaining verses might be summed up as, “I wish I'd never been born!” The cost of being a lonely prophet standing against the ungodly tide is really showing.]



Part 1: v.1-6: Jeremiah and Pashhur


v.1,2 Pashhur has Jeremiah put in the stocks

v.1  When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the official in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things,

v.2  he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord's temple.


v.3-6 When he is released Jeremiah brings God's word against Pashhur and the nation

v.3  The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, ‘The Lord's name for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side.

v.4  For this is what the Lord says: “I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry them away to Babylon or put them to the sword.

v.5  I will deliver all the wealth 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 as plunder and carry it off to Babylon.

v.6  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 lies.”'



Part 2: v.7-18: Jeremiah's complaint


v.7 Lord, you led me into this and now I am a mockery

v.7  You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived;
    you overpowered me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed all day long;
    everyone mocks me.

v.8 Whenever I speak your word I am insulted

v.8  Whenever I speak, I cry out
    proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
    insult and reproach all day long.

v.9 But if I try to hold back your word, I just can't

v.9  But if I say, ‘I will not mention his word
    or speak any more in his name,'
his word is in my heart like a fire,
    a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
    indeed, I cannot.

v.10 They're all waiting for me to overstep the mark

v.10  I hear many whispering,
    ‘Terror on every side!
    Denounce him! Let's denounce him!'
All my friends
    are waiting for me to slip, saying,
‘Perhaps he will be deceived;
    then we will prevail over him
    and take our revenge on him.'


v.11 But nevertheless I'm sure the Lord is with me to overcome

v.11  But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior;
    so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;
    their dishonour will never be forgotten.

v.12 So, Lord, please deal with them

v.12  Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
    and probe the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
    for to you I have committed my cause.


v.13 Let's praise the Lord anyway for He will save us

v.13  Sing to the Lord!
    Give praise to the Lord!
He rescues the life of the needy
    from the hands of the wicked.


v.14-18 Yet a downtime prevails and like Job he curses the day he was born

v.14  Cursed be the day I was born!
    May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!
v.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!'
v.16  May that man be like the towns
    the Lord overthrew without pity.
May he hear wailing in the morning,
    a battle cry at noon.
v.17  For he did not kill me in the womb,
    with my mother as my grave,
    her womb enlarged for ever.
v.18  Why did I ever come out of the womb
    to see trouble and sorrow
    and to end my days in shame?


Continue to Chapter 21