Jeremiah 20

Jeremiah and Pashhur

1 Pashhur, son of Immer, was the leader of the priests in the Lord's temple. He heard the things that Jeremiah was prophesying. 2 So he caused his men to hit Jeremiah, and to tie him up. They tied him on a seat by the highest gate. That is the gate of Benjamin at the Lord's temple. 3 The next day, Pashhur let Jeremiah go. ‘The Lord's name for you is not Pashhur, but Magor-Missabib,’ Jeremiah said.

20:3The name Magor-Missabib means ‘things everywhere round you will make you afraid’.

4 ‘The Lord says, “I will make you afraid of yourself and your friends will be afraid of you too. With your own eyes, you will see their enemies kill all your friends. I will give all the people in Judah to the king of Babylon and he will take them away. He will take them to Babylon or he will cause his soldiers to kill them. 5 I will give all the valuable things in the city to the people's enemies. I will give all your valuable things, the things that you have made, to them. They will take all the valuable things of the kings of Judah. They will take them away to Babylon because they have won their fight against you. 6 And they will take you, Pashhur, and everybody who lives in your house, to Babylon. You will die there and all your friends will die there too. You spoke false prophecies to them. They will bury you there.” ’

Jeremiah cries out to the Lord.

7 Lord, you did not tell me how bad they would be to your prophet.

You caused me to believe something that was not true.

You fought against me.

You are stronger than I am. And you won.

Nobody believes the words that I speak. They think all the time that I am a fool.

8 Every time that I speak, I have to tell them bad things.

I shout out that their enemies are all round them.

And I shout that their enemies will fight. I shout that they will kill them.

These words of yours make them angry with me.

So they say bad things about me all the time.

9 I want to keep quiet. I do not want to talk about you.

I tried to do that. I said that I would not speak on your behalf.

But then your words burned like a fire inside me. They did not give me any rest.

I am too tired to hold them in. I cannot do it.

10 I hear voices that say, ‘Everything round you should make you afraid!

Let us tell the officers what he is saying.’

All my friends are waiting for me to make a mistake. They say,

‘Perhaps we can cause him to believe something that is not true.

Then we can punish him for the bad things that he has said.’

11 But the Lord is with me like a strong soldier.

So those who are against me will fail. They will not win.

They will fail completely. They will be very ashamed for all time.

People will never forget that nobody should honour them.

12 Great and powerful Lord, you look at all the people.

You know what they think. They think that they are right.

Let me see you punish them. Do that because I am trusting you to help me.

13 Sing to the Lord!

Give praise to the Lord!

He saves the lives of poor people from the things that bad men do.

14 I will put a curse on the day that I was born.

I do not want the day that I was born ever to be happy.

15 I will put a curse on the man who told the news to my father.

He made my father very happy. He said,

‘You have a son!’

16 I want the Lord to kill the man who said that.

The Lord was not sorry to destroy our towns.

Destroy that man like that.

I want him to hear people who are crying in the morning.

I want him to hear the shouts of men who fight at noon.

17 The Lord did not kill me before I was born. I am angry about that.

I was not a dead body buried inside my mother.

That body would have kept her big for her whole life.

18 I do not know why I came out from my mother.

I only get troubles and things that make me sad.

People will only say bad things about me when I die.