Jeremiah 20

Jeremiah and Pashhur

1 Immer's son Pashhur was the priest who had authority in the Lord's temple. He heard Jeremiah's message about Jerusalem. 2 So he told his men to beat Jeremiah. Then they tied Jeremiah up with heavy pieces of wood on his legs. That was at the Benjamin Gate of the Lord's temple. 3 The next day, Pashhur let Jeremiah go free. Jeremiah said to him, ‘The Lord's name for you is not “Pashhur”. It is “Terror is all around”. 4 The Lord says, “I will send enemies to make you and your friends very afraid. You yourself will see enemies kill all your friends in war. I will put Judah's people under the power of Babylon's king. He will take some of them away as prisoners. His soldiers will kill others of them. 5 I will give all the riches in this city to Judah's enemies. I will give them all the things that the people have worked hard to get. They will take all the valuable things that belonged to the people, and to the kings of Judah. They will take everything away to Babylon. 6 They will also take you, Pashhur, and everybody who lives in your house. They will take you as prisoners to Babylon. You will die there and people will bury you there. The same thing will happen to all your friends. You spoke false messages to these people, as if they were messages from me.” ’

Jeremiah complains to the Lord

7 Lord, you forced me to become a prophet,

and I let you do that.

You used your power to make me agree,

and you won.

Now everybody laughs at me and they insult me.

8 When I speak your message, I have to say,

‘Terrible trouble is coming!’

When I shout that message from the Lord,

people laugh at me.

They insult me.

9 Sometimes I think,

‘I will say nothing about the Lord or his message.’

But then his message burns like a fire inside me.

It gives me pain in my mind and my body.

I cannot keep his message to myself.

I have to speak it.

10 I hear what people are saying against me.

They say, ‘Terror is all around him!

We should tell the officers what he is saying.’

All my friends want me to make a mistake

so that they can accuse me.

They say, ‘Perhaps we can cause him to say something wrong.

Then we will have power over him.

We will pay him back for the trouble he has given us.’

11 But the Lord is with me,

like a brave soldier who will fight for me.

So people who want to hurt me will fail.

They will not get power over me.

They will be very ashamed because they have failed.

Nobody will ever forget their shame.

12 Lord Almighty, you test righteous people,

to see if they are faithful.

You know what people think.

You know their feelings.

I trust you to show that I am not guilty.

So punish those people who want to hurt me.

13 Sing to the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

He rescues poor people

from the power of wicked people.

14 I would like to curse the day that I was born.

That day was not a happy day,

the day that my mother gave birth to me.

15 That day, a man told my father,

‘Good news! You have a son!’

I would like to curse that man too.

16 May the Lord destroy that man,

as he completely destroyed those cities long ago.

20:16‘Those cities’ were probably Sodom and Gomorrah that God destroyed. See Genesis 19:24.

I want that man to hear people who are weeping in the morning.

I want him to hear the noise of battles at noon.

17 He should have killed me before I was born.

I should have died inside my mother.

She would have held me inside her.

That would have been my grave for ever.

18 I should have stayed in that safe place.

In my life, I only receive trouble and pain.

When I die, all I will have is shame.