Jeremiah 20

Pashhur Persecutes Jeremiah

20 When Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief overseer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in the stocks that were at the upper Benjamin Gate, which was by the house of the Lord. Then on the next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “Pashhur is not the name the Lord has called you, but rather [a]Magor-missabib. For this is what the Lord says: ‘Behold, I am going to make you a horror to yourself and to all your friends; and while your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I will hand all Judah over to the king of Babylon, and he will take them away as exiles to Babylon and will kill them with the sword. I will also give all the wealth of this city, all its produce and all its valuable things—even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will hand over to their enemies, and they will plunder them, take them away, and bring them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into captivity; and you will enter Babylon, and there you will die and there you will be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have falsely prophesied.’”

Jeremiah’s Complaint

Lord, You persuaded me and I let myself be persuaded;
You have overcome me and prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all day long;
Everyone mocks me.
For each time I speak, I cry aloud;
I proclaim violence and destruction,
Because for me the word of the Lord has [b]resulted
In taunting and derision all day long.
But if I say, “I will not remember Him
Nor speak anymore in His name,”
Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
And I am tired of holding it in,
And I cannot endure it.
10 For I have heard the whispering of many,
“Terror on every side!
Denounce him; let’s denounce him!”
[c]All my trusted friends,
Watching for my fall, say:
“Perhaps he will be persuaded, so that we may prevail against him
And take our revenge on him.”
11 But the Lord is with me like a powerful champion;
Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will be put to great shame because they have [d]failed,
An everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.
12 Yet, Lord of armies, who tests the righteous,
Who sees the [e]mind and the heart;
Let me see Your vengeance on them,
For to You I have disclosed my cause.
13 Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord!
For He has saved the soul of the needy one
From the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the day when I was born;
May the day when my mother gave birth to me not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought the news
To my father, saying,
“A [f]boy has been born to you!”
And made him very happy.
16 But may that man be like the cities
Which the Lord overthrew without [g]relenting,
And may he hear an outcry in the morning
And [h]an alarm for war at noon;
17 Because he did not kill me [i]before birth,
So that my mother would have been my grave,
And her womb forever pregnant.
18 Why did I ever come out of the womb
To look at trouble and sorrow,
So that my days have been spent in shame?


  1. Jeremiah 20:3 I.e., horror on every side
  2. Jeremiah 20:8 Lit become
  3. Jeremiah 20:10 Lit Every man of my peace
  4. Jeremiah 20:11 Lit not succeeded; or not acted wisely
  5. Jeremiah 20:12 Lit kidneys
  6. Jeremiah 20:15 Lit male child
  7. Jeremiah 20:16 Lit being sorry
  8. Jeremiah 20:16 Or a trumpet blast
  9. Jeremiah 20:17 Lit from the womb