Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Jeremiah-Chapter 20

Jer 20.1-18 is about the persecution Jeremiah received once his prophecy was published and how it affected him. He was beaten, put in stocks by Pashur (increase in whiteness), a priest. He gets released but continues to prophesy about the destruction of the city and its wealth. Jeremiah doesn’t want to continue but is compelled to do it, but regrets he was even born because of the intensity of the persecution and he thought he was a failure.

v 1…Now Pashur the priest, the son of Immer (sixteenth course of priests in 1 Chro 24.4) who was chief officer (sagan) in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things.

v 2…Pashur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in stocks that were at the upper Benjamin gate (they faced his territory in the Temple), which was by (in) the house of the Lord (Yehovah).

v 3…Then it came about on the next day, when Pashur released Jeremiah from the stocks, that Jeremiah said to him, “Pashur is not the name the Lord has called you, but rather Magor-missabib (terror on every side).”

v 4…For thus says the Lord (Yehovah), “Behold, I am going to make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends (his conscience will fill him with terror at God’s judgment); and while your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I shall give over all Judah to the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will carry them away as exiles to Babylon and will slay them with the sword (because he didn’t the words of the Lord through Jeremiah, the fear and terror of Babylon will be upon him).

v 5…I shall also give over all the wealth of this city, all its produce and all its costly things (jewels of the rich, furniture, etc); even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I shall give over to the hand of their enemies, and bring them to Babylon (as their property now).

v 6…And you, Pashur, 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.”

v 7…O Lord (Jeremiah cries out about all the burdens he has to bear and the sorrow of what is about to happen. He also knows he has been rejected), thou hast deceived (persuaded) me and I was deceived (persuaded); thou hast overcome me and prevailed (conquered him through the Ruach Ha Kodesh to be a prophet, and like Job, Jeremiah will realize that Yehovah never promised that he would never suffer, but God will deliver him out of it all). I have become a laughingstock (mocked) all day long; everyone mocks me.

v 8…For each time I speak, I cry aloud (call out); I proclaim violence and destruction, because for me the word of the Lord has resulted in reproach and derision all day long.

v 9…But if I say, “I will not remember him or speak any more in his name,” then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones (a divine impulse to speak); and I am weary of holding it in, I cannot endure it (to keep silent).

v 10…For I have heard the whispering of many, “Terror on every side (prompting him not to prophesy because he was in a dangerous position, and this was to deride the prophecy about Pashur’s new name also)! Denounce him; yes, let us denounce him (bring accusations up against Jeremiah)!” All my trusted friends (he thought), watching for my fall, say: “Perhaps he will be deceived so that we may prevail against him (get the better of him) and take our revenge on him.”

v 11…But (Jeremiah states what is on his heart) the Lord (Yehovah) is with me like a dread champion (to defend him); therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail (as they had hoped Jeremiah would), they will be utterly ashamed because they have failed (and not acted wisely), with an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.

v 12…Yet, O Lord of hosts, thou who dost test (examines to reveal faith, to refine) the righteous, who sees the mind (kidneys) and the heart (lev-Heb 4.12); let me see thy vengeance on them (he calls for judgment on those who have turned from Yehovah and against Jeremiah. It was Yehovah’s matter to deal with); for to thee I have set forth my cause (his case was in God’s hands).

v 13…Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord (Yehovah)! For he has delivered the soul of the needy one (he sees God’s hand in saving him in the future) from the hand of evildoers (Yehovah stood by him when all others didn’t).

v 14…Cursed (empowered to fail) be the day when I was born (but in the present, Jeremiah sees nothing but trouble and failure right now and he expresses the grief in his heart); let the day not be blessed (empowered to succeed) when my mother bore me (since his life was such a failure he thought)!

v 15…Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father, saying, “A baby boy has been born to you (which was supposed to be a blessing)!” and made him very happy.

v 16…But let that man be like the cities which the Lord overthrew without relenting (the four cities of the plain called Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim which God overthrew without being sorry or showing mercy), and let him hear an outcry in the morning and a shout (teruah or loud noise) at noon (of being besieged and the war cries of the Babylonians;

v 17…Because he (the one who brought the news) did not kill me before birth (in the womb you can be killed), so that my mother would have been my grave, and her womb ever pregnant (so that Jeremiah would not have seen the light of day).

v 18…Why did I ever come forth from the womb to look on trouble and sorrow, so that my days have been spent in shame (he thought his ministry was a failure because he didn’t save Judah from the desolations that were coming now; this feeling is common among believers who are called by Yehovah to do something, but it looks like it has been a failure)?

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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