Jeremiah 20
Contemporary English Version

Pashhur Arrests Jeremiah

1Pashhur son of Immer was a priest and the chief of temple security. He heard what I had said, 2and so he hit me.+ Then he had me arrested and put in chains+ at the Benjamin Gate in the Lord's temple.+ 3The next day, when Pashhur let me go free, I told him that the Lord had said:

No longer will I call you Pashhur. Instead, I will call you Afraid-of-Everything.+ 4You will be afraid, and you will bring fear to your friends as well. You will see enemies kill them in battle. Then I will let the king of Babylonia take everyone in Judah prisoner, killing some and dragging the rest away to Babylonia. 5He will clean out the royal treasury and take everything else of value from Jerusalem.

6Pashhur, you are guilty of telling lies and claiming they were messages from me. That's why I will let the Babylonians take you, your family, and your friends as prisoners to Babylonia, where you will all die and be buried.

Jeremiah Complains to the Lord

7You tricked me, Lord,

and I was really fooled.

You are stronger than I am,

and you have defeated me.

People never stop sneering

and insulting me.

8You have let me announce

only injustice and death.

Your message has brought me

nothing but insults

and trouble.

9Sometimes I tell myself

not to think about you, Lord,

or even mention your name.

But your message burns

in my heart and bones,

and I cannot keep silent.

10I heard the crowds whisper,

“Everyone is afraid.

Now's our chance

to accuse Jeremiah!”

All of my so-called friends

are just waiting

for me to make a mistake.

They say, “Maybe Jeremiah

can be tricked.

Then we can overpower him

and get even at last.”

11But you, Lord,

are a mighty soldier,

standing at my side.

Those troublemakers

will fall down and fail—

terribly embarrassed,

forever ashamed.

12Lord All-Powerful,

you test those who do right,

and you know every heart

and mind.

I have told you my complaints,

so let me watch you

take revenge on my enemies.

13I sing praises to you, Lord.

You rescue the oppressed

from the wicked.

14 Put a curse on the day I was born!

Don't bless that day.

15Put a curse on the man

who told my father, “Good news!

You have a son.”

16May that man be like the towns

you destroyed without pity.

Let him hear shouts of alarm

in the morning

and battle cries at noon.

17He deserves to die

for not killing me

before I was born.

Then my mother's body

would have been my grave.

18Why did I have to be born?

Was it just to suffer

and die in shame?


20.2 hit me: Or “beat me up” or “had me beaten up.”
20.2 in chains: Or “in the stocks” (a wooden frame with holes for the hands, neck, or feet of a prisoner) or “in a prison cell.”
20.2 the Benjamin Gate in the Lord's temple: The Hebrew text has “the upper Benjamin Gate in the temple”; the lower Benjamin Gate may have been the city gate of that name.
20.3 Afraid-of-Everything: Hebrew “Magor-Missabib.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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