Study Guide

Book of Jeremiah Chapter 20

Chapter 20

  • A priest named Pashur hears Jeremiah making these dire prophecies. So he has Jeremiah flogged and puts him in the stocks.
  • The next morning Pashur lets him go, but Jeremiah says that God has changed Pashur's name to "Terror All Around," because his wickedness will cause terror to him and all his friends. Best nickname since "The Italian Stallion."
  • The people of Judah will all be captured by the Babylonians, and their cities will be plundered. Pashur and his friends will be taken captive as well, and they'll die in Babylon.
  • Jeremiah says that God has overpowered him. He's now a laughingstock, since the word of God keeps making him prophesy about violence and destruction.
  • If he tries to avoid prophesying, his bones feel like they're on fire—he can't stop it and he can't hold it in.
  • Poor guy. Everyone's plotting against him at this point, even his friends.
  • But God defends Jeremiah and makes sure that his foes are shamed, defeated, and eternally dishonored. What more could a prophet ask?
  • Suddenly, Jeremiah goes from praising God for saving him to lamenting having even been born in the first place.
  • He curses the day he was born, and says that the man who told his father that he was born should be cursed.
  • He wishes he'd died in the womb and that his mother would've been his grave.
  • Why was he born only to see sorrow and devastation, and have to go around telling people things they don't want to hear?

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