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20 Now when Pashhur (son of Immer), the priest in charge of the Temple of the Lord, heard what Jeremiah was saying, he arrested Jeremiah and had him whipped and put in the stocks at Benjamin Gate near the Temple. He left him there all night.

The next day when Pashhur finally released him, Jeremiah said, “Pashhur, the Lord has changed your name. He says from now on to call you ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror.’ For the Lord will send terror on you and all your friends, and you will see them die by the swords of their enemies. I will hand over Judah to the king of Babylon, says the Lord, and he shall take away these people as slaves to Babylon and kill them. And I will let your enemies loot Jerusalem. All the famed treasures of the city, with the precious jewels and gold and silver of your kings, shall be carried off to Babylon. And as for you, Pashhur, you and all your family and household shall become slaves in Babylon and die there—you and those to whom you lied when you prophesied that everything would be all right.”

O Lord, you deceived me when you promised me your help. I have to give them your messages because you are stronger than I am, but now I am the laughingstock of the city, mocked by all. You have never once let me speak a word of kindness to them; always it is disaster and horror and destruction. No wonder they scoff and mock and make my name a household joke. And I can’t quit! For if I say I’ll never again mention the Lord—never more speak in his name—then his word in my heart is like fire that burns in my bones, and I can’t hold it in any longer. 10 Yet on every side I hear their whispered threats and am afraid. “We will report,” they say. Even those who were my friends are watching me, waiting for a fatal slip. “He will trap himself,” they say, “and then we will get our revenge on him.”

11 But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior, and before him, the Mighty, Terrible One, they shall stumble. They cannot defeat me; they shall be shamed and thoroughly humiliated, and they shall have a stigma upon them forever. 12 O Lord Almighty, who knows those who are righteous and examines the deepest thoughts of hearts and minds, let me see your vengeance on them. For I have committed my cause to you. 13 Therefore, I will sing out in thanks to the Lord! Praise him! For he has delivered me, poor and needy, from my oppressors.

14 Yet, cursed be the day that I was born! 15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news that a son was born. 16 Let that messenger be destroyed like the cities of old which God overthrew without mercy. Terrify him all day long with battle shouts 17 because he did not kill me at my birth! Oh, that I had died within my mother’s womb, that it had been my grave! 18 Why was I ever born? For my life has been but trouble and sorrow and shame.

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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