JEREMIAH LESSON 21
We will begin this lesson in Jeremiah 20:1 "Now Pashur the son of
Immer the priest, who [was] also chief governor in the house of the
LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things."
We know that God had not left the priest out in the accusations
He had Jeremiah to bring. It appears, also, from the verse above, that
Pashur held a political position of some importance. In the last
lesson, Jeremiah had said, that it would not matter how important in
the community a person was, the judgement from God would be the same.
We know that Pashur either heard Jeremiah say this directly, or got
word of it from the others who had met with him.
Jeremiah 20:2 "Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put
him in the stocks that [were] in the high gate of Benjamin, which
[was] by the house of the LORD."
"Smote", in the verse above, means strike or beat. He probably
had him whipped. To strike a prophet, is a very serious thing. It
appears, they actually locked Jeremiah up with leg chains. It
appears, this Pashur was in charge of keeping order in the court of
the LORD. This would have given him a great deal of lee-way to do as
he wished. He, like the priests and others in authority, did not like
the message Jeremiah brought. The others had never physically attacked
Jeremiah 20:3 "And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur
brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him,
The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magor-missabib."
This was a bold thing to say to the person who had authority to
put you in chains. The name Magor-missabib means fearing, or affright
from around. We see, then, the thing that Pashur had done to Jeremiah,
was from fear.
Jeremiah 20:4 "For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee
a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by
the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold [it]: and I
will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall
carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword."
This fright of Pashur will turn to terror, when he sees all of
his friends falling by the sword. Those that are not killed, will be
taken into captivity in Babylon.
Jeremiah 20:5 "Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this
city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things
thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into
the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and
carry them to Babylon."
It appears from this, that Pashur had put a great deal of
importance on material things. God will take all of them away from
him. All of the things he had been so proud of, would be carried back
to Babylon as spoil. I have to greatly admire Jeremiah for being able
to stand before this man with much worldly power, and prophesy these
things to him.
Jeremiah 20:6 "And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine
house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and
there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy
friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies."
It appears, that Pashur will live to be taken captive in Babylon
and be killed there. He will not even be buried in his native land.
He, and all of his friends, will die and be buried in Babylon.
Jeremiah, not only prophesies his doom, but calls him a liar, as well.
He had been prophesying that all was well. That was a lie, and
Jeremiah tells him so.
Jeremiah 20:7 "O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was
deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in
derision daily, every one mocketh me."
This is, possibly, speaking of Jeremiah not wanting to be a
prophet in the first place, and the Lord made Jeremiah a prophet
anyway. He is feeling sorry for himself, because no one likes him. Not
only do they not like Jeremiah, but they laugh at him, and say he is
not a true prophet.
Jeremiah 20:8 "For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence
and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me,
and a derision, daily."
This was not a message Jeremiah would have chosen to tell. There
was great gloom and doom in the message he brought. God put the words
in Jeremiah's mouth, and Jeremiah spoke them. Every day was difficult
for him, because of the message he brought. They all hated Jeremiah,
because of the message. We must remember he was just a youth.
Jeremiah 20:9 "Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor
speak any more in his name. But [his word] was in mine heart as a
burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and
I could not [stay]."
It appears from this, that Jeremiah tried to stop bringing the
prophecies, but God would not let him. They burned in his heart until
he had to tell what God had told him. He was compelled to prophesy.
He had to do what God called him to do.
Jeremiah 20:10 "For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every
side. Report, [say they], and we will report it. All my familiars
watched for my halting, [saying], Peradventure he will be enticed, and
we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him."
It seems everyone thought he was either insane, or power crazy.
They chose not to believe him. They plotted to stop him, anyway they
could. They all wanted to get even with him for his terrible
Jeremiah 20:11 "But the LORD [is] with me as a mighty terrible
one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not
prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper:
[their] everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten."
At times, there were moments when Jeremiah thought of quitting.
He was persecuted on every side. God had promised Jeremiah, from the
beginning, that He would protect him. God will fight for Jeremiah.
Every word that Jeremiah brought to these people from God will happen.
Jeremiah was being persecuted in the service of God. God is a very
present help, especially to those who are in His service. God will
punish those who persecute Jeremiah. Nothing good will come to them.
It is a dangerous thing to persecute those in service for God.
Jeremiah 20:12 "But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous,
[and] seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them:
for unto thee have I opened my cause."
Jeremiah has been persecuted so much and for so long, that now he
asks God to let him see the punishment He has in store for those who
persecuted him. He will see it, because he will remain in Jerusalem
during the siege of the Babylonians.
Jeremiah 20:13 "Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he
hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers."
Jeremiah is praising and thanking God ahead of time for the
answer to his request. He is speaking as if it has already happened.
He is the one delivered from the evildoers.
Jeremiah 20:14 "Cursed [be] the day wherein I was born: let not
the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed."
This is Jeremiah regretting the day he was born.
Jeremiah 20:15 "Cursed [be] the man who brought tidings to my
father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad."
It is almost as if Jeremiah is thinking, that his life has been
of no good to anyone. We remember that his father was a priest. It was
a blessing in a Jewish family for a man child to be born.
Jeremiah 20:16 "And let that man be as the cities which the LORD
overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning,
and the shouting at noontide;"
Jeremiah's family, and perhaps the man spoken of here, were not
on Jeremiah's side. They did not think him to be a prophet. Perhaps,
that is what this is all about.
Jeremiah 20:17 "Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my
mother might have been my grave, and her womb [to be] always great
We know from the very first lesson on Jeremiah, that he was
annointed from his mother's womb. His entire life was dedicated to the
work God had called him to do.
Jeremiah 20:18 "Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see
labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?"
Jeremiah is lamenting, here, that there had not been joy in his
life. His life had been spent in bringing a message of doom to the
very people he grew up with. This was not a message that would bring
joy, but sorrow. He was shamed by everyone who knew him. No one
believed him. They all hated him, and wanted to kill him. His life had
been one of sorrows. This could be the message from many who serve
the LORD. We, like Jeremiah, go on with the task God has set before
us. Even though Jeremiah was so sorrowful, he continued serving God.
Jeremiah 21 Questions
1. Who was the father of Pashur?
2. What was Pashur's position?
3. What had Pashur heard?
4. Then Pashur _________ Jeremiah the prophet.
5. Where did he imprison Jeremiah?
6. Why had Pashur done this to Jeremiah?
7. What name did Jeremiah tell Pashur God named him?
8. What did that name mean?
9. Who would Pashur be a terror to?
10. What will happen to his friends?
11. What would the fright of Pashur turn into?
12. What had Pashur put a great deal of importance on?
13. What would happen to all of them?
14. Where will Pashur die?
15. What did Jeremiah call Pashur?
16. What is Jeremiah saying in verse 7?
17. What type of message had been the only message Jeremiah brought?
18. Why could Jeremiah not stop prophesying?
19. What did everyone think about Jeremiah?
20. How is the LORD described in verse 11?
21. Who will punish those who persecute Jeremiah?
22. Will Jeremiah see them punished?
23. What is Jeremiah doing in verse 13?
24. What does Jeremiah say, that lets us know he regrets being born?
25. How did Jeremiah's family feel about him?
26. Who can, possibly, relate to Jeremiah's sorrow?