Bible Commentaries

Jeremiah 20

Verses 1-18

The story of the persecution which this action stirred up against him follows. Pashur heard the prophecy, and, smiting the prophet, arrested and imprisoned him. On the following day Jeremiah, being brought out of the stocks, repeated his prophecy of judgment, singling out Pashur for special attention, declaring that on him would fall most severe punishment.

In the midst of this persecution and suffering, the prophet poured out his soul in the presence of Jehovah. Conscious that he had been compelled to declare these things, he complained that he had been the laughingstock of the people, and that the word of Jehovah had made him a reproach. He had declared that he would not mention Jehovah, nor speak any more in His name; but the word had become a burning fire, and he had been compelled to utter it. The tempestuous condition of his mind is seen in that after the complaint there was a sudden outburst of confidence in which he declared that Jehovah was with him, that his enemies should not prevail, and called for a song of praise because of deliverance.

This, however, was immediately followed by an outburst of fear, which stood in strange contrast to his former confidence. He cursed the day of his birth and lamented the continuity of his life. This reveals to us how terrible were the sufferings through which this man passed.