Words Of Truth

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).


An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 304 – The Jailing Of Jeremiah Through Cursing His Birth (Jeremiah 20:1-18)   

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1. What did Pashur do when he heard that Jeremiah prophesied evil upon the people?

Smote him and put him in the stocks [prison]: “Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the Lord had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the Lord's house; and said to all the people, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.  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.  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” (Jeremiah 19:14-20:2).


Š      This is expected behavior of disobedient rulers towards those whom faithfully proclaim God’s will (II Chronicles 16:1-10, II Chronicles 24:20-21, Matthew 26:47-66, Mark 6:17-18, John 16:1-3, Acts 5:14-18, Acts 12:1-4, Acts 16:16-34, II Corinthians 11:23, and Revelation 2:10).


2. What message did God have Jeremiah deliver to Pashur [a.k.a. Magormissabib]?

“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 Magormissabib. 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.  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.  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” (Jeremiah 20:3-6).


Š      “Magormissabib” means: " affright from around; terror on every side” (Strong’s # 4036).  Defined also in verse 4 as such.

Š      God sometimes appointed names that had means concerning an individual and even their impact on others (i.e. Isaiah 8:3-4, Hosea 1:3-11, and Matthew 1:21-23).

Š      The prophecy concerning the takeover and brutality against Judah from Babylonians (Jeremiah 25:1-13).

Š      Spoiled and carried to Babylon (II Chronicles 36:9-21).

Š      God didn’t allow these lying prophets escape His judgment (Jeremiah 23:25-40).


3. Why did Jeremiah feel deceived by God?

Because of his sufferings: “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.  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” (Jeremiah 20:7-8).


Š      God had told Jeremiah that He would deliver him (Jeremiah 1:18-19).  Jeremiah clearly misunderstood that promise.  God did NOT say he would not suffer.  God did say he would deliver him against those that fought against him.

Š      As we discussed in Jeremiah 15:16-18, Jeremiah is complaining unjustly as did Job (Job 34:5-6).

Š      Jeremiah had gotten bitter in his time of suffering (Lamentations 3:14-18), but needed to remember that he was not forsaken by God (Lamentations 3:19-36 and Psalms 37:25).  *NOTE: I am not sure Jeremiah wrote Lamentations, nor implying such, just using those Scriptures as references to the point.

Š      God does not deceive anyone (Numbers 23:19 and Titus 1:2).

Š      Jeremiah feeling as thought the word of God had become a reproach to him was not a good statement (i.e. Psalms 69:19, Jeremiah 24:9, Jeremiah 49:13, etc.).

Š      The word of God was/is salvation (Psalms 119:41 and Ephesians 1:13), not a source of reproach for the faithful.

Š      Furthermore, it should be a glory to suffer for the privilege to be a messenger of God (Matthew 5:10-12).  That being said, we have a far greater understanding of these things now than they did now (I Peter 1:3-12).


4. What happened when Jeremiah decided not to speak any more in the name of the Lord?

He couldn’t help but to speak in the name of the Lord: “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” (Jeremiah 20:9).


Š      Even though Jeremiah’s mindset wasn’t in the right place concerning his suffering for the cause, he still was properly motivated to teach (Jeremiah 1:7-9, Acts 4:20, and Acts 18:5).


5. As Jeremiah reasoned further, what did he state regarding his persecutors?

That they would not prevail against him for the Lord was with him: “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.  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” (Jeremiah 20:10-11).


Š      Jeremiah was among fools as they slandered him (Proverbs 10:18).

Š      They wanted to entice him, but the faithful avoid such (Proverbs 1:10).

Š      Their hatred (I Kings 22:8) was clear in that they wanted revenge on him.

Š      Now, the emotional status of Jeremiah continues to clarify as his statements contradict, he is again mindful that the Lord is with him (Jeremiah 15:20-21).

Š      He knew the terribleness of the Lord (Deuteronomy 10:17) toward those who persecuted the righteous (Isaiah 35:3-4 and Romans 12:17-21).


6. What did Jeremiah want to see happen to his persecutors?

He wanted the Lord to take vengeance on them: “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 20:12).


Š      God tries the reins and heart of man (Jeremiah 17:10).

Š      His request for vengeance was not a singular occurrence either (Jeremiah 11:20).


7. Jeremiah began with a statement to sing unto the Lord about deliverance of the poor, but then what do he go on to do right after that statement?

He started with praise to God, then went on to curse the day he was born and cursing the person who told of his birth because of his hard life: “Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.  Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.  Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad.  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; Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me.  Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame” (Jeremiah 20:13-18)?


Š      He was right that God delivered the poor and did so through means of His kings, etc. (Psalms 72:1-17).

Š      God is mindful of the poor (Luke 6:20 and James 2:5).

Š      Yet, in his suffering, he went on to curse his birth.  Again, similar to Job (Job 3:1-3).

Š      Consider the contrast between how Jeremiah dealt with suffering for the cause of the Lord (Jeremiah 15:10) and how Paul did so (II Corinthians 12:10).

Š      As noted in an earlier point in question three, it is expected that anyone under the New Law would certainly deal much differently with sufferings (John 14:1-3 and Acts 5:40-41) as we know fully the promise of life eternal.  To them of old, what we know now was a mystery (Ephesians 3:1-11).



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