Jeremiah Chapter 20 to 22 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Jeremiah and Pashhur

20 A man named Pashhur was a priest. He was the highest officer in the temple* of the Lord. Pashhur was the son of a man named Immer. Pashhur heard Jeremiah preach those things in the temple yard. 2So he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten. And he had Jeremiah’s hands and feet locked between large blocks of wood. This was at the Upper Gate of Benjamin of the temple. 3The next day Pashhur took Jeremiah out from between the blocks of wood. Then Jeremiah said to Pashhur, “The Lord’s name for you is not Pashhur. Now the Lord’s name for you is Terror on Every Side. 4That is your name, because the Lord says: ‘I will soon make you a terror to yourself! I will soon make you a terror to all your friends. You will watch enemies killing your friends with swords. I will give all the people of Judah to the king of Babylon. He will take the people of Judah away to the country of Babylon. And his army will kill the people of Judah with their swords. 5The people of Jerusalem worked hard to build things and become wealthy. But I will give all those things to their enemies. The king in Jerusalem has many treasures. But I will give all those treasures to the enemy. The enemy will take those things and carry them away to the country of Babylon. 6And Pashhur, you and all the people living in your house will be taken away. You will be forced to go and live in the country of Babylon. You will die in Babylon. And you will be buried in that foreign country. You preached lies to your friends. {You said these things would not happen.} But all of your friends will also die and be buried in Babylon.’”

Jeremiah’s Fifth Complaint

7Lord, you tricked me, and I certainly was fooled. You are stronger than I am, so you won. I have become a joke. People laugh at me and make fun of me all day long. 8Every time I speak, I shout. I am always shouting about violence and destruction. I tell the people about the message that I received from the Lord. But people only insult me and make fun of me. 9Sometimes I say to myself, “I will forget about the Lord. I will not speak any more in the name of the Lord!” But when I say that, then the Lord’s message is like a fire burning inside of me! It feels like it is burning deep in my bones! I get tired of trying to hold the Lord’s message inside of me. And finally, I am not able to hold it in. 10I hear people whispering against me. Everywhere, I hear things that scare me. Even my friends are saying things against me. People are just waiting for me to make some mistake. They are saying, “Let us lie and say he did some bad thing. Maybe we can trick Jeremiah. Then we will have him. We will finally be rid of him. Then we will grab him and take our revenge on him.” 11But the Lord is with me. The Lord is like a strong soldier. So the people that are chasing me will fall. Those people will not defeat me. Those people will fail. They will be disappointed. Those people will be ashamed. And people will never forget that shame. 12Lord All-Powerful, you test good people. You look deeply into a person’s mind. I told you my arguments against those people. So let me see you give them the punishment that they deserve. 13Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord! The Lord saves the lives of poor people! He saves them from wicked people!

Jeremiah’s Sixth Complaint

14Curse the day that I was born! Don’t bless the day my mother had me. 15Curse the man that told my father the news that I was born. “You have a son,” he said. “It is a boy!” He made my father very happy when he told him that news. 16Let that man be the same as the cities that the Lord destroyed.* The Lord did not have any pity on those cities. Let that man hear shouts of war in the morning. And let him hear battle cries at noontime. 17Why? Because that man did not kill me while I was in my mother’s body. If he had killed me at that time, my mother would have been my grave, and I would never have been born. 18Why did I have to come out of the body? All I have seen is trouble and sorrow. And my life will end in shame.

temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. cities that the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. See Gen. 19.

God Rejects King Zedekiah’s Request

21 This is the message that came to Jeremiah from the Lord. This was when Zedekiah, the king of Judah, sent a man named Pashhur and a priest named Zephaniah to Jeremiah. Pashhur* was the son of a man named Malkijah. Zephaniah was the son of a man named Maaseiah. Pashhur and Zephaniah brought a message for Jeremiah. 2Pashhur and Zephaniah said to Jeremiah, “Pray to the Lord for us. Ask the Lord what will happen. We want to know, because Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, is attacking us. Maybe the Lord will do great things for us, like he did in the past. Maybe the Lord will make Nebuchadnezzar stop attacking us and leave.” 3Then Jeremiah answered Pashhur and Zephaniah. He said, “Tell King Zedekiah: 4This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have weapons of war in your hands. You are using those weapons to defend yourselves against the king of Babylon and the Babylonians.* But I will make those weapons worthless. “‘The army from Babylon is outside the wall around the city. That army is all around the city. Soon I will bring that army into Jerusalem. 5I myself will fight against you people of Judah. I will fight against you with my own powerful hand. I am very angry with you, so I will fight against you with my own powerful arm. I will fight very hard against you and show how angry I am. 6I will kill the people living in Jerusalem. I will kill people and animals. They will die from terrible sicknesses that will spread all through the city. 7After that happens,’” this message is from the Lord, “‘I will give Zedekiah king of Judah to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. I will also give Zedekiah’s officials to Nebuchadnezzar. Some of the people in Jerusalem will not die from the terrible sicknesses. Some of the people will not be killed with swords. Some of them will not die from hunger. But I will give those people to Nebuchadnezzar. I will let Judah’s enemy win. Nebuchadnezzar’s army wants to kill the people of Judah. So the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be killed with swords. Nebuchadnezzar will not show any mercy. He will not feel sorry for those people.’ 8“Also tell these things to the people of Jerusalem. The Lord says these things: ‘Understand that I will let you choose to live or die. 9Any person that stays in Jerusalem will die. That person will die by a sword, or from hunger, or from a terrible sickness. But any person that goes out of Jerusalem and surrenders to the Babylonian army will live! That army has surrounded the city. So no person can bring food into the city. But any person that leaves the city will save his life. 10I have decided to make trouble for the city of Jerusalem. I will not help the city.’” This message is from the Lord. “‘I will give the city of Jerusalem to the king of Babylon. He will burn it with fire.’ 11“Tell these things to Judah’s royal family: Listen to the message from the Lord. 12Family of David,* the Lord says these things: ‘You must judge people fairly every day. Protect the victims* from the criminals. If you don’t do that, then I will become very angry. My anger will be like a fire that no person will be able to put out. This will happen because you have done evil things.’ 13“Jerusalem, I am against you. You sit on top of the mountain. You sit like a queen over this valley. You people of Jerusalem say, ‘No person can attack us. No person can come into our strong city.’ But listen to this message from the Lord.  14‘You will get the punishment you deserve. I will start a fire in your forests. That fire will completely burn everything around you.’”

Pashhur This is not the same Pashhur as the man in Jer. 20:1.  Babylonians The Babylonians were the family group to which King Nebuchadnezzar belonged. They were the group that controlled the land of Babylon at this time.  Family of David The royal family of Judah. God promised that men from David’s family would be kings in Judah. victims People that have suffered some kind of hurt or trouble. Often this means people that were hurt or lost something during a crime.

22 The Lord said: “Jeremiah, go down to the king’s palace. Go to the king of Judah and preach this message there: 2‘Listen to the message from the Lord, King of Judah. You rule from David’s throne, so listen. King, you and your officials must listen well. All of your people that come through the gates of Jerusalem must listen to the message from the Lord. 3The Lord says: Do the things that are fair and right. Protect the person that has been robbed from the person that robbed him. Don’t hurt or do anything wrong to orphans* or widows.* Don’t kill innocent people. 4If you obey these commands, then this is what will happen: kings that sit on David’s throne will continue to come through the gates into the city of Jerusalem. Those kings will come through the gates with their officials. Those kings, their officials, and their people will come riding in chariots* and on horses. 5But if you don’t obey these commands, this is what the Lord says: I, the Lord, promise that this king’s palace* will be destroyed—it will become a pile of rocks.’” 6This is what the Lord says about the palace where the king of Judah lives: “The palace* is tall, like the forests of Gilead. The palace is tall like the mountains of Lebanon. But I will make it like a desert. This palace will be empty like a city where no person lives. 7I will send men to destroy the palace. Each man will have weapons that he will use to destroy that house. Those men will cut up your strong, beautiful cedar beams. Those men will throw those beams into the fire.” 8“People from many nations will pass by this city. They will ask one another, ‘Why has the Lord done such a terrible thing to Jerusalem? Jerusalem was such a great city.’ 9This will be the answer to that question: ‘God destroyed Jerusalem because the people of Judah quit following the Agreement* of the Lord their God. Those people worshiped and served other gods.’”

Judgment Against King Jehoahaz

10Don’t cry for the king that has died.* Don’t cry for him. But cry very hard for the king that must leave this place.* Cry for him because he will never come back again. Jehoahaz will never see his homeland again. 11This is what the Lord says about Shallum (Jehoahaz) son of Josiah. (Shallum became king of Judah after his father Josiah died.) “Jehoahaz has gone away from Jerusalem. He will never come back to Jerusalem again. 12Jehoahaz will die in the place where the Egyptians have taken him. He will not see this land again.”

Judgment Against King Jehoiakim

13It will be very bad for King Jehoiakim. He is doing bad things so he can build his palace.* He is cheating people so he can build rooms upstairs. He is making his own people work for nothing. He is not paying them for their work. 14Jehoiakim says, ‘I will build a great palace for myself. I will have large upper rooms.’ So he builds the house with large windows. He uses cedar word for paneling, and he paints it red. 15“Jehoiakim, having a lot of cedar in your house does not make you a great king. Your father Josiah was satisfied to have food and drink. He did what was right and fair. Josiah did that, so everything went well for him. 16Josiah helped the poor and needy people. Josiah did that, so everything went well for him. Jehoiakim, what does it mean “to know God?” It means living right and being fair. That is what it means to know me. This message is from the Lord. 17“Jehoiakim, your eyes look only for what benefits yourself. You are always thinking about getting more for yourself. You are willing to kill innocent people. You are willing to steal things from other people.” 18So this is what the Lord says to King Jehoiakim son of Josiah: “The people of Judah will not cry for Jehoiakim. They will not say to each another, ‘Oh, my brother, {I am so sad about Jehoiakim}! Oh, my sister, {I am so sad about Jehoiakim}!’ The people of Judah will not cry for Jehoiakim. They will not say about him, ‘Oh, master, {I am so sad}! Oh, King, {I am so sad}!’ 19The people of Jerusalem will bury Jehoiakim like they were burying a donkey. They will just drag his body away and throw it outside the gates of Jerusalem. 20“Judah, go up to the mountains of Lebanon and cry out. Let your voice be heard in the mountains of Bashan. Cry out in the mountains of Abarim. Why? Because your ‘lovers’ will all be destroyed. 21Judah, you felt safe. But I warned you! I warned you, but you refused to listen. You have lived like this from the time you were young. And from the time you were young, you have not obeyed me, Judah. 22Judah, the punishment I give will come like a storm. And it will blow all your shepherds away. You thought some of the other nations would help you. But those nations will also be defeated. Then you will really be disappointed. You will be ashamed of all the bad things that you did. 23King, you live high on the mountain in your house made from cedar wood. It is almost like you live in Lebanon where that wood came from. {You think you are safe, high on the mountain in your big house.} But you will really groan when your punishment comes. You will hurt like a woman giving birth to a baby.”

Judgment Against King Jehoiachin

24“As surely as I live,” this message is from the Lord, “I will do this to you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah: Even if you were a signet ring* on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25Jehoiachin, I will give you to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and the Babylonians. Those are the people you are afraid of. Those people want to kill you. 26I will throw you and your mother into another country where neither of you was born. You and your mother will die in that country. 27Jehoiachin, you will want to come back to your land—but you will never be allowed to come back.” 28Coniah (Jehoiachin) is like a broken pot that some person threw away. He is like a pot that no person wants. Why will Jehoiachin and his children be thrown out? Why will they be thrown away into a foreign land? 29Land, land, land of Judah! Listen to the message of the Lord! 30The Lord says, “Write this down about Jehoiachin: ‘He is a man that has no children anymore! Jehoiachin will not be successful in his lifetime. And none of his children will sit on the throne of David. None of his children will rule in Judah.’”

orphan(s) Children whose parents are dead. Often these children have no one to care for them. widow(s) Women whose husbands have died. Often these women had no one to care for them. chariot(s) A small wagon used in war. palace A large house for the king and his family. Agreement Literally, “Proof.” The flat stones with the Ten Commandments written on them were proof of the Agreement between God and Israel. king that has died This means King Josiah that was killed in battle against the Egyptians in 609 B.C. king … place This means Josiah’s son, Jehoahaz. He became king after Josiah died. He is also called Shallum. Neco, the king of Egypt, defeated Josiah. And Neco took Jehoahaz off the throne of Judah and made him a prisoner in Egypt. signet ring A special ring worn by a king. The design on the ring could be pressed into a bit of clay or warm wax and leave an impression of the design. This was like a person’s signature—so the ring was very important.

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