20Now Pashhur son of Immer, the priest in charge of the Temple of the Lord, heard what Jeremiah was prophesying.2So he arrested Jeremiah the prophet and had him whipped and put in stocks at the Benjamin Gate of the Lord’s Temple.3The next day, when Pashhur finally released him, Jeremiah said, “Pashhur, the Lord has changed your name. From now on you are to be called ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror.’4For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will send terror upon you and all your friends, and you will watch as they are slaughtered by the swords of the enemy. I will hand the people of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will take them captive to Babylon or run them through with the sword.5And I will let your enemies plunder Jerusalem. All the famed treasures of the city—the precious jewels and gold and silver of your kings—will be carried off to Babylon.6As for you, Pashhur, you and all your household will go as captives to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you prophesied that everything would be all right.’”
7O Lord, you misled me, and I allowed myself to be misled. You are stronger than I am, and you overpowered me. Now I am mocked every day; everyone laughs at me.8When I speak, the words burst out. “Violence and destruction!” I shout. So these messages from the Lord have made me a household joke.9But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!10I have heard the many rumors about me. They call me “The Man Who Lives in Terror.” They threaten, “If you say anything, we will report it.” Even my old friends are watching me, waiting for a fatal slip. “He will trap himself,” they say, “and then we will get our revenge on him.”11But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated. Their dishonor will never be forgotten.12O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, you test those who are righteous, and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets. Let me see your vengeance against them, for I have committed my cause to you.13Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord! For though I was poor and needy, he rescued me from my oppressors.14Yet I curse the day I was born! May no one celebrate the day of my birth.15I curse the messenger who told my father, “Good news—you have a son!”16Let him be destroyed like the cities of old that the Lord overthrew without mercy. Terrify him all day long with battle shouts,17because he did not kill me at birth. Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb, that her body had been my grave!18Why was I ever born? My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame.