How easy it is for us to hear a word from the Lord and decide that it does not apply to our lives or that it is not for today!
Pashhur, the priest in charge of the temple of the Lord, despised Jeremiah's prophecies against the detestable practice of sacrificing children to Baal in the valley of Topheth (Jeremiah 20:1-2). This horrible ritual took place with the heathen priests of Baal beating drums to drown out the screams of little babies being burned alive. Jeremiah said that performing such atrocities never entered God's mind (19:5).
Humankind can stoop to some terrible deeds when there is no voice of reason. Jeremiah saw this dreadful scene of infant sacrifice and prophesied the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. When Pashhur threatened him, Jeremiah said, "I can't stop! 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 weary of holding it in!" (20:9).
We should not despise prophecy, but invite it. We should pray for God to give us voices in our nation to proclaim the truth before it is too late. The lives we save may be our own.
19 This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter.
7 “‘In this place I will ruin
10 “Then break the jar
14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court
20 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer,
I am ridiculed
8 Whenever I speak, I cry out
So the word of the Lord has brought me
9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
a fire shut up in my bones.
indeed, I cannot.
10 I hear many whispering,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
then we will prevail
their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
Give praise to the Lord!
from the hands of the wicked.
May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news,
who made him very glad, saying,
“A child is born to you—a son!”
16 May that man be like the towns
the Lord overthrew without pity.
May he hear wailing
a battle cry at noon.
with my mother as my grave,
her womb enlarged forever.
21 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah
3 But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah,4 ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn
8 “Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life
11 “Moreover, say to the royal house
rescue from the hand of the oppressor
the one who has been robbed,
because of the evil
burn with no one to quench
you who live above this valley
on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord—
you who say, “Who can come against us?
declares the Lord.
that will consume everything around you.’”
19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a clay jar. Then ask some of the leaders of the people and of the priests to follow you.2 Go out through the Gate of Broken Pots to the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and give them this message.3 Say to them, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord, you kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will bring a terrible disaster on this place, and the ears of those who hear about it will ring!
4 “‘For Israel has forsaken me and turned this valley into a place of wickedness. The people burn incense to foreign gods—idols never before acknowledged by this generation, by their ancestors, or by the kings of Judah. And they have filled this place with the blood of innocent children.5 They have built pagan shrines to Baal, and there they burn their sons as sacrifices to Baal. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!6 So beware, for the time is coming, says the Lord, when this garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.
7 “‘For I will upset the careful plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will allow the people to be slaughtered by invading armies, and I will leave their dead bodies as food for the vultures and wild animals.8 I will reduce Jerusalem to ruins, making it a monument to their stupidity. All who pass by will be astonished and will gasp at the destruction they see there.9 I will see to it that your enemies lay siege to the city until all the food is gone. Then those trapped inside will eat their own sons and daughters and friends. They will be driven to utter despair.’
10 “As these men watch you, Jeremiah, smash the jar you brought.11 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: As this jar lies shattered, so I will shatter the people of Judah and Jerusalem beyond all hope of repair. They will bury the bodies here in Topheth, the garbage dump, until there is no more room for them.12 This is what I will do to this place and its people, says the Lord. I will cause this city to become defiled like Topheth.13 Yes, all the houses in Jerusalem, including the palace of Judah’s kings, will become like Topheth—all the houses where you burned incense on the rooftops to your star gods, and where liquid offerings were poured out to your idols.’”
14 Then Jeremiah returned from Topheth, the garbage dump where he had delivered this message, and he stopped in front of the Temple of the Lord. He said to the people there,15 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will bring disaster upon this city and its surrounding towns as I promised, because you have stubbornly refused to listen to me.’”
20 Now Pashhur son of Immer, the priest in charge of the Temple of the Lord, heard what Jeremiah was prophesying.2 So he arrested Jeremiah the prophet and had him whipped and put in stocks at the Benjamin Gate of the Lord’s Temple.
3 The 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.’
7 O 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.
8 When I speak, the words burst out.
“Violence and destruction!” I shout.
So these messages from the Lord
have made me a household joke.
9 But 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!
10 I 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.”
11 But 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.
12 O 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.
13 Sing to the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
For though I was poor and needy,
he rescued me from my oppressors.
14 Yet I curse the day I was born!
May no one celebrate the day of my birth.
15 I curse the messenger who told my father,
“Good news—you have a son!”
16 Let him be destroyed like the cities of old
that the Lord overthrew without mercy.
Terrify him all day long with battle shouts,
17 because he did not kill me at birth.
Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb,
that her body had been my grave!
18 Why was I ever born?
My entire life has been filled
with trouble, sorrow, and shame.
21 The Lord spoke through Jeremiah when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malkijah and Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, the priest, to speak with him. They begged Jeremiah,2 “Please speak to the Lord for us and ask him to help us. King Nebuchadnezzar
3 Jeremiah replied, “Go back to King Zedekiah and tell him,4 ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will make your weapons useless against the king of Babylon and the Babylonians
8 “Tell all the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Take your choice of life or death!9 Everyone who stays in Jerusalem will die from war, famine, or disease, but those who go out and surrender to the Babylonians will live. Their reward will be life!10 For I have decided to bring disaster and not good upon this city, says the Lord. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, and he will reduce it to ashes.’
11 “Say to the royal family of Judah, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord!12 This is what the Lord says to the dynasty of David:
“‘Give justice each morning to the people you judge!
Help those who have been robbed;
rescue them from their oppressors.
Otherwise, my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire
because of all your sins.
13 I will personally fight against the people in Jerusalem,
that mighty fortress—
the people who boast, “No one can touch us here.
No one can break in here.”
14 And I myself will punish you for your sinfulness,
says the Lord.
I will light a fire in your forests
that will burn up everything around you.’”
19 Thus saith the Lord, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests;
2 And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee,
3 And say, Hear ye the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.
4 Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;
5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
6 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.
7 And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.
8 And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.
9 And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.
10 Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee,
11 And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury.
12 Thus will I do unto this place, saith the Lord, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet:
13 And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods.
14 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,
15 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.
20 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.
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.
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 Magormissabib.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
13 Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.
14 Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.
15 Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad.
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;
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 with me.
18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?
21 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying,
2 Enquire, I pray thee, of the Lord for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the Lord will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us.
3 Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah:
4 Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city.
5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.
6 And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.
7 And afterward, saith the Lord, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.
8 And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.
9 He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.
10 For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
11 And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the Lord;
12 O house of David, thus saith the Lord; Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
13 Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the Lord; which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?
14 But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the Lord: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard
23 May God himself, the God of peace,
25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
4 But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief.
9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.
16 Always be joyful.17 Never stop praying.18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.20 Do not scoff at prophecies,21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.22 Stay away from every kind of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.
25 Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a sacred kiss.
27 I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers and sisters.
28 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
1 God presides in the great assembly;
2 “How long will you
3 Defend the weak and the fatherless;
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
6 “I said, ‘You are “gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’
you will fall like every other ruler.”
1 God presides over heaven’s court;
he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings:
2 “How long will you hand down unjust decisions
by favoring the wicked? Interlude
3 “Give justice to the poor and the orphan;
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
4 Rescue the poor and helpless;
deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
5 But these oppressors know nothing;
they are so ignorant!
They wander about in darkness,
while the whole world is shaken to the core.
6 I say, ‘You are gods;
you are all children of the Most High.
7 But you will die like mere mortals
and fall like every other ruler.’”
8 Rise up, O God, and judge the earth,
for all the nations belong to you.
82 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
9 If you take your neighbor to court,
do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
and the charge against you will stand.
9 When arguing with your neighbor,
don’t betray another person’s secret.
10 Others may accuse you of gossip,
and you will never regain your good reputation.
9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.