Jeremiah 20:7-18

7 O LORD, 1you have deceived me, and I was deceived; 2you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. 3I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me.
8 For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, 4"Violence and destruction!" For 5the word of the LORD has become for me 6a reproach and 7derision all day long.
9 If I say, "I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name," 8there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and 9I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.
10 10For I hear many whispering. 11Terror is on every side! "Denounce him! 12Let us denounce him!" say all my 13close friends, 14watching for 15my fall. "Perhaps he will be deceived; then 16we can overcome him and take our revenge on him."
11 But 17the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; 18they will not overcome me. 19They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their 20eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous, 21who sees the heart and the mind,[a] let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.
13 22Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.
14 23Cursed be the day on which I was born! The day when my mother bore me, let it not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father, "A son is born to you," 24making him very glad.
16 Let that man be like 25the cities that the LORD overthrew without pity; 26let him hear a cry in the morning and an alarm at noon,
17 27because he did not kill me in the womb; so my mother would have been my grave, and her womb forever great.
18 28Why did I come out from the womb 29to see toil and sorrow, and spend my days in shame?

Jeremiah 20:7-18 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 20

This chapter gives an account of the usage that Jeremiah met with from many for his prophecies, and the effect it had upon him. He was smitten and put in the stocks by Pashur the priest, who released him the next day, Jer 20:1-3; upon which he prophesies again of the delivery of the city of Jerusalem, with all its riches, and of the whole land, to the Chaldeans; and particularly that Pashur should be a terror to himself and all his friends; and that both he and they should be carried captive into Babylon, and die, and be buried there, Jer 20:4-6; and then he complains of his being mocked at by the people for the word of the Lord; which he therefore determined to make no more mention of, but was obliged to it; and of the defamations of him, and snares that were laid for him, Jer 20:7-10; under which he is supported with the consideration of the Lord's being with him, and that his enemies should not prevail, but be confounded; and appeals to him, and calls for vengeance from him on them; and, in the view of deliverance, not only praises the Lord himself, but calls upon others to join with him in it, Jer 20:11-13; and yet, after all, the chapter is concluded with his cursing the day of his birth, and the man that brought his father the news of it, Jer 20:14-18.

Jeremiah 20:7-18 In-Context

5 Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them and seize them and carry them to Babylon.
6 And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. To Babylon you shall go, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely."
7 O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me.
8 For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, "Violence and destruction!" For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long.
9 If I say, "I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name," there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.
10 For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! "Denounce him! Let us denounce him!" say all my close friends, watching for my fall. "Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him and take our revenge on him."
11 But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.
13 Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.
14 Cursed be the day on which I was born! The day when my mother bore me, let it not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father, "A son is born to you," making him very glad.
16 Let that man be like the cities that the LORD overthrew without pity; let him hear a cry in the morning and an alarm at noon,
17 because he did not kill me in the womb; so my mother would have been my grave, and her womb forever great.
18 Why did I come out from the womb to see toil and sorrow, and spend my days in shame?

Cross References 29

  • 1. [Ezekiel 14:9]
  • 2. [2 Peter 1:21]
  • 3. Psalms 119:51; Lamentations 3:14
  • 4. Jeremiah 6:7
  • 5. Jeremiah 6:10
  • 6. Psalms 44:13; Psalms 79:4
  • 7. Psalms 44:13; Psalms 79:4
  • 8. Job 32:18, 19; Psalms 39:3
  • 9. Jeremiah 6:11
  • 10. Psalms 31:13
  • 11. See Jeremiah 6:25
  • 12. [Jeremiah 36:16, 20]
  • 13. Psalms 41:9; Psalms 55:13; [Jeremiah 9:4; Jeremiah 38:22]
  • 14. [Psalms 56:6]
  • 15. Psalms 35:15
  • 16. Jeremiah 1:19; Jeremiah 5:22
  • 17. See Jeremiah 1:8
  • 18. See Jeremiah 1:8
  • 19. Jeremiah 17:18; Jeremiah 23:40
  • 20. Jeremiah 23:40
  • 21. See Jeremiah 11:20
  • 22. [Psalms 35:9, 10; Psalms 109:30, 31]
  • 23. Jeremiah 15:10; Job 3:3
  • 24. [John 16:21]
  • 25. Genesis 19:25; Isaiah 13:19
  • 26. Jeremiah 18:22
  • 27. [Job 3:10, 11]
  • 28. [Job 3:20]
  • 29. [Lamentations 3:1, 2]

Footnotes 1