Jeremiah 20:10

10 For I hear many whispering: "Terror is all around! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!" All my close friends are watching for me to stumble. "Perhaps he can be enticed, and we can prevail against him, and take our revenge on him."

Jeremiah 20:10 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 20:10

For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side
It was brought to the prophet's ears by some of his friends, how he was defamed by many, and these great and mighty ones, as the word also signifies; how his character was aspersed; his good name taken away; and false and scandalous reports were raised of him from all quarters; which filled him with fear all around, so that he might quickly expect fresh trouble from one side or another; see ( Psalms 31:13 ) ; and this was a reason of his entering into the above resolution to leave off prophesying: though some understand it as an additional reason to the former for going on with it; being not only inwardly pressed to it in spirit, but outwardly provoked by the usage of his enemies. Some retain the words "Magormissabib", untranslated, and render the whole thus, "for I heard the defaming of many magormissabibs"; of many such as Pashur, so called, ( Jeremiah 20:3 ) ; but neither the accents nor the syntax will admit of it; since there is an accent on many, which makes a stop, and "magormissabib" is in the singular number: rather it may be rendered, "I have heard the defaming of many; [even of] magormissabib", that is, of Pashur and his associates; report, [say they], and we will report it;
these are the words of the defamers, whether Pashur and his accomplices, or the great ones, the princes and nobles, the priests and false prophets, that more especially bore a grudge to Jeremiah; addressing themselves to the common people, and such who were most acquainted with the prophet, and his manner of life; saying, tell us what you can of him, right or wrong, true or false, that may be any ways improved against him, and we shall tell it to the king, or to the sanhedrim, the court of judicature, and get him punished for it; or we shall take care to have it spread about city and country, and so blast his character and credit with the people, that none will after regard his prophecies; all my familiars watched for my halting;
or, "every man of my peace" {f}; who pretended to be at peace, and to be friendly with him, and wished well unto him, spoke fair to his face, as if they were cordial friends, and fond of the most intimate acquaintance with him; perhaps the men of Anathoth, the birth place of Jeremiah, are here meant; whom the priests at Jerusalem, or others, had engaged on their side, narrowly to observe what was said and done by him, of which any handle could be made against him to the government; and accordingly they did; they watched his words, and observed his actions, if they could catch at anything that was imprudently or inadvertently said or done, or what could be misconstrued to his disadvantage; [saying], peradventure he will be enticed;
to say or do something that may be laid hold on, and be produced against him, to the ruin of him; he not being on his guard, and knowing of no design against him: and we shall prevail against him;
gain our point, get him accused, condemned, and punished: and we shall take our revenge on him;
for inveighing so severely against their sins, which they could not bear; and for threatening them with punishments that should be inflicted on them, which they liked not to hear.


F6 (ymlv vwna lk) "omnis homo pacis meae", Montanus, Cocceius, Schmidt; "omnes viri pacis meae", Munster, Vatablus.

Jeremiah 20:10 In-Context

8 For whenever I speak, I must cry out, I must 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," then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.
10 For I hear many whispering: "Terror is all around! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!" All my close friends are watching for me to stumble. "Perhaps he can be enticed, and we can prevail against him, and take our revenge on him."
11 But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind; let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.