Jeremiah the True Prophet and Pashhur the False Prophet

Certain parts of the Bible seem super charged by the example and courage of righteous men, who remained faithful at that moment. In Jeremiah 20 we read of such an encounter that occurred.Jeremiah in stocks May all Christians carefully ponder the following and remember as it occurred, Jeremiah stood alone staring hatred, unbelief and potential death square in the face!

  • When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the chief officer in the temple of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord’s temple.  (Jer 20:1, 2)

The context shows the words that Pashhur heard from Jeremiah were at least these:

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Listen! I am going to bring on this city and the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.” (Jer 19:15)

COMMENT: Jeremiah was hated and persecuted because he faithfully spoke out God’s message to a sinful and unrepentant people. His chief enemy here (Pashhur) was a religious leader, who had power to have him beaten and put in stocks. The brutal and unjust treatment Jeremiah got implies he shed his blood under this wave of persecution. He was also made a public display of shame as people passed by the Upper Gate of Benjamin. Similar treatment occurred at times to New Testament Christians:

Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. (Heb 10:33)

Serving God is NOT a proverbial bed of roses! It has never been that way and never will be. We are in enemy territory with a mission to accomplish the will of God. We are grossly outnumbered by the ungodly, but must press on as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, for SOULS are at stake. TRUTH is what they hate and they will sometimes persecute the truth-giver.

  • The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name for you is not Pashhur, but Magor-Missabib. For this is what the LORD says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will hand all Judah over to the king of Babylon, who will carry them away to Babylon or put them to the sword. I will hand over to their enemies all the wealth of this city–all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away as plunder and carry it off to Babylon.  And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.’” (Jer 20:3-6)

COMMENT: Jeremiah, just released from the stocks, stood in front of the same wicked man who initially had the political power to have him beaten and placed in those stocks and boldly spoke out more prophetic words of truth to his displeasure. Fearlessly, Jeremiah gave Pashhur with truth, as God gave the words. Some of it was a personal prophecy, but unlike the dangerous false personal prophecies we often hear about in our day.

This chapter is the first time we hear of Pashhur son of Immer, but in Jer. 20:6 we learn he “prophesied lies” without the specifics. That means he was a false prophet. NOTE: Pashhur the false prophet had power and influence over Jeremiah the true prophet to persecute to that degree. Pashhur was a counterfeit and did physical harm to God’s servant and God allowed it! Furthermore, Pashhur’s hatred and rejection of the unpleasant truth Jeremiah spoke didn’t change anything. Everything remained the same, including the outcome for Judah, except Pashhur’s actions won’t go by unnoticed by our avenging God (Heb. 10:30)!

Jesus spoke of a prophet’s rewards in Mt. 10:41. It seems a prophet’s reward will be great for their courage and personal sufferings they faced to speak out God’s word to do his will in their lives. [BTW, Paul and Silas were in stocks too, Acts 16:24,25.]

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