So this chapter starts out with some narrative, rather than more prophetic words. Pashhur, the son of Immer the priest, hears everything that Jeremiah has been saying. He gets angry, and lashes out. He hits Jeremiah and puts him in jail. Wow – I know that I’ve been saying that I understand getting annoyed at all the doom and gloom, but this seems like a pretty dramatic reaction. Luckily, Jeremiah is only in jail overnight, and Pashhur lets him out the next day. Whatever the priest was hoping would happen as a result of this action, it seems to have backfired, because Jeremiah immediately returns to his prophecies. And now, they get personal.
“And you, Pashhur, and all those who dwell in your houses shall go into captivity, and you shall come to Babylon and there you shall die and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied falsely (Jeremiah 20:6).” After bashing Pashhur, and letting him know that the dreaded exile is coming, Jeremiah starts to talk to God. He lets Him know how he’s being mocked and abused by the populace, showing that even with God one his side, it’s hard to be an outcast. Even a prophet wants to be accepted, showing that peer approval is critical at every stage of life.