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Jeremiah 20:1-2

Context
Jeremiah is Flogged and Put in A Cell

20:1 Now Pashhur son of Immer heard Jeremiah prophesy these things. He was the priest who was chief of security 1  in the Lord’s temple. 20:2 When he heard Jeremiah’s prophecy, he had the prophet flogged. 2  Then he put him in the stocks 3  which were at the Upper Gate of Benjamin in the Lord’s temple. 4 

1 tn Heb “chief overseer/officer.” The translation follows the suggestion of P. C. Craigie, P. H. Kelley, J. F. Drinkard, Jeremiah 1-25 (WBC), 267, based on the parallel passage in 29:26-27 where this official appears to have been in charge of maintaining order in the temple.

sn Judging from a comparison of this passage with Jer 29:26-27 and that passage in turn with 2 Kgs 25:18, Pashhur held an office second in rank only to the high priest. He was in charge of keeping order in the temple and took offense at what he heard Jeremiah saying.

2 tn Heb “And Pashhur son of Immer, the priest and he [= who] was chief overseer [or officer] in the house of the Lord heard Jeremiah prophesying these words/things 20:2 and Pashhur had the prophet Jeremiah flogged.” This verse and the previous one has been restructured in the translation to better conform with contemporary English style.

3 tn The meaning of this word is uncertain. It occurs only here, in 29:26 where it is followed by a parallel word that occurs only there and is generally translated “collar,” and in 2 Chr 16:10 where it is preceded by the word “house of.” It is most often translated “stocks” and explained as an instrument of confinement for keeping prisoners in a crooked position (from its relation to a root meaning “to turn.” See BDB 246 s.v. מַהְפֶּכֶת and KBL 500 s.v. מַהְפֶּכֶת for definition and discussion.) For a full discussion including the interpretation of the ancient versions see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:542-43.

4 sn A comparison of Ezek 8:3 and 9:2 in their contexts will show that this probably refers to the northern gate to the inner court of the temple. It is called Upper because it was on higher ground above the gate in the outer court. It is qualified by “in the Lord’s temple” to distinguish it from the Benjamin Gate in the city wall (cf. 37:13; 38:7). Like the Benjamin Gate in the city wall it faced north toward the territory of the tribe of Benjamin.



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