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Pashur, from the Hebrew name meaning freedom or released (an ironic name, since he imprisoned the people with his corruption, before the LORD had him taken away in the Babylonian captivity - see Why Babylon?) was a high-ranking Temple official in the time of the prophet Jeremiah's warnings to the religious leadership of Judah to repent of their turning their backs to the LORD.

A modern-day example of Jeremiah's experience with Pashur would be if someone who bases their Christianity on the actual word of God in the Holy Bible confronted a high-ranking official in a large Christian-professing "church" of this world, whether Roman Catholic or "Protestant" (it matters little - their core doctrines are the same; listen to the Sermon Is The True Church of God 'Protestant'? from our Sermons page) who bases their humanist "Christianity" primarily on the doctrines of man (see I Did It My Way). They will almost always scorn the plain truth of the Holy Bible just as Pashur did.

"Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things"

After Jeremiah delivered the LORD's warning, Pashur had Jeremiah beaten and bound in the stocks near the Temple - convenient to Jeremiah, because even in chains he could still be heard from there. When he had Jeremiah brought out to see if he had "repented" of the truth that he preached, Jeremiah delivered another prophecy from the LORD, this time including a personal one for Pashur - his name would be changed from Pashur, meaning "freedom," to Magormissabib, meaning terror on every side.


"20:1 Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. 20:2 Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the Stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD.

20:3 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib. 20:4 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon [i.e. Nebuchadnezzar], and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword.

20:5 Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon [see Raiders Of The Lost Ark to understand why the Ark of The Covenant could not have been included in that looting]. 20:6 And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies." (Jeremiah 20:1-6 KJV)

Jeremiah was later even accused of being a subversive because he warned them that they would fall to their enemies as a punishment from the LORD if they did not repent. Jeremiah was dropped into a muddy cistern for some time, before being put back into the prison. Ironically, Jeremiah may well have been held in one of the cisterns that the LORD provided, ready-made, for His people when they entered the promised land, if they obeyed Him: "6:10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 6:11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full" (Deuteronomy 6:10-11 KJV).

"38:1 Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying, 38:2 Thus saith the LORD, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live. 38:3 Thus saith the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which shall take it.

38:4 Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.

38:5 Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.

38:6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.

38:7 Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin; 38:8 Ebedmelech went forth out of the king's house, and spake to the king, saying, 38:9 My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city.

38:10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die.

38:11 So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. 38:12 And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. 38:13 So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison." (Jeremiah 38:1-13 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) Which kingdom of Israelites fell in the time of Jeremiah? (b) Which kingdom of Israelites fell over a century before that?
(a) See The Southern Kingdom
(b) See The Northern Kingdom

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