|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:1-6 Pashur smote Jeremiah, and put him in the stocks. Jeremiah was silent till God put a word into his mouth. To confirm this, Pashur has a name given him, Fear on every side. It speaks a man not only in distress, but in despair; not only in danger, but in fear on every side. The wicked are in great fear where no fear is, for God can make the most daring sinner a terror to himself. And those who will not hear of their faults from God's prophets, shall be made to hear them from their consciences. Miserable is the man thus made a terror to himself. His friends shall fail him. God lets him live miserably, that he may be a monument of Divine justice.
Verse 2. - Pashur, being charged with the police of the temple, smites Jeremiah, i.e. causes stripes to be given him (a legal punishment, Deuteronomy 25:3; comp. 2 Corinthians 11:24), and then orders him to be put into the stocks; literally, that which distorts - some instrument of punishment which held the body in a bent or crooked position (comp. Jeremiah 29:26). The "stocks" were sometimes kept in a special house (2 Chronicles 16:10); these mentioned here, however, apparently stood in public, at the high - or rather, upper - gate of Benjamin, which was by - or, at - the house of the Lord. The gate, then, was one of the temple gates, and is called "the upper" to distinguish it from one of the city gates which bore the same name (Jeremiah 37:13; Jeremiah 38:7). It is presumably the same which is called "the new gate of the Lord's house" (Jeremiah 26:10; Jeremiah 36:10), as having been comparatively lately built (2 Kings 15:35).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet,.... Either with his fist, or with a rod, while he was prophesying, to stop his mouth, and hinder him from going on, and to show his resentment, and influence, the people not to believe him; or he ordered him to be smitten and scourged by some inferior officer. This was very ill treatment of a prophet, a prophet of the Lord, and one that was a priest too, of the same order with himself;
and put him in the stocks; or ordered him to be put there; but whether it was such an engine or instrument as we call "stocks", in which the feet of prisoners are put, is not certain. Kimchi's father says, it was an instrument made of two pieces of wood, in which the necks of prisoners were put; and some say it had besides two holes for the two hands to be put in; and so the same with our "pillory". The Septuagint render it "a cataract", a ditch or dungeon. Jarchi interprets it a prison; and so our translators render the word in Jeremiah 29:26; however, it was a place of confinement, if not of torture and pain;
that were in the high gate of Benjamin; here were these stocks, pillory, or prison; which was either a gate of the city of Jerusalem, so called, because it looked towards and led out to the tribe of Benjamin, Jeremiah 37:13; or a gate of the temple, which stood on that side of it that belonged to the tribe of Benjamin; both the city and temple being partly in the tribe of Judah, and partly in the tribe of Benjamin; and it seems by this that there was an upper and lower gate of this name; and the following clause seems to incline to this sense:
which was by the house of the Lord; or, "in the house of the Lord" (w); the temple.
(w) "in domo Jehovae", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Piscator, Cocceius, Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. The fact that Pashur was of the same order and of the same family as Jeremiah aggravates the indignity of the blow (1Ki 22:24; Mt 26:67).
stocks—an instrument of torture with five holes, in which the neck, two hands, and two feet were thrust, the body being kept in a crooked posture (Jer 29:26). From a Hebrew root, to "turn," or "rack." This marks Pashur's cruelty.
high—that is, the upper gate (2Ki 15:35).
gate of Benjamin—a gate in the temple wall, corresponding to the gate of Benjamin, properly so called, in the city wall, in the direction of the territory of Benjamin (Jer 7:2; 37:13; 38:7). The temple gate of Benjamin, being on a lofty position, was called "the high gate," to distinguish it from the city wall gate of Benjamin.
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