Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD…
I. THEY REGARD THE TRUTH AND ITS MINISTERS AS THEIR GREATEST ENEMIES. If Pashur had known better he would have refrained from such exhibitions of temper. The prophet would then have been accounted the greatest benefactor of his country. Not the soldier on the battlefield nor the statesman in the councils of empire could have rendered so signal a service as Jeremiah did in simply but persistently telling the truth. Much of what he said was patent to every honest observer. By saying what he did the prophet did not bring into existence that which did not exist before; and, if it really existed, it was better that it should be recognized and reckoned with. The evils he denounced were the real enemies of the country, and not those who pointed them out and suggested their reform. It is, however, unpleasant to the carnal mind to have its faults and sins exposed. With many the calamity is not that evil should be done, but that it should be found out.
II. THEY ARE NOT SCRUPULOUS AS TO THE MEANS THEY EMPLOY TO SILENCE THEM. He smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks." These means of punishment were at hand, and he used them at once. It was legal power used illegally, or law employed to the detriment of righteousness. Passionate hatred is shown by the whole course of action. Could anything else be expected of those who tried to subvert righteousness? They must needs do it unrighteously. Even the condemnation of Christ was legal only in appearance.
III. THE BEHAVIOR OF THE OPPONENTS OF THE TRUTH IS FREQUENTLY CONDEMNED BY ITS OWN INCONSISTENCY AND VACILLATION. "It came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks."
1. The course dictated by passion is seen to be impolitic and foolish.
2. The guilty intention is weakened by the outcries of conscience. It is this conscience which makes cowards of us all - or heroes. Here it led to vacillation, which discredited the policy to which Pashur was already committed, and made its author ridiculous. This is one of the reasons why men can do nothing against the truth. It shines by its own light and confounds the machinations that have been wrought in darkness.
3. Truth has a powerful ally in the bosoms of its worst enemies.
IV. OPPOSITION TO THE TRUTH IS CERTAIN TO FAIL. "Then said Jeremiah unto him," etc. (ver. 3). The prophet is only the more vehement and enthusiastic. Ill-timed antagonism to his message has provoked him to coin a nickname for Pashur, which linked the impending judgment inseparably with his memory. It was a bad eminence richly deserved. He was to be the refutation of himself, to see all his predictions falsified, and to reap the curses of those he had deceived as they perished in their sins. How often in his disgraceful exile he must have wished he had let the messenger of God alone (Acts 5:38, 39). - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.