We have a rare occasion here in Jeremiah 26. No, not Jeremiah being persecuted by the people of Judah. That has become standard fare. And no, it’s not the fact that Jeremiah was preaching a sermon in temple courts – we saw that in Jeremiah 7 (and this may be an amplified narrative of that event). Here we have an exceptional occurrence where the people and princes of Judah ‘go to bat’ on behalf of God’s prophet. In Israel’s history you can say that times like this came around ‘once in a blue moon,’ i.e. very rarely. Let’s create some context and then jump into our text.
What we find in our passage today is the prelude to what might have been the lowest emotional valley that the prophet Jeremiah ever walked through. After Jeremiah had broken the bac-buc (remember that?), i.e. the flask symbolizing the coming judgment, word of his creative display of the forthcoming invasion had apparently gotten around and the religious establishment wasn’t exactly ready to commend it. In fact one man, Pashur the son of Immer, the priest who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things (vs.1) and he resolved to do something about it. Even though Jeremiah’s message was true, Pashur couldn’t stand to hear it. Who did Jeremiah think he was? What would become of the morale of the people if the incessant cries of judgment went unstopped? These were likely some of the thoughts that went through Pashur’s hard head.