“Now Pashhur the priest … beat Jeremiah the prophet” (20:1-2). Things were so bad during Jeremiah’s time that the chief priest in charge of Temple worship rebelled against God’s truth and assaulted the prophet. Through Jeremiah, God had declared that Jerusalem would be attacked and its wealth and people carried away to Babylon because of their terrible sins, including child sacrifice (ch 19). Yet instead of repentance, the religious leaders lied and fought.
“Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers” (20:13). God sees the heart, whether “evildoers” are kings, religious leaders, or ordinary people, and His justice prevails.