And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four
Either three or four of the breadths of parchment, which were glued together, and rolled up; or three or four of the columns in those breadths. The meaning is, he had read a few of them. The Rabbins
F19 would have it, that three or four verses in the book of the Lamentations are meant: he cut it with the penknife;
that is, he cut the roll to pieces with a penknife he had in his hand, or lay near him. It is difficult to say who it was that did this; whether Jehudi that read the roll, or Jehoiakim the king that heard it; most interpreters understand it of the latter; but the connection of the words carries it to the former; for the nearest antecedent to the relative he is Jehudi; though it is highly probable he did it at the king's command; or, however, saw by his countenance and behaviour that such an action would be grateful to him; and that he was highly displeased with what had been read, and could not hear any longer with patience: and cast it into the fire that [was] on the hearth, until all the roll
was consumed in the fire that [was] on the hearth;
that is, he cast it into the fire, and there let it lie, until it was wholly consumed; a very impious action, to burn the word of God; a full evidence of an ungodly mind; a clear proof of the enmity of the heart against God, and of its indignation against his word and servants; and yet a vain attempt to frustrate the divine predictions in it, or avert the judgments threatened; but the ready way to bring them on.
F19 T. Hieros. Moed Katon, fol. 83. 2.