Jeremiah 36

1 In the fourth year of Y'hoyakim the son of Yoshiyahu, king of Y'hudah, this word came to Yirmeyahu from ADONAI:
2 "Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you against Isra'el, Y'hudah and all the other nations, from the day I started speaking to you, back in the time of Yoshiyahu, until today.
3 Perhaps the house of Y'hudah will listen to all the disaster I intend to bring on them, and turn back, each person from his evil way; then I will forgive their wickedness and sin."
4 So Yirmeyahu summoned Barukh the son of Neriyah; and Barukh wrote down on a scroll, at Yirmeyahu's dictation, all the words that ADONAI had said to him.
5 Then Yirmeyahu gave this order to Barukh: "I am not allowed to enter the house of ADONAI.
6 Therefore, you take the scroll which you wrote at my dictation, go into the house of ADONAI on a fast-day, and read from it the words of ADONAI in the hearing of the people; also read them to all Y'hudah as they exit their cities.
7 Perhaps they will turn to ADONAI in prayer and will return, each one, from his evil way. For the anger and fury which ADONAI has decreed against this people is great."
8 Barukh the son of Neriyah obeyed everything Yirmeyahu the prophet ordered him to do, reading the words of ADONAI from the scroll in ADONAI's house.
9 A fast was proclaimed in the ninth month of the fifth year of Y'hoyakim the son of Yoshiyahu, king of Y'hudah, for all the people in Yerushalayim and all the people who came from the cities of Y'hudah to Yerushalayim.
10 It was then that Barukh read from the scroll the words of Yirmeyahu in the house of ADONAI, in the chamber of G'maryahu the son of Shafan the secretary, in the upper courtyard, at the entry to the New Gate of ADONAI's house, for all the people to hear.
11 When Mikhay'hu the son of G'maryahu, the son of Shafan, had heard from the scroll all the words of ADONAI,
12 he went down to the king's palace, into the secretary's room. All the officials were there - Elishama the secretary, D'layahu the son of Sh'ma'yahu, Elnatan the son of 'Akhbor, G'maryah the son of Shafan, Tzidkiyahu the son of Hananyahu and all the [other] officials.
13 Mikhay'hu told them all the words he had heard when Barukh read the scroll in the people's hearing;
14 whereupon all the officials sent Y'hudi the son of N'tanyahu, the son of Shelemyahu, the son of Kushi, to Barukh to say, "Take in your hand the scroll from which you read in the hearing of the people, and come." So Barukh the son of Neriyah took the scroll in his hand and went to them.
15 They said to him, "Sit down, please, and read it to us." Barukh read it to them.
16 After they had heard all the words, they turned in fear to each other and said to Barukh, "We will certainly tell the king about all these words."
17 Then they asked Barukh, "Tell us now, how did you write all these words? At his dictation?"
18 Barukh answered them, "He said all these words to me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the scroll."
19 At this, the officials said to Barukh, "Go and hide yourselves, you and Yirmeyahu; don't let anyone know where you are."
20 After depositing the scroll in the room of Elishama the secretary, they went in to the courtyard and told everything to the king.
21 The king sent Y'hudi to bring the scroll, and he took it from the room of Elishama the secretary. Y'hudi read it to the king and all the officials standing near the king.
22 The king was sitting in his winter house; and since it was the ninth month, he had a fire burning in the stove in front of him.
23 After Y'hudi had read three or four columns from the scroll, he would cut off that portion with a knife and throw it into the fire that was burning in the stove, until the entire scroll had been consumed by the fire in the stove.
24 But even though they heard all these words, neither the king nor any of his servants grew afraid or tore their clothes.
25 Elnatan, D'layahu and G'maryahu had begged the king not to burn the scroll; but he wouldn't listen to them.
26 Then the king ordered Yerachme'el the king's son, S'rayahu the son of 'Azri'el and Shelemyahu the son of 'Avde'el to arrest Barukh the scribe and Yirmeyahu the prophet; but ADONAI hid them.
27 Then this word of ADONAI came to Yirmeyahu after the king had burned the scroll with the words Barukh had written at Yirmeyahu's dictation:
28 "Take another scroll, and write on it all the words that were on the first scroll, which Y'hoyakim the king of Y'hudah burned up.
29 And as far as Y'hoyakim king of Y'hudah is concerned, you are to say that ADONAI says, 'You burned this scroll, asking, "Why did you write in it that the king of Bavel will certainly come and destroy this land and leave it without either humans or animals?"
30 Therefore ADONAI says this about Y'hoyakim king of Y'hudah: "He will have no one to occupy David's throne; and his dead body will be thrown out to lie in the heat by day and in the frost by night.
31 Moreover, I will punish him, his offspring and his officials for their wickedness; and I will bring on them, the inhabitants of Yerushalayim and the people of Y'hudah all the disaster I have decreed against them, to which they have paid no attention."'"
32 Then Yirmeyahu took another scroll and gave it to Barukh the scribe, the son of Neriyah. At Yirmeyahu's dictation he wrote in it all the words of the scroll which Y'hoyakim king of Y'hudah had burned up in the fire, and to those he added many similar words.

Jeremiah 36 Commentary

Chapter 36

Baruch is to write the prophecies of Jeremiah. (1-8) The princes advise them to hide themselves. (9-19) The king having heard a part, burns the roll. (20-32)

Verses 1-8 The writing of the Scriptures was by Divine appointment. The Divine wisdom directed to this as a proper means; if it failed, the house of Judah would be the more without excuse. The Lord declares to sinners the evil he purposes to do against them, that they may hear, and fear, and return from their evil ways; and whenever any one makes this use of God's warnings, in dependence on his promised mercy, he will find the Lord ready to forgive his sins. All others will be left without excuse; and the consideration that great is the anger God has pronounced against us for sin, should quicken both our prayers and our endeavours.

Verses 9-19 Shows of piety and devotion may be found even among those, who, though they keep up forms of godliness, are strangers and enemies to the power of it. The princes patiently attended the reading of the whole book. They were in great fear. But even those who are convinced to the truth and importance of what they hear, and are disposed to favour those who preach it, often have difficulties and reserves about their safety, interest, or preferment, so that they do not act according to their convictions, and try to get rid of what they find troublesome.

Verses 20-32 Those who despise the word of God, will soon show, as this king did, that they hate it; and, like him, they would wish it destroyed. See what enmity there is against God in the carnal mind, and wonder at his patience. The princes showed some concern, till they saw how light the king made of it. Beware of making light of God's word!

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of an impious action of King Jehoiakim's burning the roll of Jeremiah's prophecies read unto him, and the consequence of it. The order to write this roll, the time when, the contents and use of it, are in Jer 36:1-3; the writing of it by Baruch, the order of the prophet to read it to the people on such a day, with the view he had in so doing, Jer 36:4-7; the reading of it by Baruch to the people first, Jer 36:8-10; then to the princes, being sent for by them, upon a report made to them, Jer 36:11-15; the king being acquainted with it, Jehudi was sent to fetch the roll, who read it to the king, Jer 36:16-21; who having heard part of it, burnt it, notwithstanding the intercession of some of his princes to the contrary, Jer 36:22-25; and who also ordered the apprehension of Jeremiah and Baruch, who could not be found, Jer 36:26; upon this a new roll is ordered to be written, Jer 36:27,28; which was done with some additions to it, respecting the destruction of the land, and the people in it, by the Chaldeans; and particularly the death of the king, and his want of burial, Jer 36:29-32.

Jeremiah 36 Commentaries

Complete Jewish Bible Copyright 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.