Jeremiah 36:17

17 Then they asked Baruch, "Tell us-how did you write all these words? At his dictation?"[a]

Jeremiah 36:17 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 36:17

And they asked Baruch
The following question, which may seem at first sight an odd, needless, and trifling one, as some have called it: saying, tell us now, how didst thou write all these words at his mouth?
this question does not regard the manner of writing them, whether with ink or not, for that they could see with their eyes, and yet Baruch's answer seems to have respect to this, as if he so understood them; nor barely the matter of them, as whether it was the substance of what was contained in the roll that Jeremiah dictated, and that only, leaving it to Baruch to use what words he would, or whether the express words were dictated by him; but rather it seems to have regard to the possibility of doing it: by the question it appears, that Baruch had told the princes that the prophet had dictated all these things to him, and he had taken them down in writing from his mouth; now they wanted more satisfaction about the truth of this matter. It was a difficulty with them how it was possible for Jeremiah to recollect so many different discourses and prophecies, delivered at different times, and some many years ago, and so readily dictate them to Baruch, as fast as he could write them; wherefore they desire he would tell them plainly and faithfully the truth of the matter, how it was, that so they might, if they could, affirm it with certainty to the king; since, if this was really fact which he had related, these prophecies originally, and the fresh dictating of them, must be from the Spirit of God, and would certainly have their accomplishment.

Jeremiah 36:17 In-Context

15 They said to him, "Sit down and read [it] in our hearing." So Baruch read [it] in their hearing.
16 When they had heard all the words, they turned to each other in fear and said to Baruch, "We must surely tell the king all these things."
17 Then they asked Baruch, "Tell us-how did you write all these words? At his dictation?"
18 Baruch said to them, "At his dictation. He recited all these words to me while I was writing on the scroll in ink."
19 The officials said to Baruch, "You and Jeremiah must hide yourselves and tell no one where you are."

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