Jeremiah 36:23

23 As soon as Jehudi would read three or four columns, Jehoiakim would cut the scroll[a] with a scribe's knife and throw the columns into the blazing fire until the entire scroll was consumed by the fire in the brazier.

Jeremiah 36:23 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 36:23

And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four
leaves
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


FOOTNOTES:

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.

Jeremiah 36:23 In-Context

21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the scribe. Jehudi then read it in the hearing of the king and all the officials who were standing by the king.
22 Since it was the ninth month, the king was sitting in his winter quarters with a fire burning in front of him.
23 As soon as Jehudi would read three or four columns, Jehoiakim would cut the scroll with a scribe's knife and throw the columns into the blazing fire until the entire scroll was consumed by the fire in the brazier.
24 As they heard all these words, the king and all of his servants did not become terrified or tear their garments.
25 Even though Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah had urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Lit columns, he would tear it