Jeremiah 36

Jeremiah Dictates a Scroll

1 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord:
2 "Take a scroll,[a] and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah, and all the nations from the time I [first] spoke to you during Josiah's reign until today.
3 Perhaps, when the house of Judah hears about all the disaster I am planning to bring on them, each one of them will turn from his evil way. Then I will forgive their wrongdoing[b] and sin."
4 So Jeremiah summoned Baruch[c] son of Neriah. At Jeremiah's dictation,[d] Baruch wrote on a scroll all the words the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah.
5 Then Jeremiah commanded Baruch, "I am restricted; I cannot enter the temple of the Lord,
6 so you must go and read from the scroll-which you wrote at my dictation[e]-the words of the Lord in the hearing of the people at the temple of the Lord on a day of fasting. You must also read them in the hearing of all the Judeans who are coming from their cities.
7 Perhaps their petition will come before the Lord,[f] and each one will turn from his evil way, for the anger and fury that the Lord has pronounced against this people are great."
8 So Baruch son of Neriah did everything Jeremiah the prophet had commanded him. At the Lord's temple he read the Lord's words from the scroll.

Baruch Reads the Scroll

9 In the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people of Jerusalem and all those coming in from Judah's cities into Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the Lord.
10 Then at the Lord's temple, in the chamber of Gemariah son of Shaphan the scribe,[g] in the upper courtyard at the opening of the New Gate[h] of the Lord's temple, in the hearing of all the people, Baruch read Jeremiah's words from the scroll.
11 When Micaiah son of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the scroll,
12 he went down to the scribe's chamber in the king's palace. All the officials were sitting there-Elishama the scribe, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials.
13 Micaiah reported to them all the words he had heard when Baruch read from the scroll in the hearing of the people.
14 Then all the officials sent [word] to Baruch through Jehudi son of Nethaniah, son of Shelemiah, son of Cushi, saying, "Bring the scroll that you read in the hearing of the people, and come." So Baruch son of Neriah took the scroll and went to them.
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?"[i]
18 Baruch said to them, "At his dictation.[j] He recited all these words to me while I was writing on the scroll in ink."

Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll

19 The officials said to Baruch, "You and Jeremiah must hide yourselves and tell no one where you are."
20 Then they came to the king at the courtyard, having deposited the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and reported everything in the hearing of the king.
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[k] with a fire burning in front of him.
23 As soon as Jehudi would read three or four columns, Jehoiakim would cut the scroll[l] 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.
26 Then the king commanded Jerahmeel the king's son, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord had hidden them.

Jeremiah Dictates Another Scroll

27 After the king had burned the scroll with the words Baruch had written at Jeremiah's dictation,[m] the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:
28 "Take another scroll, and once again write on it the very words that were on the original scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah burned.
29 You are to proclaim concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: This is what the Lord says: You have burned the scroll, saying: Why have you written on it: The king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land and cause it to be without man or beast?
30 Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He will have no one to sit on David's throne, and his corpse will be thrown out [to be exposed] to the heat of day and the frost of night.[n]
31 I will punish him, his descendants, and his officers for their wrongdoing. I will bring on them, on the residents of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah all the disaster, which I warned them about but they did not listen."
32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch son of Neriah, the scribe, and he wrote on it at Jeremiah's dictation[o] all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim, Judah's king, had burned in the fire. And many other words like them were added.

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!

Footnotes 15

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 36

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