Jeremiah 36

1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, the king of Judah, [that] this word came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying,
2 Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.
3 It may be the house of Judah will hear all the evil that I purpose to do unto them, that they may return every man from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
4 And Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Nerijah; and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of Jehovah, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.
5 And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up, I cannot go into the house of Jehovah; but go thou in,
6 and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of Jehovah in the ears of the people in the house of Jehovah upon the fast day; and thou shalt also read them in the ears of all Judah that come from their cities.
7 It may be they will present their supplication before Jehovah, and that they will return every one from his evil way; for great is the anger and the fury that Jehovah hath pronounced against this people.
8 And Baruch the son of Nerijah did according to all that the prophet Jeremiah commanded him, reading in the book the words of Jehovah in Jehovah's house.
9 And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, the king of Judah, in the ninth month, [that] they proclaimed a fast before Jehovah, for all the people in Jerusalem, and for all the people that came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem.
10 And Baruch read in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of Jehovah, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court, at the entry of the new gate of the house of Jehovah, in the ears of all the people.
11 And Micah the son of Gemariah the son of Shaphan heard out of the book all the words of Jehovah;
12 and he went down to the king's house, into the scribe's chamber, and behold, all the princes were sitting there: Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, and Elnathan the son of Achbor, and Gemariah the son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes.
13 And Micah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read in the book in the ears of the people.
14 And all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thy hand the roll in which thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. And Baruch the son of Nerijah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them.
15 And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. And Baruch read [it] in their ears.
16 And it came to pass, when they heard all the words, they turned in fear one toward another, and said unto Baruch, We will certainly report to the king all these words.
17 And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words from his mouth?
18 And Baruch said unto them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote [them] with ink in the book.
19 And the princes said unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; that none may know where ye are.
20 And they went in unto the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe; and they told all the words in the ears of the king.
21 And the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll, and he fetched it out of the chamber of Elishama the scribe. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes that stood beside the king.
22 Now the king was sitting in the winter-house in the ninth month, and with the fire-pan burning before him.
23 And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four columns, he cut it with the scribe's knife, and cast it into the fire that was in the pan until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was in the pan.
24 And they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, [neither] the king nor any of his servants that heard all these words.
25 Moreover, Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll; but he would not hear them.
26 And the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet; but Jehovah hid them.
27 And after that the king had burned the roll, and the words that Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, saying,
28 Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.
29 And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith Jehovah: Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from it man and beast?
30 Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David; and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.
31 And I will visit their iniquity upon him, and upon his seed, and upon his servants; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; and they have not hearkened.
32 And Jeremiah took another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Nerijah; and he wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah, all the words of the book that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire; and there were added besides unto them many like 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!

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Lit. 'their supplication will fall.'
  • [b]. Lit. 'before the face of.'
  • [c]. Or 'pages.'
  • [d]. Or 'son of the king;' one of the royal family: see ch. 38.6.

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