Jeremiah 36

1 In the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah of Judah, the LORD spoke his word to Jeremiah. He said,
2 "Take a scroll, and write on it everything that I have dictated to you about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations from the time I spoke to you during the reign of Josiah until today.
3 Maybe the nation of Judah will hear about all the disasters that I plan to bring on them, and they will turn from their wicked ways. Then I will forgive their wickedness and their sins."
4 Then Jeremiah called Baruch, son of Neriah. Jeremiah dictated everything that the LORD had told him, and Baruch wrote it all down on a scroll.
5 Jeremiah told Baruch, "I'm no longer allowed to go to the LORD's temple.
6 On a day of fasting, you must read from the scroll the LORD's message that you wrote as I dictated. You must read it to the people in the LORD's temple. You must also read it to all the people of Judah when they come from their cities.
7 Maybe their prayers will come into the LORD's presence, and they will turn from their evil ways. The LORD has threatened these people with his terrifying anger and fury."
8 Baruch, son of Neriah, did as the prophet Jeremiah commanded him. In the LORD's temple he read from the scroll everything that the LORD had said.
9 In the ninth month of the fifth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah of Judah, a time for fasting was called. It was a time for all the people in Jerusalem and for everyone who was coming from any city in Judah to Jerusalem to fast in the LORD's presence.
10 Then Baruch read the scroll containing the words of Jeremiah. Baruch read it to all the people in the LORD's temple in the room of the scribe Gemariah, son of Shaphan, in the upper courtyard at the entrance of New Gate of the LORD's temple.
11 Micaiah, who was the son of Gemariah and the grandson of Shaphan, heard Baruch read from the scroll everything the LORD had said.
12 Then he went down to the scribe's room in the king's palace where all the scribes were sitting. The scribe Elishama, Delaiah (son of Shemaiah), Elnathan (son of Achbor), Gemariah (son of Shaphan), Zedekiah (son of Hananiah), and all the other officials were there.
13 Micaiah told them everything he heard Baruch read from the scroll publicly.
14 Then all the officials sent Jehudi, who was the son of Nethaniah, the grandson of Shelemiah, and the great-grandson of Cushi, to Baruch. Jehudi said to Baruch, "Bring the scroll that you read publicly, and come with me." Baruch, son of Neriah, took the scroll and went with him to see the officers.
15 They said to Baruch, "Please sit down, and read it to us." So Baruch read it to them.
16 When they heard everything, they turned to each other in terror. They said to Baruch, "We must tell the king everything."
17 Then they asked Baruch, "Please tell us how you wrote all this. Did Jeremiah dictate it to you?"
18 Baruch answered, "He dictated everything to me, and I wrote it on the scroll in ink."
19 The officials said to Baruch, "You and Jeremiah must hide. Don't let anyone know where you are."
20 After they put the scroll in the side room of the scribe Elishama, they went to the king in the courtyard and told him everything.
21 Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. He took the scroll from the side room of the scribe Elishama. Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials standing by the king.
22 It was the ninth month, and the king was in his winter house sitting in front of the fire in the fireplace.
23 As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a scribe's knife and throw them into the fire in the fireplace. He did this until the whole scroll was burned up.
24 The king and all his attendants didn't show any fear or tear their clothes in fear when they heard everything being read.
25 Even when Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he refused to listen to them.
26 The king commanded Jerahmeel (the king's son), Seraiah (son of Azriel), and Shelemiah (son of Abdeel) to arrest the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. But the LORD had hidden Baruch and Jeremiah.
27 After the king burned up the scroll that Baruch had written and that Jeremiah had dictated, the LORD spoke his word to Jeremiah. He said,
28 "Take another scroll, and write on it everything that was written on the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned.
29 Say about King Jehoiakim of Judah, 'This is what the LORD says: You burned this scroll, and you asked Jeremiah, "Why did you write that the king of Babylon will certainly come to destroy this land and take away people and animals?"
30 This is what the LORD says about King Jehoiakim of Judah: He will have no one to sit on David's throne, and his own corpse will be thrown out and exposed to the heat of day and the cold of night.
31 I will punish him, his descendants, and his attendants for their wickedness. They refused to listen. So I will bring on them, on those who live in Jerusalem, and on the people of Judah all the disasters that I have threatened.'"
32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch, son of Neriah. As Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on it everything that was on the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah had burned. They added many similar messages.

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

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