Jeremiah 36:4-24

4 So Jeremiah sent for Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated all the prophecies that the LORD had given him, Baruch wrote them on a scroll.
5 Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, “I am a prisoner here and unable to go to the Temple.
6 So you go to the Temple on the next day of fasting, and read the messages from the LORD that I have had you write on this scroll. Read them so the people who are there from all over Judah will hear them.
7 Perhaps even yet they will turn from their evil ways and ask the LORD ’s forgiveness before it is too late. For the LORD has threatened them with his terrible anger.”
8 Baruch did as Jeremiah told him and read these messages from the LORD to the people at the Temple.
9 He did this on a day of sacred fasting held in late autumn, during the fifth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah. People from all over Judah had come to Jerusalem to attend the services at the Temple on that day.
10 Baruch read Jeremiah’s words on the scroll to all the people. He stood in front of the Temple room of Gemariah, son of Shaphan the secretary. This room was just off the upper courtyard of the Temple, near the New Gate entrance.
11 When Micaiah son of Gemariah and grandson of Shaphan heard the messages from the LORD,
12 he went down to the secretary’s room in the palace where the administrative officials were meeting. Elishama the secretary was there, along with Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Acbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials.
13 When Micaiah told them about the messages Baruch was reading to the people,
14 the officials sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah, grandson of Shelemiah and great-grandson of Cushi, to ask Baruch to come and read the messages to them, too. So Baruch took the scroll and went to them.
15 “Sit down and read the scroll to us,” the officials said, and Baruch did as they requested.
16 When they heard all the messages, they looked at one another in alarm. “We must tell the king what we have heard,” they said to Baruch.
17 “But first, tell us how you got these messages. Did they come directly from Jeremiah?”
18 So Baruch explained, “Jeremiah dictated them, and I wrote them down in ink, word for word, on this scroll.”
19 “You and Jeremiah should both hide,” the officials told Baruch. “Don’t tell anyone where you are!”
20 Then the officials left the scroll for safekeeping in the room of Elishama the secretary and went to tell the king what had happened.
21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from Elishama’s room and read it to the king as all his officials stood by.
22 It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm.
23 Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up.
24 Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard.

Jeremiah 36:4-24 Meaning and Commentary

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 36:4-24 In-Context

2 “Get a scroll, and write down all my messages against Israel, Judah, and the other nations. Begin with the first message back in the days of Josiah, and write down every message, right up to the present time.
3 Perhaps the people of Judah will repent when they hear again all the terrible things I have planned for them. Then I will be able to forgive their sins and wrongdoings.”
4 So Jeremiah sent for Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated all the prophecies that the LORD had given him, Baruch wrote them on a scroll.
5 Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, “I am a prisoner here and unable to go to the Temple.
6 So you go to the Temple on the next day of fasting, and read the messages from the LORD that I have had you write on this scroll. Read them so the people who are there from all over Judah will hear them.
7 Perhaps even yet they will turn from their evil ways and ask the LORD ’s forgiveness before it is too late. For the LORD has threatened them with his terrible anger.”
8 Baruch did as Jeremiah told him and read these messages from the LORD to the people at the Temple.
9 He did this on a day of sacred fasting held in late autumn, during the fifth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah. People from all over Judah had come to Jerusalem to attend the services at the Temple on that day.
10 Baruch read Jeremiah’s words on the scroll to all the people. He stood in front of the Temple room of Gemariah, son of Shaphan the secretary. This room was just off the upper courtyard of the Temple, near the New Gate entrance.
11 When Micaiah son of Gemariah and grandson of Shaphan heard the messages from the LORD,
12 he went down to the secretary’s room in the palace where the administrative officials were meeting. Elishama the secretary was there, along with Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Acbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials.
13 When Micaiah told them about the messages Baruch was reading to the people,
14 the officials sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah, grandson of Shelemiah and great-grandson of Cushi, to ask Baruch to come and read the messages to them, too. So Baruch took the scroll and went to them.
15 “Sit down and read the scroll to us,” the officials said, and Baruch did as they requested.
16 When they heard all the messages, they looked at one another in alarm. “We must tell the king what we have heard,” they said to Baruch.
17 “But first, tell us how you got these messages. Did they come directly from Jeremiah?”
18 So Baruch explained, “Jeremiah dictated them, and I wrote them down in ink, word for word, on this scroll.”
19 “You and Jeremiah should both hide,” the officials told Baruch. “Don’t tell anyone where you are!”
20 Then the officials left the scroll for safekeeping in the room of Elishama the secretary and went to tell the king what had happened.
21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from Elishama’s room and read it to the king as all his officials stood by.
22 It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm.
23 Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up.
24 Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard.
25 Even when Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, he wouldn’t listen.
26 Then the king commanded his son Jerahmeel, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah. But the LORD had hidden them.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew in the ninth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar (also in 36:22 ). The ninth month in the fifth year of Jehoiakim’s reign occurred within the months of November and December 604 Also see note on 1:3 .
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