Jeremiah 36

Chapter 36[a]

Baruch Writes the Prophecies on a Scroll.[b] 1 In the fourth year of King Jehoiakim of Judah, the son of Josiah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you against Israel, Judah, and all the nations, from the day when I first spoke to you, during the reign of Josiah, until today. 3 Perhaps when the house of Judah hears about all the disasters that I intend to inflict upon them, they will all turn back from their evil ways. Then I will forgive their wickedness and their sins.

4 Then Jeremiah summoned Baruch, the son of Neriah, and dictated everything that the Lord had spoken to him so that Baruch might write it all on a scroll. 5 He also gave Baruch the following instruction. “Inasmuch as I am prevented from entering the house of the Lord, 6 you yourself must go there, and on a fast day, in the hearing of all the people in the Lord’s house, you shall read from the scroll the words of the Lord that you wrote at my dictation.

“You shall read them also in the hearing of all the people of Judah who travel there from their towns. 7 Perhaps they will then plead before the Lord, and all of them will turn from their evil ways. For great is the anger and wrath that the Lord has threatened against this people.” 8 Then Baruch, the son of Neriah, prepared to do everything that the prophet Jeremiah had ordered him about reading from the scroll the words of the Lord in the Lord’s house.

9 In the ninth month of the fifth year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, the son of Josiah, a fast before the Lord was proclaimed for all the people of Jerusalem and all those who came from the towns of Judah to Jerusalem. 10 Then Baruch read the words of Jeremiah from the scroll, in the room of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan the scribe, which was in the upper court, at the entrance of the New Gate of the Lord’s house, in the hearing of all the people.

11 When Micaiah, the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord that had been read from the scroll, 12 he went down to the king’s palace and entered the scribe’s chamber, where all the officials were in session: Elishama the scribe, Delaiah, the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan, the son of Achbor, Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah, the son of Hananiah, and all the other officials.

13 After Micaiah had reported to them all that he had heard when Baruch read from the scroll to the people, 14 the officials then sent Jehudi, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shemaliah, the son of Cushi, to say to Baruch, “Come to us and bring with you the scroll that you read publicly to the people.” Holding the scroll in his hand, Baruch, the son of Neriah, came into their presence.

15 “Sit down,” they said to him, “and read it to us.” Baruch read it to them, 16 and when they had heard all the words, they turned to one another in alarm and said to Baruch, “We must certainly report this to the king.”

17 They then asked Baruch, “Please tell us how you came to write all these words. Were they dictated to you by Jeremiah?” 18 Baruch replied, “Jeremiah dictated all these words, and I wrote them down in ink on the scroll.” 19 Then the officials said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must go into hiding, and be extremely careful not to let anyone know where you are.”

20 Leaving the scroll in the room of Elishama the scribe, the officials then went to the court of the king, and they reported all that had occurred. 21 The king sent Jehudi for the scroll, and he brought it from the room of Elishama the scribe and read it to the king and all the officials standing beside him.

22 Since it was the ninth month of the year, the king was sitting in his winter residence, and there was a fire burning in a brazier in front of him. 23 Each time Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king would cut them off with a scribe’s knife and throw them into the fire in the brazier until the entire scroll was finally consumed in the brazier’s flames.

24 However, despite hearing all these words, neither the king nor any of his officials showed the slightest alarm, nor did they tear their garments. 25 And although Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah pleaded with the king not to burn the scroll, he refused to listen to them. 26 Then the king ordered his son Jerahmeel, and Seraiah, the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah, the son of Abdeel, to arrest the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. However, the Lord had hidden them.

27 After the king had burned the scroll with all the words that Baruch had written at Jeremiah’s dictation, this word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 28 Take another scroll and inscribe on it everything that was written on the first scroll which King Jehoiakim of Judah has burned. 29 Also state clearly to Jehoiakim, the king of Judah: Thus says the Lord: You have dared to burn that scroll, saying: Why did you write in it that the king of Babylon without question will come and destroy this land and leave it devoid of men and animals?

30 Therefore, thus says the Lord about King Jehoiakim of Judah: He will have no descendant to succeed him on the throne of David, and his dead body will be exposed to the blazing heat of the day and icy frost at night. 31 I will punish him and his offspring and his attendants for their wickedness, and I will bring down on them and on the citizens of Jerusalem and on the people of Judah all the disasters with which I threatened them, because they paid no heed to my warnings.

32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at Jeremiah’s dictation all the words of the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah had burned in the fire, in addition to many more words than there had been previously.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 36:1 This third part of the Book is drawn from the memoirs of Baruch and reveals the suffering of Jeremiah in the last years of his life (605–587 B.C.). Nowhere else in the Book does the prophet appear more human, more “Christian.” His painful life joins him with the suffering Servant of Second Isaiah (Isa 53). The suffering he endured for almost twenty years made the poor and humiliated Jeremiah one of the purest anticipations of Christ.
  2. Jeremiah 36:1 When Nebuchadnezzar, scourge of God, came on the scene in 605 B.C., he brought a turning point in history.

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