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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 36


In the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:


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 I first spoke to you, in the days of Josiah, until today.


Perhaps, when the house of Judah hears all the evil I have in mind to do to them, they will turn back each from his evil way, so that I may forgive their wickedness and their sin.


So Jeremiah called Baruch, son of Neriah, who wrote down on a scroll, as Jeremiah dictated, all the words which the LORD had spoken to him.


In the ninth month, in the fifth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, a fast to placate the LORD was proclaimed for all the people of Jerusalem and all who came from Judah's cities to Jerusalem.


1 Then Jeremiah charged Baruch: I cannot go to the house of the LORD; I am prevented from doing so.


Do you go on the fast day and read publicly in the LORD'S house the LORD'S words from the scroll you wrote at my dictation; read them also to all the men of Judah who come up from their cities.


Perhaps they will lay their supplication before the LORD and will all turn back from their evil way; for great is the fury of anger with which the LORD has threatened this people.


Baruch, son of Neriah, did everything the prophet Jeremiah commanded; from the book-scroll he read the LORD'S words in the LORD'S house.


2 It was in the room of Gemariah, son of the scribe Shaphan, in the upper court of the LORD'S house, at the entrance of the New Temple-Gate, that Baruch publicly read the words of Jeremiah from his book.


Now Micaiah, son of Gemariah, son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the LORD read from the book.


3 So he went down to the king's palace, into the scribe's chamber, where the princes were just then in session: Elishama, the scribe, Delaiah, son of Shemaiah, Elnathan, son of Achbor, Gemariah, son of Shaphan, Zedekiah, son of Hananiah, and the other princes.


To them Micaiah reported all that he had heard Baruch read publicly from his book.


Thereupon the princes sent Jehudi, son of Nethaniah, son of Shelemiah, son of Cushi, to Baruch with the order: "Come, and bring with you the scroll you read publicly to the people." Scroll in hand, Baruch, son of Neriah, went to them.


"Sit down," they said to him, "and read it to us." Baruch read it to them,


and when they heard all its words, they were frightened and said to one another, "We must certainly tell the king all these things."


Then they asked Baruch: "Tell us, please, how you came to write down all these words."


"Jeremiah dictated all these words to me," Baruch answered them, "and I wrote them down with ink in the book."


At this the princes said to Baruch, "Go into hiding, you and Jeremiah; let no one know where you are."


Leaving the scroll in safekeeping in the room of Elishama the scribe, they entered the room where the king was. When they told him everything that had happened,


he sent Jehudi to fetch the scroll. Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the scribe, and read it to the king and to all the princes who were in attendance on the king.


Now the king was sitting in his winter house, since it was the ninth month, and fire was burning in a brazier before him.


4 Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king would cut off the piece with a scribe's knife and cast it into the fire in the brazier, until the entire roll was consumed in the fire.


Hearing all these words did not frighten the king and his ministers or cause them to rend their garments.


And though Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them,


but commanded Jerahmeel, a royal prince, and Seraiah, son of Azriel, and Shelemiah, son of Abdeel, to arrest Baruch, the secretary, and the prophet Jeremiah. But the LORD kept them concealed.


This word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after the king burned the scroll with the text Jeremiah had dictated to Baruch:


Take another scroll, and write on it everything that the first scroll contained, which Jehoiakim, king of Judah, burned up.


And against Jehoiakim, king of Judah, say this: Thus says the LORD: You burned that scroll, saying, "Why did you write on it: Babylon's king shall surely come and lay waste this land and empty it of man and beast?"


5 The LORD now says of Jehoiakim, king of Judah: No descendant of his shall succeed to David's throne; his corpse shall be cast out, exposed to the heat of day, to the cold of night.


I will punish him and his descendants and his ministers for their wickedness; against them and the citizens of Jerusalem and the men of Judah I will fulfill all the threats of evil which went unheeded.


Jeremiah took another scroll, and gave it to his secretary, Baruch, son of Neriah; he wrote on it at Jeremiah's dictation all the words contained in the book which Jehoiakim, king of Judah, had burned in the fire, and many others of the same kind in addition.



1 [5] I am prevented: probably because of his temple sermon ( Jeremiah 7:1-15), or because of temporary ritual uncleanness.

2 [10] Gemariah: member of a family friendly to Jeremiah, which had rights to a room in the fortress of the temple gateway overlooking the court of the temple; from a window in this room Baruch read Jeremiah's prophetic sermon to the people.

3 [12] The scribe's chamber: the office of the royal secretary.

4 [23] A scribe's knife: used to sharpen the reeds which were employed as pens.

5 [30] Jehoiakim's son Jehoiachin was named king, but reigned only three months; he was known better for his thirty-seven-year exile in Babylon. His corpse shall be cast out: see note on Jeremiah 22:19.

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