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Jeremiah 25:1

Context
Seventy Years of Servitude for Failure to Give Heed

25:1 In the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah 1  concerning all the people of Judah. (That was the same as the first year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon.) 2 

Jeremiah 36:2

Context
36:2 “Get a scroll. 3  Write on it everything I have told you to say 4  about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations since I began to speak to you in the reign of Josiah until now. 5 

1 tn Heb “The word was to Jeremiah.” It is implicit from the context that it was the Lord’s word. The verbal expression is more in keeping with contemporary English style.

2 sn The year referred to would be 605 b.c. Jehoiakim had been placed on the throne of Judah as a puppet king by Pharaoh Necho after the defeat of Josiah at Megiddo in 609 b.c. (2 Kgs 23:34-35). According to Jer 46:2 Nebuchadnezzar defeated Necho at Carchemish in that same year. After defeating Necho, Nebuchadnezzar had hurried back to Babylon where he was made king. After being made king he then returned to Judah and attacked Jerusalem (Dan 1:1. The date given there is the third year of Jehoiakim but scholars are generally agreed that the dating there is based on a different system than the one here. It did not count the part of the year before New Year’s day as an official part of the king’s official rule. Hence, the third year there is the fourth year here.) The identity of the foe from the north referred to in general terms (4:6; 6:1; 15:12) now becomes clear.

3 sn Heb “a roll [or scroll] of a document.” Scrolls consisted of pieces of leather or parchment sewn together and rolled up on wooden rollers. The writing was written from right to left and from top to bottom in columns and the scroll unrolled from the left roller and rolled onto the right one as the scroll was read. The scroll varied in length depending on the contents. This scroll was probably not all that long since it was read three times in a single day (vv. 10-11, 15-16, 21-23).

4 sn The intent is hardly that of giving a verbatim report of everything that the Lord had told him to say or of everything that he had actually said. What the scroll undoubtedly contained was a synopsis of Jeremiah’s messages as constructed from his memory.

5 sn This refers to the messages that Jeremiah delivered during the last eighteen years of Josiah, the three month reign of Jehoahaz and the first four years of Jehoiakim’s reign (the period between Josiah’s thirteenth year [cf. 1:2] and the fourth year of Jehoiakim [v. 1]). The exact content of this scroll is unknown since many of the messages in the present book are undated. It is also not known what relation this scroll had to the present form of the book of Jeremiah, since this scroll was destroyed and another one written that contained more than this one did (cf. v. 32). Since Jeremiah continued his ministry down to the fall of Jerusalem in 587/6 b.c. (1:2) and beyond (cf. Jer 40-44) much more was added to those two scrolls even later.



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