36:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year 1 that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 2 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 36:3 Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about all the disaster I intend to bring on them, they will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. 6 If they do, I will forgive their sins and the wicked things they have done.” 7
36:4 So Jeremiah summoned Baruch son of Neriah. Then Jeremiah dictated to Baruch everything the Lord had told him to say and Baruch wrote it all down in a scroll. 8 36:5 Then Jeremiah told Baruch, “I am no longer allowed to go 9 into the Lord’s temple. 36:6 So you go there the next time all the people of Judah come in from their towns to fast 10 in the Lord’s temple. Read out loud where all of them can hear you what I told you the Lord said, which you wrote in the scroll. 11
36:20 The officials put the scroll in the room of Elishama, the royal secretary, for safekeeping. 12 Then they went to the court and reported everything 13 to the king. 14 36:21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. He went and got it from the room of Elishama, the royal secretary. Then he himself 15 read it to the king and all the officials who were standing around him. 36:22 Since it was the ninth month of the year, the king was sitting in his winter quarters. 16 A fire was burning in the firepot in front of him. 17 36:23 As soon as Jehudi had read three or four columns 18 of the scroll, the king 19 would cut them off with a penknife 20 and throw them on the fire in the firepot. He kept doing so until the whole scroll was burned up in the fire. 21 36:24 Neither he nor any of his attendants showed any alarm when they heard all that had been read. Nor did they tear their clothes to show any grief or sorrow. 22
36:27 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after Jehoiakim had burned the scroll containing what Jeremiah had spoken and Baruch had written down. 23 36:28 “Get another 24 scroll and write on it everything 25 that was written on the original scroll 26 that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned. 36:29 Tell King Jehoiakim of Judah, ‘The Lord says, “You burned the scroll. You asked 27 Jeremiah, ‘How dare you write in this scroll that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land and wipe out all the people and animals on it?’” 28 36:30 So the Lord says concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah, “None of his line will occupy the throne of David. 29 His dead body will be thrown out to be exposed to scorching heat by day and frost by night. 30 36:31 I will punish him and his descendants and the officials who serve him for the wicked things they have done. 31 I will bring on them, the citizens of Jerusalem, 32 and the people of Judah all the disaster that I threatened to do to them. I will punish them because I threatened them but they still paid no heed.”’” 33 36:32 Then Jeremiah got another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah. As Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on this scroll everything that had been on the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned in the fire. They also added on this scroll several other messages of the same kind. 34
1 sn The fourth year that Jehoiakim…was ruling over Judah would have been 605/4
2 tn Heb “This word came to Jeremiah from the
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
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
6 tn Heb “will turn each one from his wicked way.”
7 tn Heb “their iniquity and their sin.”
8 tn Heb “Then Baruch wrote down on a scroll from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the
9 tn Heb “I am restrained; I cannot go into.” The word “restrained” is used elsewhere in Jeremiah of his being confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse (33:1; 39:15). However, that occurred only later during the tenth year of Zedekiah (Jer 32:1-2) and Jeremiah appears here to be free to come and go as he pleased (vv. 19, 26). The word is used in the active voice of the
10 sn Regular fast days were not a part of Israel’s religious calendar. Rather fast days were called on special occasions, i.e., in times of drought or a locust plague (Joel 1:14; 2:15), or during a military crisis (2 Chr 20:3), or after defeat in battle (1 Sam 31:13; 2 Sam 1:12). A fast day was likely chosen for the reading of the scroll because the people would be more mindful of the crisis they were in and be in more of a repentant mood. The events referred to in the study note on v. 1 would have provided the basis for Jeremiah’s anticipation of a fast day when the scroll could be read.
11 tn Heb “So you go and read from the scroll which you have written from my mouth the words of the
12 tn Heb “they deposited.” For the usage of the verb here see BDB 824 s.v. פָּקַד Hiph.2.b and compare the usage in Jer 37:21 where it is used for “confining” Jeremiah in the courtyard of the guardhouse.
14 tn Both here and in the next verse the Hebrew has “in the ears of” before “the king” (and also before “all the officials”). As in v. 15 these words are not represented in the translation due to the awkwardness of the idiom in contemporary English (see the translator’s note on v. 15).
15 tn Heb “and Jehudi read it.” However, Jehudi has been the subject of the preceding; so it would be awkward in English to use the personal subject. The translation has chosen to bring out the idea that Jehudi himself read it by using the reflexive.
16 tn Heb “in the autumn house.” Commentators are agreed that this was not a separate building or palace but the winter quarters in the palace.
sn Larger houses, including the palace, were two-storied buildings with a lower quarters better suited for the cold of winter and an upper quarters which was better ventilated to provide cool in the summer. Since this was the ninth month (December) the king had taken up residence in the lower, warmer quarters which were equipped with a portable fire pot or brazier to keep him warm.
17 tc Heb “the fire in the firepot was burning before him.” The translation assumes that the word “fire” (אֵשׁ, ’esh) has dropped out after the particle אֶת (’et) because of the similar beginnings of the two words. The word “fire” is found in the Greek, Syriac, and Targumic translations according to BHS. The particle אֵת should be retained rather than dropped as an erroneous writing of אֵשׁ. Its presence is to be explained as the usage of the sign of the accusative introducing a new subject (cf. BDB 85 s.v. אֶת 3.α and compare the usage in 27:8; 38:16 [in the Kethib]; 45:4).
18 tn Heb “doors.” This is the only time the word “door” is used in this way but all the commentaries and lexicons agree that it means “columns.” The meaning is figurative based on the similarity of shape.
19 tn Heb “he.” The majority of commentaries and English versions are agreed that “he” is the king. However, since a penknife (Heb “a scribe’s razor”) is used to cut the columns off, it is possible that Jehudi himself did it. However, even if Jehudi himself did it, he was acting on the king’s orders.
20 sn Heb “a scribe’s razor.” There is some irony involved here since a scribe’s razor was used to trim the sheets to be sewn together, scrape them in preparation for writing, and to erase errors. What was normally used to prepare the scroll was used to destroy it.
21 tn Heb “until the whole scroll was consumed upon the fire which was in the fire pot.”
22 tn Heb “Neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words were afraid or tore their clothes.” The sentence has been broken up into two shorter sentences to better conform to English style and some of the terms explained (e.g., tore their clothes) for the sake of clarity.
sn There are some interesting wordplays and contrasts involved here. The action of the king and his attendants should be contrasted with that of the officials who heard the same things read (v. 16). The king and his officials did not tear their garments in grief and sorrow; instead the king cut up the scroll (the words “tear” and “cut off” are the same in Hebrew [קָרַע, qara’]). Likewise, the actions of Jehoiakim and his attendants is to be contrasted with that of his father Josiah who some twenty or more years earlier tore his clothes in grief and sorrow (2 Kgs 22:11-20) and led the people in renewing their commitment to the covenant (2 Kgs 23:1-3). That was what the
23 tn Heb “Then the word of the
24 tn Heb “Return, take another.” The verb “return” is used in the sense of repetition “take again” (cf. BDB 998 s.v. שׁוּב Qal.8). The idea is already contained in “Get another” so most modern English versions do not represent it.
25 tn Heb “all the former words/things.”
26 tn Heb “first [or former] scroll.”
27 tn Or “In essence you asked.” For explanation see the translator’s note on the end of the verse.
28 tn Heb “You burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why did you write on it, saying, “The king of Babylon will certainly come [the infinitive absolute before the finite verb expresses certainty here as several places elsewhere in Jeremiah] and destroy this land and exterminate from it both man and beast.”’” The sentence raises several difficulties for translating literally. I.e., the “you” in “why did you write” is undefined, though it obviously refers to Jeremiah. The gerund “saying” that introduces ‘Why did you write’ does not fit very well with “you burned the scroll.” Gerunds of this sort are normally explanatory. Lastly, there is no indication in the narrative that Jehoiakim ever directly asked Jeremiah this question. In fact, he had been hidden out of sight so Jehoiakim couldn’t confront him. The question is presented rhetorically, expressing Jehoiakim’s thoughts or intents and giving the rational for burning the scroll, i.e., he questioned Jeremiah’s right to say such things. The translation has attempted to be as literal as possible without resolving some of these difficulties. One level of embedded quotes has been eliminated for greater simplicity. For the rendering of “How dare you” for the interrogative “why do you” see the translator’s note on 26:9.
29 sn This prophesy was not “totally” fulfilled because his son Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) did occupy the throne for three months (2 Kgs 23:8). However, his rule was negligible and after his capitulation and exile to Babylon, he himself was promised that neither he nor his successors would occupy the throne of David (cf. Jer 22:30; and see the study notes on 22:24, 30).
31 tn Heb “for their iniquity.”
33 tn Heb “all the disaster which I spoke against them and they did not listen [or obey].”
34 tn Heb “And he wrote upon it from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the scroll which Jehoiakim king of Judah burned in the fire. And many words like these were added to them besides [or further].” The translation uses the more active form in the last line because of the tendency in contemporary English style to avoid the passive. It also uses the words “everything” for “all the words” and “messages” for “words” because those are legitimate usages of these phrases, and they avoid the mistaken impression that Jeremiah repeated verbatim the words on the former scroll or repeated verbatim the messages that he had delivered during the course of the preceding twenty-three years.