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Jeremiah 36:10-12

Context
36:10 At that time Baruch went into the temple of the Lord. He stood in the entrance of the room of Gemariah the son of Shaphan who had been the royal secretary. 1  That room was in the upper court 2  near the entrance of the New Gate. 3  There, where all the people could hear him, he read from the scroll what Jeremiah had said. 4 

36:11 Micaiah, who was the son of Gemariah and the grandson of Shaphan, heard Baruch read from the scroll everything the Lord had said. 5  36:12 He went down to the chamber of the royal secretary in the king’s palace and found all the court officials in session there. Elishama 6  the royal secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, 7  Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials were seated there.

Jeremiah 36:25

Context
36:25 The king did not even listen to Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah, who had urged him not to burn the scroll. 8 

1 sn Shaphan had been the royal secretary under Jehoiakim’s father’s rule. During the course of his official duties the book of the law had been discovered and he had read it and reported its contents to Josiah who instituted sweeping reforms on the basis of his obedience to it. (See 2 Kgs 22 and note especially vv. 3, 8, 10.) If the Shaphan mentioned in 26:14 is the same person as this, Gemariah would have been the brother of the man who spoke up on Jeremiah’s behalf when the priests and prophets sought to have him killed.

2 sn It is generally agreed that this is the same as the inner court mentioned in 1 Kgs 6:36; 7:12. It is called “upper” here because it stood above (cf. 1 Kgs 7:12) the outer court where all the people were standing.

3 sn The New Gate is the same gate where Jeremiah had been accused of falsely claiming the Lord’s authority for his “treasonous” prophecies according to 26:10-11. See the study note on 26:10 for more details about the location of this gate.

4 tn The syntax of the original is complicated due to all the qualifying terms: Heb “And Baruch read from the scroll the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord in (i.e., in the entrance of) the room of Gemariah son of Shaphan the scribe in the upper court at the entrance of the New Gate in the house of the Lord in the ears of all the people.” The sentence has been broken down and restructured to contain all the same information in shorter English sentences that better conform with contemporary English style.

5 tn Heb “Micaiah son of Gemariah son of Shaphan heard all the words of the Lord from upon the scroll.” The words “heard Baruch read” are implicit from the context and are supplied in the translation for smoothness.

6 sn If, as many believe, this man was the same as the Elishama mentioned in Jer 41:1; 2 Kgs 25:25, he was also a member of the royal family.

7 sn This man has already been mentioned in Jer 26:22 as the official who was sent to Egypt to extradite the prophet Uriah that Jehoiakim had executed. Though he was instrumental in the death of that prophet, he appears to have been favorably disposed to Jeremiah or at least impressed by the seriousness of his messages, because he is one of the officials that urged Baruch and Jeremiah to hide (v. 19), and he counseled Jehoiakim not to burn the scroll (v. 25).

8 tn Heb “And also Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah urged [or had urged] the king not to burn the scroll, but he did not listen to them.” The translation attempts to lessen the clash in chronological sequencing with the preceding. This sentence is essentially a flash back to a time before the scroll was totally burned (v. 23).



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