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Jeremiah 36:2-3

Context
36:2 “Get a scroll. 1  Write on it everything I have told you to say 2  about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations since I began to speak to you in the reign of Josiah until now. 3  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. 4  If they do, I will forgive their sins and the wicked things they have done.” 5 

1 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).

2 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.

3 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.

4 tn Heb “will turn each one from his wicked way.”

5 tn Heb “their iniquity and their sin.”

sn The offer of withdrawal of punishment for sin is consistent with the principles of Jer 18:7-8 and the temple sermon delivered early in the reign of this king (cf. 26:1-3; 7:5-7).



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