The prophet Jeremiah spoke to Baruch son of Neriah while he was writing down in a scroll the words that Jeremiah spoke to him. 1 This happened in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 2
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1 sn It is unclear whether this refers to the first scroll (36:4) or the second (36:32). Perhaps from the reactions of Baruch this refers to the second scroll which was written after he had seen how the leaders had responded to the first (36:19). Baruch was from a well-placed family; his grandfather, Mahseiah (32:12) had been governor of Jerusalem under Josiah (2 Chr 34:8) and his brother was a high-ranking official in Zedekiah’s court (Jer 51:59). He himself appears to have had some personal aspirations that he could see were being or going to be jeopardized (v. 5). The passage is both a rebuke to Baruch and an encouragement that his life will be spared wherever he goes. This latter promise is perhaps the reason that the passage is placed where it is, i.e., after the seemingly universal threat of destruction of all who have gone to Egypt in Jer 44.
2 tn Heb “[This is] the word/message which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch son of Neriah when he wrote these words on a scroll from the mouth of Jeremiah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, saying.”