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Jeremiah 36:11-19

Context

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. 1  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 2  the royal secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, 3  Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials were seated there. 36:13 Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read from the scroll in the hearing of the people. 4  36:14 All the officials sent Jehudi, who was the son of Nethaniah and the grandson of Cushi, to Baruch. They ordered him to tell Baruch, “Come here and bring with you 5  the scroll you read in the hearing of the people.” 6  So Baruch son of Neriah went to them, carrying the scroll in his hand. 7  36:15 They said to him, “Please sit down and read it to us.” So Baruch sat down and read it to them. 8  36:16 When they had heard it all, 9  they expressed their alarm to one another. 10  Then they said to Baruch, “We must certainly give the king a report about everything you have read!” 11  36:17 Then they asked Baruch, “How did you come to write all these words? Do they actually come from Jeremiah’s mouth?” 12  36:18 Baruch answered, “Yes, they came from his own mouth. He dictated all these words to me and I wrote them down in ink on this scroll.” 13  36:19 Then the officials said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must go and hide. You must not let anyone know where you are.” 14 

1 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.

2 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.

3 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).

4 tn Heb “Micaiah reported to them all the words which he heard when Baruch read from the scroll in the ears of the people.”

5 tn Heb “in your hand.”

6 tn The original has another example of a prepositioned object (called casus pendens in the grammars; cf. GKC 458 §143.b) which is intended to focus attention on “the scroll.” The Hebrew sentence reads: “The scroll which you read from it in the ears of the people take it and come.” Any attempt to carry over this emphasis into the English translation would be awkward. Likewise, the order of the two imperatives has been reversed as more natural in English.

7 tn Heb “So Baruch son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand and went to them.” The clause order has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

8 tn Or “‘to us personally’…to them personally”; Heb “‘in our ears’…in their ears.” Elsewhere this has been rendered “in the hearing of” or “where they could hear.” All three of those idioms sound unnatural in this context. The mere personal pronoun seems adequate.

9 tn Heb “all the words.”

10 tn According to BDB 808 s.v. פָּחַד Qal.1 and 40 s.v. אֶל 3.a, this is an example of the “pregnant” use of a preposition where an implied verb has to be supplied in the translation to conform the normal range of the preposition with the verb that is governing it. The Hebrew text reads: “they feared unto one another.” BDB translates “they turned in dread to each other.” The translation adopted seems more appropriate in this context.

11 tn Heb “We must certainly report to the king all these things.” Here the word דְּבָרִים (dÿvarim) must mean “things” (cf. BDB 183 s.v. דָּבָר IV.3) rather than “words” because a verbatim report of all the words in the scroll is scarcely meant. The present translation has chosen to use a form that suggests a summary report of all the matters spoken about in the scroll rather than the indefinite “things.”

12 tn Or “Did Jeremiah dictate them to you?” The words “Do they actually come from Jeremiah’s mouth?” assume that the last phrase (מִפִּיו, mippiv) is a question, either without the formal he (הֲ) interrogative (see GKC 473 §150.a and compare usage in 1 Sam 16:4; Prov 5:16) or with a letter supplied from the end of the preceding word (single writing of a letter following the same letter [haplography]; so the majority of modern commentaries). The word is missing in the Greek version. The presence of this same word at the beginning of the answer in the next verse suggests that this was a question (probably without the he [הֲ] interrogative to make it more emphatic) since the common way to answer affirmatively is to repeat the emphatic word in the question (cf. GKC 476 §150.n and compare usage in Gen 24:58). The intent of the question is to make sure that these were actually Jeremiah’s words not Baruch’s own creation (cf. Jer 42:2-3 for a similar suspicion).

13 tn The verbal forms emphasize that each word came from his mouth. The first verb is an imperfect which emphasizes repeated action in past time and the second verb is a participle which emphasizes ongoing action. However, it is a little awkward to try to express this nuance in contemporary English. Even though it is not reflected in the translation, it is noted here for future reference.

14 tn The verbs here are both direct imperatives but it sounds awkward to say “You and Jeremiah, go and hide” in contemporary English. The same force is accomplished by phrasing the statement as strong advice.



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