Jeremiah 36


God commands Jeremiah to write down in one roll or volume all

the predictions he had uttered against Israel and Judah, and

all the surrounding nations, from the day of his vocation to

the prophetic office, that the house of Judah might have

abundant warning of the dreadful calamities with which their

country was about to be visited, if not prevented by a timely

repentance, 1-3.

The prophet employs Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, to

write from his mouth all the words of the Lord, and then to

read them publicly upon a fast day in the Lord's house, 4-8.

A general fast is proclaimed in the following year, viz., the

fifth year of the reign of Jeheiakim; upon which occasion

Baruch, in obedience to the prophet's command, reads the words

of Jeremiah to all the people at the entry of the new gate of

the temple, 9, 10.

The princes, hearing of this, send for Baruch, who reads the

roll to them; at the contents of which they are greatly

alarmed, and solemnly resolve to give information to the king,

at the same time advising both the prophet and his scribe to

hide themselves, 11-19.

Jehoiakim likewise having sent for the roll, Jehudi reads to

him a part; and then the king, though advised to the contrary

by some of has princes, having cut the leaves, throws the whole

into the fire, 20-25,

and orders Jeremiah and Baruch to be seized; but they could not

be found, because a special providence of God had concealed

them, 26.

Jeremiah is commanded to re-write his prophecies, and to

denounce the judgments of God against the king who had

destroyed the first roll, 27-31.

Baruch accordingly writes from the mouth of Jeremiah a new

copy, with numerous additions, 32.


Verse 1. And it came to pass in the fourth year] About the end

of this year, see Jer 36:9. This discourse also bears its own

date, and was probably delivered at a time when the people

enjoyed peace, and were about to celebrate one of their annual


Verse 2. Take thee a roll of a book] Take a sufficient quantity

of parchment; cut and stitch it together, that it may make a roll

on which to write the words that I have already spoken, that they

may serve for a testimony to future generations. The Jewish rolls,

several of which now lie before me, were made of vellum, or of

sheep-skins dressed in the half-tanned or Basil manner. These

were cut into certain lengths, and those parts were all stitched

together, and rolled upon a roller. The matter was written on

these skins in columns or pages. Sometimes two rollers are used,

that as the matter is read from the roll in the left hand, the

reader may coil it on the roller in his right. In this form the

Pentateuch is written which is read in the synagogues.

Verse 3. It may be that the house of Judah will hear] It was yet

possible to avert the judgments which had been so often denounced

against them. But in order to this they must-1. Hear what God has

spoken. 2. Every man turn from his evil way. 3. If they do so, God

graciously promises to forgive their iniquity and their sin.

Verse 4. Then Jeremiah called Baruch] This man, so useful to the

prophet, and so faithfully attached to him, was by office a

scribe; which signifies, not only a writer, but also a man in

office; a chancellor, secretary, &c., a learned man; one

acquainted with laws and customs.

Verse 6. Upon the fasting day] A day when multitudes of people

would be gathered together from all parts to implore the mercy of

God. This was a favourable time to read these tremendous


Verse 7. Present their supplication] "Let their supplication

fall," that they may fall down before God, and deplore their sins.

Verse 9. In the ninth month] Answering to a part of our


Verse 10. In the chamber of Gemariah] He was one of the princes

of Judah. See Jer 36:12.

Verse 17. How didst thou write all these words?-At his mouth?]

So the text should be pointed. They wished to know whether he had

not copied them, or whether he wrote as Jeremiah prophesied.

Verse 19. Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah] They saw that the

king would be displeased, and most probably seek their lives; and

as they believed the prophecy was from God, they wished to save

both the prophet and his scribe; but they were obliged to inform

the king of what they had heard.

Verse 22. Winterhouse] A warm apartment suited to the season of

the year, (December,) when in Palestine there is often snow upon

the ground, though it does not last long. A fire on the hearth-a

pan or brazier of burning coals. This is the case to the present

day. In cold weather the rich burn wood in brass or earthen pans,

placed in any part of the room; the indigent burn sticks on the


Verse 23. When Jehudi had read three or four leaves] Rather

columns; for the law, and the sacred Hebrew Books, are written in

columns of a certain breadth. delathoth, signifies gates

or openings between column and column, or between section and


He cut it with the penknife] bethaar hassopher, "the

knife of the scribe," properly enough penknife.

And cast it into the fire] To show his contempt for God's words.

Verse 25. Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah] Three of the

princes wished to save the roll, and entreated the king that it

might not be burnt. They would have saved it out of the fire, but

the king would not permit it to be done.

Verse 26. But the Lord hid them.] They had, at the counsel of

some of the princes, hidden themselves, Jer 36:19. And now,

though a diligent search was made, the Lord did not permit them to

be found.

Verse 28. Take thee again another roll] There was no duplicate

of the former preserved; and now God inspired the prophet with the

same matter that he had given him before; and there is to be added

the heavy judgment that is to fall on Jehoiakim and his courtiers.

Verse 30. He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David] He

shall have no successor, and himself shall have an untimely end,

and shall not even be buried, but his body be exposed to the open

air, both night and day. He who wishes to hide his crimes, or take

away the evidence which is against him, adds thereby to his

iniquities, and is sure in consequence to double his punishment.

See the threatening against Jehoiakim, Jer 22:19, and

See Clarke on Jer 22:19.

Verse 32. There were added-many like words.] All the first roll,

with many other threatenings, and perhaps more minute declarations

which were merely of a temporary importance and local application;

and the Holy Spirit did not think proper to record them here.

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