Jehoiakim Burns Jeremiah’s Scroll
1The Lord spoke this word to Jeremiah during the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah: 2“Get a scroll. Write on it all the words I have spoken to you about Israel and Judah and all the nations. Write everything from when I first spoke to you, when Josiah was king, until now. 3Maybe the family of Judah will hear what disasters I am planning to bring on them and will stop doing wicked things. Then I would forgive them for the sins and the evil things they have done.”
4So Jeremiah called for Baruch son of Neriah. Jeremiah spoke the messages the Lord had given him, and Baruch wrote those messages on the scroll. 5Then Jeremiah commanded Baruch, “I cannot go to the Temple of the Lord. I must stay here. 6So I want you to go to the Temple of the Lord on a day when the people are fasting. Read from the scroll to all the people of Judah who come into Jerusalem from their towns. Read the messages from the Lord, which are the words you wrote on the scroll as I spoke them to you. 7Perhaps they will ask the Lord to help them. Perhaps each one will stop doing wicked things, because the Lord has announced that he is very angry with them.” 8So Baruch son of Neriah did everything Jeremiah the prophet told him to do. In the Lord’s Temple he read aloud the scroll that had the Lord’s messages written on it.
9In the ninth month of the fifth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king, a fast was announced. All the people of Jerusalem and everyone who had come into Jerusalem from the towns of Judah were supposed to give up eating to honor the Lord. 10At that time Baruch read to all the people there the scroll containing Jeremiah’s words. He read the scroll in the Temple of the Lord in the room of Gemariah son of Shaphan, a royal secretary. That room was in the upper courtyard at the entrance of the New Gate of the Temple.
11Micaiah son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the messages from the Lord that were on the scroll. 12Micaiah went down to the royal secretary’s room in the king’s palace where all of the officers were sitting: Elishama the royal secretary; Delaiah son of Shemaiah; Elnathan son of Acbor; Gemariah son of Shaphan; Zedekiah son of Hananiah; and all the other officers. 13Micaiah told those officers everything he had heard Baruch read to the people from the scroll.
14Then the officers sent a man named Jehudi son of Nethaniah to Baruch. (Nethaniah was the son of Shelemiah, who was the son of Cushi.) Jehudi said to Baruch, “Bring the scroll that you read to the people and come with me.”
So Baruch son of Neriah took the scroll and went with Jehudi to the officers. 15Then the officers said to Baruch, “Please sit down and read the scroll to us.”
So Baruch read the scroll to them. 16When the officers heard all the words, they became afraid and looked at each other. They said to Baruch, “We must certainly tell the king about these words.” 17Then the officers asked Baruch, “Tell us, please, where did you get all these words you wrote on the scroll? Did you write down what Jeremiah said to you?”
18“Yes,” Baruch answered. “Jeremiah spoke them all to me, and I wrote them down with ink on this scroll.”
19Then the officers said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must go and hide, and don’t tell anyone where you are.”
20The officers put the scroll in the room of Elishama the royal secretary. Then they went to the king in the courtyard and told him all about the scroll. 21So King Jehoiakim sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought the scroll from the room of Elishama the royal secretary and read it to the king and to all the officers who stood around the king. 22It was the ninth month of the year, so King Jehoiakim was sitting in the winter apartment. There was a fire burning in a small firepot in front of him. 23After Jehudi had read three or four columns, the king cut those columns off of the scroll with a penknife and threw them into the firepot. Finally, the whole scroll was burned in the fire. 24King Jehoiakim and his servants heard everything that was said, but they were not frightened! They did not tear their clothes to show their sorrow. 25Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah even tried to talk King Jehoiakim out of burning the scroll, but he would not listen to them. 26Instead, the king ordered Jerahmeel son of the king, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet. But the Lord had hidden them.
27So King Jehoiakim burned the scroll where Baruch had written all the words Jeremiah had spoken to him. Then the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah: 28“Get another scroll. Write all the words on it that were on the first scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah burned up. 29Also say this to Jehoiakim king of Judah: ‘This is what the Lord says: You burned up that scroll and said, “Why, Jeremiah, did you write on it ‘the king of Babylon will surely come and destroy this land and the people and animals in it’?” 30So this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim king of Judah: Jehoiakim’s descendants will not sit on David’s throne. When Jehoiakim dies, his body will be thrown out on the ground. It will be left out in the heat of the day and in the cold frost of the night. 31I will punish Jehoiakim and his children and his servants, because they have done evil things. I will bring disasters upon them and upon all the people in Jerusalem and Judah—everything I promised but which they refused to hear.’ ”
32So Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch son of Neriah, his secretary. As Jeremiah spoke, Baruch wrote on the scroll the same words that were on the scroll Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And many similar words were added to the second scroll.