Baruch Reads the Lord’s Messages
1During the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king in Judah,#36:1 The fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign was 605 b.c. the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: 2“Get a scroll, and write down all my messages against Israel, Judah, and the other nations. Begin with the first message back in the days of Josiah, and write down every message, right up to the present time. 3Perhaps the people of Judah will repent when they hear again all the terrible things I have planned for them. Then I will be able to forgive their sins and wrongdoings.”
4So Jeremiah sent for Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated all the prophecies that the Lord had given him, Baruch wrote them on a scroll. 5Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, “I am a prisoner here and unable to go to the Temple. 6So you go to the Temple on the next day of fasting, and read the messages from the Lord that I have had you write on this scroll. Read them so the people who are there from all over Judah will hear them. 7Perhaps even yet they will turn from their evil ways and ask the Lord’s forgiveness before it is too late. For the Lord has threatened them with his terrible anger.”
8Baruch did as Jeremiah told him and read these messages from the Lord to the people at the Temple. 9He did this on a day of sacred fasting held in late autumn,#36:9 Hebrew in the ninth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar (also in 36:22). The ninth month in the fifth year of Jehoiakim’s reign occurred within the months of November and December 604 b.c. Also see note on 1:3. during the fifth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah. People from all over Judah had come to Jerusalem to attend the services at the Temple on that day. 10Baruch read Jeremiah’s words on the scroll to all the people. He stood in front of the Temple room of Gemariah, son of Shaphan the secretary. This room was just off the upper courtyard of the Temple, near the New Gate entrance.
11When Micaiah son of Gemariah and grandson of Shaphan heard the messages from the Lord, 12he went down to the secretary’s room in the palace where the administrative officials were meeting. Elishama the secretary was there, along with Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Acbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials. 13When Micaiah told them about the messages Baruch was reading to the people, 14the officials sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah, grandson of Shelemiah and great-grandson of Cushi, to ask Baruch to come and read the messages to them, too. So Baruch took the scroll and went to them. 15“Sit down and read the scroll to us,” the officials said, and Baruch did as they requested.
16When they heard all the messages, they looked at one another in alarm. “We must tell the king what we have heard,” they said to Baruch. 17“But first, tell us how you got these messages. Did they come directly from Jeremiah?”
18So Baruch explained, “Jeremiah dictated them, and I wrote them down in ink, word for word, on this scroll.”
19“You and Jeremiah should both hide,” the officials told Baruch. “Don’t tell anyone where you are!” 20Then the officials left the scroll for safekeeping in the room of Elishama the secretary and went to tell the king what had happened.
King Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll
21The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from Elishama’s room and read it to the king as all his officials stood by. 22It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm. 23Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. 24Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard. 25Even when Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, he wouldn’t listen.
26Then the king commanded his son Jerahmeel, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah. But the Lord had hidden them.
Jeremiah Rewrites the Scroll
27After the king had burned the scroll on which Baruch had written Jeremiah’s words, the Lord gave Jeremiah another message. He said, 28“Get another scroll, and write everything again just as you did on the scroll King Jehoiakim burned. 29Then say to the king, ‘This is what the Lord says: You burned the scroll because it said the king of Babylon would destroy this land and empty it of people and animals. 30Now this is what the Lord says about King Jehoiakim of Judah: He will have no heirs to sit on the throne of David. His dead body will be thrown out to lie unburied—exposed to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. 31I will punish him and his family and his attendants for their sins. I will pour out on them and on all the people of Jerusalem and Judah all the disasters I promised, for they would not listen to my warnings.’”
32So Jeremiah took another scroll and dictated again to his secretary, Baruch. He wrote everything that had been on the scroll King Jehoiakim had burned in the fire. Only this time he added much more!