Bible Commentaries

Jeremiah 36

Verses 1-32

This chapter constitutes an interpolation in the chronological order of Jeremiah's prophesying. In detail it tells the story of the writing of the words of Jeremiah in a book to which he had incidentally made reference in his introduction to the prophecies of hope. The command had come to him in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim. He had called Baruch, to whom he had committed the deed of the purchase of the field in Anathoth, and had dictated to him all the words committed to him by Jehovah, commanding him when he had written them to go into the house of Jehovah on the fast day and read them in the hearing of the people. He was to do this because Jeremiah was unable to go.

In the fifth year of Jehoiakim's reign these words were read by Baruch at a fast proclaimed by the people. Micaiah, who heard the reading, found his way into the assembly of the princes and rehearsed to them what he had heard. They sent Jehudi to bring Baruch to them. He came and read to them the same words. Sending Baruch away, charging him to hide with Jeremiah, they retained the roll and told the king of its contents. At last Jehudi read it to the king, who angrily mutilated it and burned it in the brazier. It is possible to mutilate and even destroy a sacred writing, but it is not possible to make of none effect any word of Jehovah. Again Jeremiah dictated the messages to Baruch, adding many words to them, so that the writing was perpetuated, but Jehoiakim was doomed.