King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Jeremiah 36

Baruch is to write the prophecies of Jeremiah. (1-8) The princes advise them to hide themselves. (9-19) The king having heard a part, burns the roll. (20-32)

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Baruch is to write the prophecies of Jeremiah

1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

2 Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.

3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.

4 Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.

5 And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the LORD:

6 Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the LORD’s house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities.

7 It may be they will present their supplication before the LORD, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the LORD hath pronounced against this people.

8 And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the LORD in the LORD’s house.

The princes advise them to hide themselves

9 And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the LORD to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem.

10 Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the LORD’s house, in the ears of all the people.

11 When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book all the words of the LORD,

12 Then he went down into the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber: and, lo, all the princes sat there, even Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, and Elnathan the son of Achbor, and Gemariah the son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes.

13 Then Michaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people.

14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them.

15 And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears.

16 Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words.

17 And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth?

18 Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book.

19 Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye be.

The king having heard a part, burns the roll

20 And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king.

21 So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.

22 Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.

23 And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.

24 Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.

25 Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll: but he would not hear them.

26 But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the LORD hid them.

27 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying,

28 Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.

29 And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast?

30 Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.

31 And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not.

32 Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Fourth, towards the conclusion, after the siege was raised. v. 6. 9.

Ver. 2. Write. He had already prophesied 22 years. Now he was more frequently ordered to write. C. — He executed the order by the hand of Baruch. v. 4.

Ver. 3. If. This indicates free-will. H. — God makes this last effort, that the hearing of so many separate prophecies together might make a deeper impression.

Ver. 4. Book. This was afterwards burnt. What he wrote a second time has not come down to us, in the same order. Jeremias made us of his memory, which was directed by the Holy Spirit. C.

Ver. 5. Shut up. Not that the prophet was now in prison; for the contrary appears from v. 19. but that he kept himself shut up, by reason of the persecutions he had lately met with. See C. xxvi. Ch. — If he had been confined, as Grotius asserts, the king would easily have found him. C. — He and Baruch retired to some secret place, as most priests (W.) did formerly in England, (H.) that they might better exercise their functions than they could do in the hands of the persecutors. W.

Ver. 6. Read. This may sometimes have as good an effect as preaching without a book. H. — Fasting day of expiation, (Usher, A. 3398) or rather on (H.) the day prescribed in the 9th month. v. 9. Lyran. T.

Ver. 7. They. Lit. “their supplication may fall prostrate before,” &c. H. — It is personified. So Homer represents (C.) “supplications,” as daughters of Jupiter, lame, and with eyes averted, (Il. ix.) to shew how we ought to pray. Jeremias finds means to instruct the people: the word of God is not bound. 2 Tim. ii. 9. C. — As many refused to hear his discourses, God ordered him to write what might be a perpetual warning and reproach, or testimony against them. W.

Ver. 9. Fast. Probably on account of the catastrophe the second year. Dan. i. 2. Many such were afterwards appointed. Zac. vii. 3. and viii. 19. All came to Jerusalem on such occasions.

Ver. 10. Gate, on the east, (2 Par. xx. 5.) leading to the court of the priests. C.

Ver. 18. Reading. No study was requisite. H. — Ink. It formerly resembled that used by printers, (C.) being composed of soot and gum. Vitruv. vii. 10.

Ver. 19. Are. Thus they provide for the safety of the prophets, and perform their duty to the king.

Ver. 21. Read it. This was the third time. It was in vain afterwards to destroy the book.

Ver. 22. Winter-house. He was very magnificent, and had other apartments for summer. Though the climate was warm, fires would be useful in November. — Hearth. There was no chimney used, and the smoke went out by the door, or by holes at the top of the room, as we see in some old monasteries. C. — Charcoal was probably used. Bar. vi. 42.

Ver. 23. Pages. Perhaps what was written on so many skins, (H.) or sheets of paper, pasted together, and rolled up; or there might be some marks to shew the different subjects, like the sections used in the synagogue, (C.) or our chapters; though we are assured that all was formerly written without any separation even of letters. Prot. have “leaves.” H. — Heb. “doors.” C. The secretary cut and burnt the leaves by the king’s order. v. 25. W.

Ver. 24. Afraid. They saw all without any concern, not believing that God spoke to them. They did not imitate Josias. 2 Par. xxxiv. 19.

Ver. 26. Hid them, and prevented any one from betraying them. C. — He did not remove them to a place different from what they had chosen by his direction. W.

Ver. 30. None, &c. Because his son, Joachin or Jechonias, within three months after the death of his father, was carried away to Babylon, so that his reign is not worthy to be taken notice of. Ch. Theodoret. W. — He was subject to the Chaldees; his uncle took his place. Joakim had the burial of an ass. C. xii. 18. C. — None of the following princes enjoyed the glory or power of the ancient king. S. Tho. p. 3. qu. 31. a. 2. W.

Ver. 32. Before. We cannot tell what. C. — Prot. “many like words.” H.