Jeremiah 36

 

וַיְהִי בַּשָּׁנָה הָרְבִיעִת לִיהֹויָקִים בֶּן־יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה הָיָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ מֵאֵת יְהוָה   36:1

 לֵאמֹר׃

Jere. 36:1   And it was in the fourth year for Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word occurred to Jeremiah from the Lord saying,

Maybe this chapter was written (or occurred) at about the same time as or somewhat earlier than the last chapter.  It was in fact the same time as Chapter 25 and Chapter 28.

                                                                                                [Return to Jere. 37:1]            [Return to Jere. 45:1]

קַח־לְךָ מְגִלַּת־סֵפֶר וְכָתַבְתָּ אֵלֶיהָ אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר־דִּבַּרְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל־יְהוּדָה   36:2          וְעַל־כָּל־הַגֹּויִם מִיֹּום דִּבַּרְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ מִימֵי יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ וְעַד הַיֹּום הַזֶּה׃

Jere. 36:2   “Take for yourself a roll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you concerning Israel and concerning Judah and concerning all the nations from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah, and until this day.”

אוּלַי יִשְׁמְעוּ בֵּית יְהוּדָה אֵת כָּל־הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי חֹשֵׁב לַעֲשֹׂות לָהֶם לְמַעַן יָשׁוּבוּ אִישׁ מִדַּרְכֹּו   36:3     הָרָעָה וְסָלַחְתִּי לַעֲוֹנָם וּלְחַטָּאתָם׃

Jere. 36:3   “Perhaps the house of Judah will regard all the evil that I intend to do to them in order that they may turn back every one from his path of evil so I would forgive for their iniquity and for their sin.”

וַיִּקְרָא יִרְמְיָהוּ אֶת־בָּרוּךְ בֶּן־נֵרִיָּה וַיִּכְתֹּב בָּרוּךְ מִפִּי יִרְמְיָהוּ אֵת כָּל־דִּבְרֵי יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו   36:4       עַל־מְגִלַּת־סֵפֶר׃

Jere. 36:4   So Jeremiah called Baruch son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord that He had spoken to him on a roll of a book.

                                                                                                                                     [Return to Jere. 45:1]

וַיְצַוֶּה יִרְמְיָהוּ אֶת־בָּרוּךְ לֵאמֹר אֲנִי עָצוּר לֹא אוּכַל לָבֹוא בֵּית יְהוָה׃   36:5

Jere. 36:5   And Jeremiah commanded Baruch saying, “I am being restrained; I am not able to enter the house of the Lord.”

Scholars and sages have speculated as to the meaning of Jeremiah’s words, I am being restrained [or detained].  Had Jehoiakim imprisoned him?  Was he just busy with something else?  The latter seems unlikely, as he had just finished dictating all the Lord’s words from a period of at least ten years to Baruch   The former seems unlikely since it has not been mentioned in any of these chapters.  It’s far more likely that Jeremiah was afraid to venture out of his home in Anathoth.  Remember that Jeremiah readily revealed his being put in stocks by Pashhur (Jere.20:2) and Zedekiah’s restraining him in an enclosure of the guard (Jere. 32:2).

וּבָאתָ אַתָּה וְקָרָאתָ בַמְּגִלָּה אֲשֶׁר־כָּתַבְתָּ־מִפִּי אֶת־דִּבְרֵי יְהוָה בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם בֵּית יְהוָה בְּיֹום צֹום   36:6     וְגַם בְּאָזְנֵי כָל־יְהוּדָה הַבָּאִים מֵעָרֵיהֶם תִּקְרָאֵם׃

Jere. 36:6   “But you can enter and read in the roll that you have written from my mouth the words of the Lord in the ears of the people of the house of the Lord on a fast day, and you shall also read them in the ears of all of Judah coming forth from their cities.”

אוּלַי תִּפֹּל תְּחִנָּתָם לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וְיָשֻׁבוּ אִישׁ מִדַּרְכֹּו הָרָעָה כִּי־גָדֹול הָאַף וְהַחֵמָה אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר יְהוָה    36:7     אֶל־הָעָם הַזֶּה׃

Jere. 36:7   “Perhaps their supplication would be laid before the Lord that they have turned back every one from his path of evil, for the ‘anger’ and the ‘fury’ which the Lord has expressed with regard to this people is great.”

וַיַּעַשׂ בָּרוּךְ בֶּן־נֵרִיָּה כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּהוּ יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא לִקְרֹא בַסֵּפֶר דִּבְרֵי יְהוָה בֵּית יְהֹוָה׃   36:8

Jere. 36:8   And Baruch son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah, the prophet, had commanded him reading in the book the words of the Lord in the house of the Lord.

וַיְהִי בַשָּׁנָה הַחֲמִשִׁית לִיהֹויָקִים בֶּן־יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַתְּשִׁעִי קָרְאוּ צֹום לִפְנֵי יְהוָה   36:9         כָּל־הָעָם בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וְכָל־הָעָם הַבָּאִים מֵעָרֵי יְהוּדָה בִּירוּשָׁלִָם׃

Jere. 36:9   And it happened in the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month all the people in Jerusalem and all the people coming from the cities of Judah into Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the Lord.

וַיִּקְרָא בָרוּךְ בַּסֵּפֶר אֶת־דִּבְרֵי יִרְמְיָהוּ בֵּית יְהוָה בְּלִשְׁכַּת גְּמַרְיָהוּ בֶן־שָׁפָן הַסֹּפֵר בֶּחָצֵר הָעֶלְיֹון   36:10      פֶּתַח שַׁעַר בֵּית־יְהוָה הֶחָדָשׁ בְּאָזְנֵי כָּל־הָעָם׃

Jere. 36:10   Then Baruch read in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah son of Shaphan, the scribe, in the upper court, at the entrance of the new gate of the house of the Lord in the ears of all the people.

וַיִּשְׁמַע מִכָיְהוּ בֶן־גְּמַרְיָהוּ בֶן־שָׁפָן אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵי יְהוָה מֵעַל הַסֵּפֶר׃   36:11

Jere. 36:11   And Micaiah son of Gemariah son of Shaphan heard all the words of the Lord from the book,

וַיֵּרֶד בֵּית־הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל־לִשְׁכַּת הַסֹּפֵר וְהִנֵּה־שָׁם כָּל־הַשָּׂרִים יֹושְׁבִים אֱלִישָׁמָע הַסֹּפֵר וּדְלָיָהוּ   36:12              בֶן־שְׁמַעְיָהוּ וְאֶלְנָתָן בֶּן־עַכְבֹּור וּגְמַרְיָהוּ בֶן־שָׁפָן וְצִדְקִיָּהוּ בֶן־חֲנַנְיָהוּ וְכָל־הַשָּׂרִים׃

Jere. 36:12   and he went down to the house of the king by the chamber of the scribe, and behold, there were all the princes sitting, Elishama, the scribe, and Delaiah son of Shemaiah, and Elnathan son of Achbor, and Gemariah son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah son of Hananiah, with all the princes.

The Zedekiah mentioned in this verse was not the one who would soon become king of Judah.  That Zedekiah was also the son of Josiah (Jehoiakim’s brother).

וַיַּגֵּד לָהֶם מִכָיְהוּ אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר שָׁמֵעַ בִּקְרֹא בָרוּךְ בַּסֵּפֶר בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם׃   36:13

Jere. 36:13   And Micaiah reported to them all the words that he had heard when Baruch read in the book in the ears of the people.

וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ כָל־הַשָּׂרִים אֶל־בָּרוּךְ אֶת־יְהוּדִי בֶּן־נְתַנְיָהוּ בֶּן־שֶׁלֶמְיָהוּ בֶן־כּוּשִׁי לֵאמֹר הַמְּגִלָּה אֲשֶׁר   36:14       קָרָאתָ בָּהּ בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם קָחֶנָּה בְיָדְךָ וָלֵךְ וַיִּקַּח בָּרוּךְ בֶּן־נֵרִיָּהוּ אֶת־הַמְּגִלָּה בְּיָדֹו וַיָּבֹא אֲלֵיהֶם׃

Jere. 36:14   Then all the princes sent Jehudi son of Nathanaih son of Shalemiah son of Cushi to Baruch saying, “The roll in which you read in the ears of all the people, take it in your hand and come.”  So Baruch son of Neriah took the roll in his hand and came to them.

וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו שֵׁב נָא וּקְרָאֶנָּה בְּאָזְנֵינוּ וַיִּקְרָא בָרוּךְ בְּאָזְנֵיהֶם׃   36:15

Jere. 36:15   And they said to him, “Sit now and read it in our ears.”  So Baruch read in their ears.

וַיְהִי כְּשָׁמְעָם אֶת־כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים פָּחֲדוּ אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־בָּרוּךְ הַגֵּיד נַגִּיד לַמֶּלֶךְ אֵת   36:16

 כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה׃

Jere. 36:16   And it was after hearing all the words, they trembled, one to another, and said to Baruch, “Surely we will relate to the king all these words.”

וְאֶת־בָּרוּךְ שָׁאֲלוּ לֵאמֹר הַגֶּד־נָא לָנוּ אֵיךְ כָּתַבְתָּ אֶת־כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה מִפִּיו׃   36:17

Jere. 36:17   And they asked Baruch saying, “Describe to us now how you wrote all these words from his mouth.”

וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם בָּרוּךְ מִפִּיו יִקְרָא אֵלַי אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַאֲנִי כֹּתֵב עַל־הַסֵּפֶר בַּדְּיֹו׃   36:18

Jere. 36:18   So Baruch said to them, “From his mouth he recited to me all these words as I was writing on the book in ink.”

וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַשָּׂרִים אֶל־בָּרוּךְ לֵךְ הִסָּתֵר אַתָּה וְיִרְמְיָהוּ וְאִישׁ אַל־יֵדַע אֵיפֹה אַתֶּם׃   36:19

Jere. 36:19   Then the princes said to Baruch, “Go hide, you and Jeremiah, and do not let any one know where you are.”

וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ חָצֵרָה וְאֶת־הַמְּגִלָּה הִפְקִדוּ בְּלִשְׁכַּת אֱלִישָׁמָע הַסֹּפֵר וַיַּגִּידוּ בְּאָזְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵת   36:20       כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים׃

Jere. 36:20   Then they went to the court of the king but they deposited the roll in the chamber of Elishama, the scribe; then they related in the ears of the king all the words.

וַיִּשְׁלַח הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־יְהוּדִי לָקַחַת אֶת־הַמְּגִלָּה וַיִּקָּחֶהָ מִלִּשְׁכַּת אֱלִישָׁמָע הַסֹּפֵר וַיִּקְרָאֶהָ יְהוּדִי   36:21           בְּאָזְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וּבְאָזְנֵי כָּל־הַשָּׂרִים הָעֹמְדִים מֵעַל הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

Jere. 36:21   Then the king sent Jehudi to get the roll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama, the scribe.   And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king and in the ears of the princes standing near the king.

וְהַמֶּלֶךְ יֹושֵׁב בֵּית הַחֹרֶף בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַתְּשִׁיעִי וְאֶת־הָאָח לְפָנָיו מְבֹעָרֶת׃   36:22

Jere. 36:22   Now the king was dwelling in the winter house in the ninth month, and the firepit was being kindled before him.

The four Hebrew words ending this verse, translated by me as and the firepit was being kindled before him, have an unmatched gender in two of the words.  Other translations ignore the mismatch, showing something like and the fire pot was burning before him.  It turns out that the word for firepit is masculine and the word for being kindled is feminine.  To me this mismatch means that a female was kindling the fire.  Maybe not too significant in the overall scheme of things, but I think it sheds some light on the life of the king and his servants.

וַיְהִי כִּקְרֹוא יְהוּדִי שָׁלֹשׁ דְּלָתֹות וְאַרְבָּעָה יִקְרָעֶהָ בְּתַעַר הַסֹּפֵר וְהַשְׁלֵךְ אֶל־הָאֵשׁ אֲשֶׁר אֶל־הָאָח   36:23 עַד־תֹּם כָּל־הַמְּגִלָּה עַל־הָאֵשׁ אֲשֶׁר עַל־הָאָח׃

Jere. 36:23   And it was after Jehudi was done reading three columns or four, he cut it with a razor of the scribe and cast down to the fire that was in the firepit until the whole roll was consumed by the fire that was on the firepit.

וְלֹא פָחֲדוּ וְלֹא קָרְעוּ אֶת־בִּגְדֵיהֶם הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל־עֲבָדָיו הַשֹּׁמְעִים אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה׃   36:24

Jere. 36:24   And the king and his servants hearing all these words were not afraid and not did rend their garments.

וְגַם אֶלְנָתָן וּדְלָיָהוּ וּגְמַרְיָהוּ הִפְגִּעוּ בַמֶּלֶךְ לְבִלְתִּי שְׂרֹף אֶת־הַמְּגִלָּה וְלֹא שָׁמַע אֲלֵיהֶם׃   36:25

Jere. 36:25   Yet also Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had pleaded with the king to not burn the roll but he had not listened to them.

וַיְצַוֶּה הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־יְרַחְמְאֵל בֶּן־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶת־שְׂרָיָהוּ בֶן־עַזְרִיאֵל וְאֶת־שֶׁלֶמְיָהוּ בֶּן־עַבְדְּאֵל לָקַחַת   36:26        אֶת־בָּרוּךְ הַסֹּפֵר וְאֵת יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא וַיַּסְתִּרֵם יְהוָה׃

Jere. 36:26   Then the king commanded Jerahmeel, the son of the king, and Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel, to get Baruch, the scribe, and Jeremiah, the prophet, but the Lord had hidden them.

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ אַחֲרֵי שְׂרֹף הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־הַמְּגִלָּה וְאֶת־הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר כָּתַב בָּרוּךְ מִפִּי   36:27 יִרְמְיָהוּ לֵאמֹר׃

Jere. 36:27   Then the word of the Lord occurred to Jeremiah after the king had burned the roll and the words that Baruch had written from the mouth of Jeremiah saying,

שׁוּב קַח־לְךָ מְגִלָּה אַחֶרֶת וּכְתֹב עָלֶיהָ אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָרִאשֹׁנִים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ עַל־הַמְּגִלָּה   36:28          הָרִאשֹׁנָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂרַף יְהֹויָקִים מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה׃

Jere. 36:28   “Take again another roll for yourself and write on it all the first words that Jehoiakim, king of Judah had burned.”

וְעַל־יְהֹויָקִים מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה תֹאמַר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אַתָּה שָׂרַפְתָּ אֶת־הַמְּגִלָּה הַזֹּאת לֵאמֹר מַדּוּעַ   36:29 כָּתַבְתָּ עָלֶיהָ לֵאמֹר בֹּא־יָבֹוא מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל וְהִשְׁחִית אֶת־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וְהִשְׁבִּית מִמֶּנָּה אָדָם וּבְהֵמָה׃

Jere. 36:29   “And about Jehoiakim, king of Judah, you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord:  You burned this roll saying, ‘Why did you write on it saying, ‘Surely the king of Babylon shall come and destroy this land and put an end to man and beast from it?’”

לָכֵן כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה עַל־יְהֹויָקִים מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה לֹא־יִהְיֶה־לֹּו יֹושֵׁב עַל־כִּסֵּא דָוִד וְנִבְלָתֹו תִּהְיֶה   36:30             מֻשְׁלֶכֶת לַחֹרֶב בַּיֹּום וְלַקֶּרַח בַּלָּיְלָה׃

Jere. 36:30   “Therefore, Thus says the Lord about Jehoiakim, king of Judah:  There shall be none of his sitting upon the throne of David, and his corpse shall be rotting in the dry heat by day and in the damp cold by night.”

וּפָקַדְתִּי עָלָיו וְעַל־זַרְעֹו וְעַל־עֲבָדָיו אֶת־עֲוֹנָם וְהֵבֵאתִי עֲלֵיהֶם וְעַל־יֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְאֶל־אִישׁ   36:31         יְהוּדָה אֵת כָּל־הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר־דִּבַּרְתִּי אֲלֵיהֶם וְלֹא שָׁמֵעוּ׃

Jere. 36:31   “And I will visit upon him and upon his seed and upon his servants their iniquity, and I will bring upon them and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem and upon every one of Judah all the evil that I have declared against them, and they do not understand.”

וְיִרְמְיָהוּ לָקַח מְגִלָּה אַחֶרֶת וַיִּתְּנָהּ אֶל־בָּרוּךְ בֶּן־נֵרִיָּהוּ הַסֹּפֵר וַיִּכְתֹּב עָלֶיהָ מִפִּי יִרְמְיָהוּ אֵת   36:32          כָּל־דִּבְרֵי הַסֵּפֶר אֲשֶׁר שָׂרַף יְהֹויָקִים מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה בָּאֵשׁ וְעֹוד נֹוסַף עֲלֵיהֶם דְּבָרִים רַבִּים כָּהֵמָּה׃

Jere. 36:32   Then Jeremiah took another roll and gave it to Baruch son of Neriah, the scribe, and he wrote on it from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book that Jehoiakim, king of Judah, had burned in the fire, and many more words like them were added besides them.

Now here’s a potential basis for heresy if I ever saw one:  They added many more words to what had been written before?  First of all, they weren’t supposed to do this.  The Lord had instructed them to write the same words again (v. 36:28).  Should He have also told them not to add any additional words?  He didn’t, so we may be able to forgive Jeremiah and the scribe.  But what of the sanctity of the words of the Lord?  Should they be added to by a human?  If it is this book of Jeremiah that is being described here, and I’m quite certain it isn’t, it brings into question how accurately the Lord’s words were written and whether much was added or changed by the prophet or scribe.  Well, I suppose we can be lenient and assume that it was not the book of Jeremiah that is being described here, but some abbreviated version.  ....  Does that really get them --  and us -- off the hook though?  I leave you to ponder this and its potentially crucial consequences.

 

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