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Jer 36:1-32. BARUCH WRITES, AND READS PUBLICLY JEREMIAH'S PROPHECIES COLLECTED IN A VOLUME. THE ROLL IS BURNT BY JEHOIAKIM, AND WRITTEN AGAIN BY BARUCH AT JEREMIAH'S DICTATION.
1. fourth year--The command to write the roll was given in the fourth year, but it was not read publicly till the fifth year. As Isaiah subjoined to his predictions a history of events confirming his prophecies (Isa 36:1-22; 37:1-38; 38:1-22; 39:1-8), so Jeremiah also in the thirty-seventh through forty-third chapters; but he prefaces his history with the narrative of an incident that occurred some time ago, showing that he, not only by word, but in writing, and that twice, had testified all that he about to state as having subsequently come to pass [GROTIUS]. At the end of Jehoiakim's third year, Nebuchadnezzar enrolled an army against Jerusalem and took it in the end of the fifth or beginning of the sixth year, carrying away captive Jehoiakim, Daniel, &c. Jehoiakim returned the same year, and for three years was tributary: then he withheld tribute. Nebuchadnezzar returned and took Jerusalem, and carried off Jehoiakim, who died on the road. This harmonizes this chapter with 2Ki 24:1-20 and Da 1:1-21. See on Jer 22:19.
2. roll of a book--a book formed of prepared skins made into a roll.
Compare "volume of the book," that is, the Pentateuch
It does not follow that his prophecies were not before committed to
writing; what is implied is, they were now written together in
one volume, so as to be read continuously to the Jews in the
3. hear--consider seriously.
5. I am shut up--not in prison, for there is no account of his imprisonment under Jehoiakim, and Jer 36:19, 26 are inconsistent with it: but, "I am prevented," namely, by some hindrance; or, through fear of the king, to whose anger Baruch was less exposed, as not being the author of the prophecy.
6. go--on the following year
7. present . . . supplication--literally, "supplication shall fall"; alluding to the prostrate attitude of the supplicants (De 9:25; Mt 26:39), as petitioners fall at the feet of a king in the East. So Hebrew, Jer 38:26; Da 9:18, Margin.
9. they proclaimed . . . to all the people . . . to all, &c.--rather, "all the people . . . all the people proclaimed a fast" [MICHAELIS]. The chiefs appointed the fast by the wish of the people. In either version the ungodly king had no share in appointing the fast.
10. chamber--Baruch read from the window or balcony of the chamber
looking into the court where the people were assembled. However, some of
the chambers were large enough to contain a considerable number
12. scribe's chamber--an apartment in the palace occupied by the
secretary of state.
14. Jehudi--of a good family, as appears from his pedigree being given
so fully, but in a subordinate position.
16. afraid, both one and other--Hebrew, "fear-stricken," they
turned to one another (compare
This showed, on their part, hesitancy, and some degree of fear of God,
but not enough to make them willing to sacrifice the favor of an
17. What they wished to know was, whether what Baruch had read to them was written by him from memory after hearing Jeremiah repeating his prophecies continuously, or accurately from the prophet's own dictation.
18. his mouth--Baruch replies it was by the oral
dictation of the prophet;
accords with this view, rather than with the notion that Jeremiah
repeated his prophecies from manuscripts.
19. Showing that they were not altogether without better feelings (compare Jer 36:16, 25).
22. winter house--
23. three or four leaves--not distinct leaves as in a book, but the
consecutive spaces on the long roll in the shape of doors (whence
the Hebrew name is derived), into which the writing is divided: as
the books of Moses in the synagogue in the present day are written in a
long parchment rolled round a stick, the writing divided into columns,
24. The king and his "servants" were more hardened than the "princes" and councillors (see on Jer 36:12; Jer 36:14; Jer 36:16). Contrast the humble fear exhibited by Josiah at the reading of the law (2Ki 22:11).
26. Hammelech--not as Margin, "of the king." Jehoiakim at
this time (the fifth year of his reign) had no grown-up son: Jeconiah,
his successor, was then a boy of eleven (compare
with 2Ki 24:8).
29. say to Jehoiakim--not in person, as Jeremiah was "hidden"
but by the written word of prophecy.
30. He shall have none to sit upon the throne--fulfilled
&c.; 2Ki 25:1-30).
He had successors, but not directly of his posterity, except
his son Jeconiah, whose three months' reign is counted as nothing.
Zedekiah was not the son, but the uncle of Jeconiah, and was raised to
the throne in contempt of him and his father Jehoiakim
32. added besides . . . many like words--Sinners gain nothing but additional punishment by setting aside the word of Jehovah. The law was similarly rewritten after the first tables had been broken owing to Israel's idolatry (Ex 32:19, 34:1).