Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll Containing the Lord’s Messages
1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 2 “Get a scroll. Write on it everything I have told you to say about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations since I began to speak to you in the reign of Josiah until now. 3 Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about all the disaster I intend to bring on them, they will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. If they do, I will forgive their sins and the wicked things they have done.”
4 So Jeremiah summoned Baruch son of Neriah. Then Jeremiah dictated to Baruch everything the Lord had told him to say and Baruch wrote it all down in a scroll. 5 Then Jeremiah told Baruch, “I am no longer allowed to go into the Lord’s temple. 6 So you go there the next time all the people of Judah come in from their towns to fast in the Lord’s temple. Read out loud where all of them can hear you what I told you the Lord said, which you wrote in the scroll. 7 Perhaps then they will ask the Lord for mercy and will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. For the Lord has threatened to bring great anger and wrath against these people.”
8 So Baruch son of Neriah did exactly what the prophet Jeremiah had told him to do. He read what the Lord had said from the scroll in the temple of the Lord. 9 All the people living in Jerusalem and all the people who came into Jerusalem from the towns of Judah came to observe a fast before the Lord. The fast took place in the ninth month of the fifth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 10 At that time Baruch went into the temple of the Lord. He stood in the entrance of the room of Gemariah the son of Shaphan who had been the royal secretary. That room was in the upper court near the entrance of the New Gate. There, where all the people could hear him, he read from the scroll what Jeremiah had said.
11 Micaiah, who was the son of Gemariah and the grandson of Shaphan, heard Baruch read from the scroll everything the Lord had said. 12 He went down to the chamber of the royal secretary in the king’s palace and found all the court officials in session there. Elishama the royal secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials were seated there. 13 Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read from the scroll in the hearing of the people. 14 All the officials sent Jehudi, who was the son of Nethaniah and the grandson of Cushi, to Baruch. They ordered him to tell Baruch, “Come here and bring with you the scroll you read in the hearing of the people.” So Baruch son of Neriah went to them, carrying the scroll in his hand. 15 They said to him, “Please sit down and read it to us.” So Baruch sat down and read it to them. 16 When they had heard it all, they expressed their alarm to one another. Then they said to Baruch, “We must certainly give the king a report about everything you have read!” 17 Then they asked Baruch, “How did you come to write all these words? Do they actually come from Jeremiah’s mouth?” 18 Baruch answered, “Yes, they came from his own mouth. He dictated all these words to me and I wrote them down in ink on this scroll.” 19 Then the officials said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must go and hide. You must not let anyone know where you are.”
20 The officials put the scroll in the room of Elishama, the royal secretary, for safekeeping. Then they went to the court and reported everything to the king. 21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. He went and got it from the room of Elishama, the royal secretary. Then he himself read it to the king and all the officials who were standing around him. 22 Since it was the ninth month of the year, the king was sitting in his winter quarters. A fire was burning in the fire-pot in front of him. 23 As soon as Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king would cut them off with a penknife and throw them on the fire in the fire-pot. He kept doing so until the whole scroll was burned up in the fire. 24 Neither he nor any of his attendants showed any alarm when they heard all that had been read. Nor did they tear their clothes to show any grief or sorrow. 25 The king did not even listen to Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah, who had urged him not to burn the scroll. 26 He also ordered Jerahmeel, who was one of the royal princes, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. However, the Lord hid them.
Baruch and Jeremiah Write Another Scroll
27 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after Jehoiakim had burned the scroll containing what Jeremiah had spoken and Baruch had written down. 28 “Get another scroll and write on it everything that was written on the original scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned. 29 Tell King Jehoiakim of Judah, ‘The Lord says, “You burned the scroll. You asked Jeremiah, ‘How dare you write in this scroll that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land and wipe out all the people and animals on it?’” 30 So the Lord says concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah, “None of his line will occupy the throne of David. His dead body will be thrown out to be exposed to scorching heat by day and frost by night. 31 I will punish him and his descendants and the officials who serve him for the wicked things they have done. I will bring on them, the citizens of Jerusalem, and the people of Judah all the disaster that I threatened to do to them. I will punish them because I threatened them but they still paid no heed.”’” 32 Then Jeremiah got another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah. As Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on this scroll everything that had been on the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned in the fire. They also added on this scroll several other messages of the same kind.