Jeremiah’s Scroll Read in the Temple

In the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Take a scroll [of parchment] and write on it all the words which I have spoken to you concerning Israel and Judah, and all the nations, from the day I [first] spoke to you in the days of [King] Josiah until this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster which I plan to bring on them, so that each one will turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their wickedness and their sin.”(A)

Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote on the scroll of the book all the words which Jeremiah dictated, [words] which the Lord had spoken to him. Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, “I am [in hiding, virtually] restrained; I cannot go into the house of the Lord. So you go to the Lord’s house on a day of fasting and read from the scroll the words of the Lord to the people which you have written as I dictated. And also you shall read them to all the people of Judah who come from their cities. It may be that their supplication [for mercy] will come before the Lord, and everyone will turn from his evil way, for great is the anger and the wrath that the Lord has pronounced against this people.” Baruch the son of Neriah did everything that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading from [Jeremiah’s scroll] the words of the Lord in the Lord’s house.

Now in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, a fast was proclaimed before the Lord for all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came to Jerusalem from the cities of Judah. 10 Then Baruch read to all the people the words of Jeremiah from the scroll of the book in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court, at the entry of the New Gate of the Lord’s house.

11 When Micaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard all the words of the Lord from the scroll, 12 he went down to the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber; and behold, all the princes were sitting there: Elishama the scribe, Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of Achbor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the [other] princes. 13 Then Micaiah declared to them all the words that he had heard when Baruch read from the scroll to all the people. 14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to Baruch, saying, “Take in your hand the scroll from which you have read to the people and come [to us].” So Baruch the son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand and went to them. 15 And they said to him, “Sit down now and read it to us.” So Baruch read it to them. 16 Now when they had heard all the words, they turned one to another in fear and said to Baruch, “We must surely report all these words to the king.” 17 And they asked Baruch, “Tell us now, how did you write all these words? At his (Jeremiah’s) dictation?” 18 Then Baruch answered them, “He dictated all these words to me, and I wrote them with ink on the scroll.” 19 Then the princes said to Baruch, “Go and hide, you and Jeremiah, and do not let anyone know where you are.”

The Scroll Is Burned

20 Then they went into the court to the king, but they [first] put the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe; then they reported all the words to the king. 21 So the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it out of the chamber of Elishama the scribe. And Jehudi read it to the king and all the princes who stood beside the king. 22 Now it was the ninth month, and the king was sitting in the winter house, with a fire burning there in the brazier before him. 23 And after Jehudi had read three or four columns [of the scroll], King Jehoiakim would cut off that portion with a scribe’s knife and throw it into the fire that was in the brazier, until the [entire] scroll was consumed by the fire. 24 Yet the king and all his servants who heard all these words were not afraid, nor did they tear their clothes. 25 Even though Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah pleaded with the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. 26 And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son, Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them.

The Scroll Is Replaced

27 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah after the king had burned the scroll containing the words which Baruch had written at the dictation of Jeremiah: 28 “Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were on the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah burned. 29 And concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord, “You have burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why have you written on it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cut off man and beast from it?’” 30 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah, “[a]He shall have no heir to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be thrown out to the heat of the day and to the frost of the night. 31 I will also punish him and his descendants and his servants for their wickedness, and I will bring on them and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the men of Judah all the destruction that I have declared against them—but they would not listen.”’”

32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the scroll which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire; and many similar words were added to them.


  1. Jeremiah 36:30 This prophecy concerning King Jehoiakim was fulfilled several years after these events. The king rebelled against Babylon (2 Kin 24:1) and was attacked by armies from various nations controlled by Babylon (2 Kin 24:2). He suffered a violent death and a disgraceful burial just as Jeremiah had foretold (Jer 22:13-19). In that passage, after scathing censure of the king, the Lord foretells through his prophet that Jehoiakim will be buried like a donkey—that is, with his body thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem (22:19).

Cross references

  1. Jeremiah 36:3 : Jer 18:7-10; 26:3