Jeremiah 36 Commentary

Jehoiakim burn’s Jeremiah’s scroll (36:1-32)

God commanded Jeremiah to write down all the prophecies he had given during the previous twenty years and announce them again to Judah. Perhaps even yet the nation would repent and so escape God’s judgment (36:1-3).

Over the next year Jeremiah wrote down the messages, using Baruch as his scribe. Since Jeremiah was forbidden to enter the temple (see 20:1-2; 26:7-9), he arranged for Baruch to go on his behalf and read the scroll to the people (4-7). (Baruch was the brother of a leading palace official; see 32:12; 51:59.) The day Jeremiah chose for the reading of the scroll was a national day of fasting, when large crowds were at the temple. Baruch read the scroll from a prominent position where most in the temple could see him (8-10).

Among the crowd who listened to Baruch was the son of one of the city’s leaders. When the young man told his father and the other city officials of the events at the temple, they invited Baruch to come and read the scroll to them (11-15). They were shocked at the serious accusations and predictions in the scroll, and decided to tell the king. They suggested, however, that Baruch and Jeremiah hide themselves for the sake of safety (16-19).

The suggestion of the city leaders proved to be life-saving advice for the two servants of God. When the king heard the scroll read, instead of taking heed, he defiantly burnt the scroll and sent to have Jeremiah and Baruch arrested. But they could not be found (20-26).


God told Jeremiah to rewrite the prophecies of the scroll that Jehoiakim had destroyed (27-28). In addition to the former prophecies was a special prophecy concerning Jehoiakim, who was assured of a horrible and disgraceful death (29-31; cf. 22:18-19). Baruch then wrote the scroll anew, adding further messages of God’s judgment (32).

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