Jeremiah 36

King Jehoiakim destroys the Lord's message

1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year that Josiah's son Jehoiakim ruled Judah as king. He said, 2 ‘Write down on a scroll all the messages that I have spoken to you. Since Josiah was king until now, I have given you messages about Israel, Judah and the other nations. Write them all on a scroll. 3 That will warn the people of Judah about the very bad things that I have decided to do to them. When they hear about it, perhaps they will stop doing the evil things that they have been doing. Then I will forgive their sins and everything wrong that they have done.’

4 So Jeremiah told Neriah's son Baruch to come to him. Jeremiah spoke all the words that the Lord had told him to say. Baruch wrote them down on a scroll. 5 Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, ‘The officers will not let me go to the Lord's temple. 6 So you must go to the temple yourself. Go on a special day when people are fasting and they have come from their towns. Read the words that you wrote on the scroll to the people, so that they can all hear them. 7 Perhaps they will ask the Lord to forgive them. Perhaps they will stop doing all the evil things that they have been doing. The Lord is very angry with them and he has warned them that he will punish them.’

8 Neriah's son Baruch did everything that the prophet Jeremiah had told him. He went to the Lord's temple. He read the Lord's message that was written on the scroll. 9 That happened in the ninth month of the fifth year that Jehoiakim ruled Judah as king. People from all Judah's towns had come to Jerusalem. They joined with the people of Jerusalem to fast and pray in the Lord's temple. 10 Baruch stood in the temple, at the entrance of the room of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan. Shaphan had been the king's secretary. Gemariah's room was in the higher yard of the temple, near the New Gate. Baruch stood there. He read the Lord's message that Jeremiah had told him to write on the scroll.

11 Micaiah, son of Gemariah and grandson of Shaphan, heard the Lord's message as Baruch read it aloud. 12 Then Micaiah went to the secretary's room in the king's palace. All the king's officers were meeting there. They included: the king's secretary Elishama, Shemaiah's son Delaiah, Akbor's son Elnathan, Shaphan's son Gemariah, and Hananiah's son Zedekiah. All the officers were sitting there. 13 Micaiah told them everything that he had heard when Baruch read the scroll aloud to the people. 14 The officers sent somebody to go and speak to Baruch. They sent Jehudi, son of Nethaniah, and the grandson of Cushi's son, Shelemiah. They told him to say to Baruch, ‘Bring here to us the scroll with the words that you read aloud to the people.’

So Neriah's son Baruch went to them. He took the scroll with him in his hand. 15 The officers said to him, ‘Please sit down and read it to us.’ So Baruch read it to them. 16 They listened to the words that Baruch had written on the scroll. They looked at each other in fear. They said to Baruch, ‘We must certainly report this to the king. We must tell him about everything that you have read to us.’ 17 They also asked Baruch, ‘Please tell us how you wrote all these words. Did Jeremiah himself tell you what to write?’

18 Baruch said, ‘Yes, he told me what I should write. Then I used ink to write the words on this scroll.’

36:18You use ink to write words on paper so that they remain for a long time.

19 The officers said to Baruch, ‘You and Jeremiah must go and hide yourselves. Do not tell anyone where you are.’

20 The officers put the scroll into the room of Elishama, the king's secretary, to keep it safe. Then they went to see the king. He was in the palace yard. They reported to him everything that they had heard. 21 Then the king sent Jehudi to fetch the scroll. Jehudi brought the scroll from Elishama's room in the temple. Then he read the message that was written on the scroll. He read it aloud to the king and to all the officers who were standing around him. 22 It was autumn, so the king was sitting in the rooms that he used when it was cold. A fire was burning beside him. 23 Jehudi read a small section of the words that were written on the scroll. As soon as he finished each section, the king cut off that part of the scroll with a knife. He threw each piece of the scroll on the fire. The king continued to do that until fire had burned up the whole scroll. 24 As the king and his officers heard Jehudi read each section of the scroll, it did not make them afraid. None of them tore their clothes because they were upset. 25 Elnathan, Delaiah and Gemariah asked the king very strongly not to burn the scroll. But the king refused to listen to them. 26 Instead, the king told Prince Jerahmeel to go and find the secretary Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. Jerahmeel went with Azriel's son Seraiah and Abdeel's son Shelemiah to take hold of them. But the Lord had hidden Baruch and Jeremiah.

Baruch and Jeremiah write another scroll

27 After the king had destroyed the scroll on which Baruch had written Jeremiah's words, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah again. 28 He said, ‘Take another scroll. Write on it everything that was written on the first scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned in the fire. 29 Then tell the king that the Lord says this: “You burned the scroll because you did not like the message that was written on it. It said that the king of Babylon would come to destroy this land, with all its people and animals. You warned Jeremiah that he should not write things like that.” 30 So now the Lord says this to you, Jehoiakim, king of Judah: “None of your descendants will rule David's kingdom of Judah. When you die, people will not bury your body. They will throw your dead body on the ground. As it lies there, the sun will burn it in the daytime. At night it will be cold with frost. 31 I will punish you, your descendants and your officers because you have all done wicked things. I will also bring terrible trouble on the people of Jerusalem and all of Judah. I will punish everyone in the way that I promised I would do. I warned them, but they did not listen to me.” ’

32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll. He gave it to Neriah's son, Baruch, the secretary. Jeremiah spoke the same message that Baruch had written on the first scroll. That was the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah had burned in the fire. They also added more messages that were like the first one.