Jeremiah 36

Jehoiakim burns the words that Jeremiah had written.

1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah. He said, 2 ‘Write down all the words that I have spoken to you about Israel, Judah and the other countries. I began to speak to you when Josiah was king. Write everything that I have said from that time until now. 3 Perhaps the people of Israel will listen to my words. Perhaps they will hear about all the punishments that I will do. Then they may each turn away from the wrong things that they are doing. Then I will forgive those bad things and their sin.’

4 So Jeremiah asked Baruch, son of Neriah to come. While Jeremiah spoke all the Lord's words, Baruch wrote them down. He wrote them on a long dry piece of a sheep's skin. 5 Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, ‘They will not let me go to the Lord's temple. 6 So you must go to the temple on a day when people choose not to eat. Read these words to the people. You wrote the Lord's words as I spoke them to you. Read them to all the people. Do that when they come from the towns in Judah. 7 Perhaps they will ask the Lord for help and they will stop doing wrong things. Perhaps they will stop because of the Lord's words. He has said that he will punish them. He will punish them because he is very angry with them.’

8 Baruch, son of Neriah, did everything that Jeremiah the prophet had said. He read out the words of the Lord in the Lord's temple. 9 The king said that he wanted the people to fast in the temple for one day. That was in the ninth month of the fifth year since he became king. He caused all the people to come from Jerusalem and from the towns in Judah. 10 Baruch stood in the room of Gemariah the secretary. He was the son of Shaphan. The room was in the yard by the temple's New Gate. There Baruch read the Lord's words to all the people. He read to them the words that Jeremiah had caused him to write.

36:9To fast meant that people would choose not to eat for a day or more. It was one way to show to God that they were sorry for their sins. Or people might not eat any food to show God that they wanted him to help them.

11 Micaiah, son of Gemariah, heard all the words of the Lord that Baruch had read out. 12 Then he went to the secretary's room in the king's house. All the king's officers were sitting there. They included Elishama who was the secretary and Delaiah, son of Shaphan. Elnathan, Achbor's son, Gemariah, Shaphan's son and Zedekiah, Hananiah's son were also there. 13 Micaiah told everything that he had heard to them. He heard it when Baruch read to the people. 14 The officers sent Jehudi to speak to Baruch. (Jehudi's father was Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi.) They said, ‘Bring the piece of skin with the words that you read to the people. And come here.’ So Baruch, Neriah's son, went to them and he took the skin with him. 15 ‘Please sit down and read it to us,’ they said. So Baruch read it to them.

16 They heard the words that Baruch had written. And they became afraid. They looked at each other and they said to Baruch, ‘We must tell the king what these words say.’ 17 They asked Baruch, ‘How did you write these words? Did you write them down as Jeremiah spoke them to you?’

18 Baruch said, ‘Yes, he spoke the words and I wrote them in ink on this skin.’

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

20 The officers put the skin into Elishama's room. Elishama was the secretary. Then they went to the king, who was in the yard. They told him all that they had heard. 21 They told the king about the skin on which Baruch had written God's words. So, he sent Jehudi to fetch it. Jehudi brought the skin from the room of Elishama the secretary. Then he read the words to the king and to all the officers who were there. 22 The king was in his winter rooms. A fire was burning because it was the ninth month. 23 Jehudi read a small part of the words that Baruch had written on the skin. Then the king took a knife and he cut off that part of the skin. He threw it into the fire. Soon he had burned all the skin in the fire. 24 Neither the king nor the officers who were with him were afraid. And they did not want to show that they were sorry. So they did not tear their clothes. 25 Elnathan, Delaiah and Gemariah asked the king not to burn the skin on which Baruch had written. But he would not listen to them. 26 Instead, the king told his son Jerahmeel that he should take Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet. Then Jerahmeel should put them in a prison. But the Lord had hidden them.

27 So the king burnt the piece of skin on which Baruch had written Jeremiah's words. After that, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 28 ‘Take another piece of skin,’ he said. ‘Write on it all the words that were on the other skin. That was the skin that Jehoiakim king of Judah burned up. 29 Also say to the king, “You burned the skin. And you asked why I wrote such bad things about Judah. You did not believe that the king of Babylon would come to destroy this country. You did not think that he would take both men and animals away from it.” 30 So the Lord says this about Jehoiakim, king of Judah: None of his descendants will become king of Judah. People will throw out his dead body. And the sun will burn it in the day and it will be cold at night. 31 His children and his servants have done bad things. I will punish them. I will do all the bad things that I promised to do. I will do them to your children and to the people in Jerusalem. I will punish them and the people in Judah for all the wrong things that they have done. I will do that because they have not listened to me.’

32 So Jeremiah took another piece of skin and he gave it to the secretary, Baruch, Neriah's son. Then Jeremiah spoke the words that had been on the first skin. King Jehoiakim had burnt the first skin in the fire. And Baruch wrote the words down with many other words that said the same things.