Jeremiah 36

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Jeremiah 36 is the thirty-sixth chapter of the Book of Jeremiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. It is numbered as Jeremiah 43 in the Septuagint. This book contains prophecies attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, and is one of the Books of the Prophets. This chapter records the burning of a scroll of Jeremiah's prophecy by King Jehoiakim and the creation of another scroll by Baruch the scribe, acting on Jeremiah's instructions.[1]

Jeremiah 36
Aleppo-HighRes2-Neviim6-Jeremiah (page 1 crop).jpg
A high resolution scan of the Aleppo Codex showing the Book of Jeremiah (the sixth book in Nevi'im).
BookBook of Jeremiah
Hebrew Bible partNevi'im
Order in the Hebrew part6
CategoryLatter Prophets
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part24


The original text was written in Hebrew. This chapter is divided into 32 verses. Some scholars see a literary parallel with 2 Kings 22, contrasting the reactions of Josiah (tearing his clothes when hearing the reading of the scroll of God's word) and Jehoiakim (tearing Jeremiah's scroll, as an "act of defiance" against God).[1]

Textual witnessesEdit

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter in Hebrew are of the Masoretic Text tradition, which includes the Codex Cairensis (895), the Petersburg Codex of the Prophets (916), Aleppo Codex (10th century), Codex Leningradensis (1008).[2]

There is also a translation into Koine Greek known as the Septuagint (with a different chapter and verse numbering), made in the last few centuries BCE. Extant ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint version include Codex Vaticanus (B;  B; 4th century), Codex Sinaiticus (S; BHK:  S; 4th century), Codex Alexandrinus (A;  A; 5th century) and Codex Marchalianus (Q;  Q; 6th century).[3]

Verse numberingEdit

The order of chapters and verses of the Book of Jeremiah in the English Bibles, Masoretic Text (Hebrew), and Vulgate (Latin), in some places differs from that in the Septuagint (LXX, the Greek Bible used in the Eastern Orthodox Church and others) according to Rahlfs or Brenton. The following table is taken with minor adjustments from Brenton's Septuagint, page 971.[4]

The order of Computer Assisted Tools for Septuagint/Scriptural Study (CATSS) based on Alfred Rahlfs' Septuaginta (1935), differs in some details from Joseph Ziegler's critical edition (1957) in Göttingen LXX. Swete's Introduction mostly agrees with Rahlfs' edition (=CATSS).[4]

Hebrew, Vulgate, English Rahlfs' LXX (CATSS)
36:1-32 43:1-32
29:1-15,21-32 36:1-15,21-32


The parashah sections listed here are based on the Aleppo Codex.[5] Jeremiah 36 is a part of the "Fifteenth prophecy (Jeremiah 36-39)" in the section of Prophecies interwoven with narratives about the prophet's life (Jeremiah 26-45). {P}: open parashah; {S}: closed parashah.

{P} 36:1-3 {S} 36:4-8 {P} 36:9-18 {S} 36:19-26 {S} 36:27-29 {S} 36:30-32 {P}

Verse 1Edit

In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:[6]
  • Cross reference: Jeremiah 25:1
  • This chapter (as well as chapter 35) is out of the chronological order of chapter 32-34 and 37-44, as it records the events during the fourth year of king Jehoiakim's reign (605/604 SM).[7]

Verse 2Edit

[The Lord says to Jeremiah:] "Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day."[8]
  • "Scroll of a book" (KJV: "roll of a book"): from Hebrew: מְגִלַּת־סֵפֶר, megillat-sefer; according to R. Lansing Hicks, a theologian at Yale Divinity School, "the dimension and content of this 'roll of book' or 'scroll' has "received repeated attention", resulting in some efforts to reconstruct it, but "each of these efforts suffers by reason of its subjective approach."[9]

Verse 5Edit

New King James Version:

And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, “I am confined, I cannot go into the house of the Lord.[10]

The New International Version suggests instead:

... "“I am restricted; I am not allowed to go to the Lord’s temple".[11]

Theologian Albert Barnes states that Jeremiah may have been "hindered, perhaps through fear of Jehoiakim";[12] A. W. Streane suggests Jeremiah "was hindered from addressing the people by ceremonial uncleanness".[13] Benjamin Blayney suggests that, as he has before been tried in front of the princes in Jeremiah 26, Jeremiah had been put under some restraint, perhaps forbidden to enter the precincts of the Temple".[14]

Verse 9Edit

Now it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem.[15]
  • "The fifth year...the ninth month": December 604 BCE.[16] The fast is related to the fall of Ashkelon on the Philistine territory by the Babylonia army (probably in November 604 BC),[1] as recorded in the Nebuchadnezzar Chronicle,[17] which must cause terror in Judah, because they have allied themselves with Egypt since the death of Josiah in 609 BCE.[16]

Verse 10Edit

Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the LORD's house, in the ears of all the people. (KJV)[18]
  • "Baruch" (ben Neriah): a scribe closely related to Jeremiah and the one transcribed Jeremiah's prophecies in the scrolls (Jeremiah 36:2). His brother, Seriah, is a minister of king Zedekiah (Jeremiah 32:12; 51:19). Bullae or seals belonging to Baruch and Seriah have been discovered.[1][19][20][21]
  • "Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe": Shaphan the scribe (here and in Jeremiah 29:3) is assumed to be the same person reading to king Josiah the Book of Law discovered by Hilkiah the priest (2 Kings 22:3, 10). This Gemariah is then the brother of Ahikam, who protected Jeremiah (Jeremiah 26:24) and the uncle of Gedaliah (Jeremiah 40:5), who treated Jeremiah favorably, therefore it is not peculiar that Gemariah allowed Baruch to use his room.[16] In 1983 a bulla was discovered in the ruins of the City of David with the inscription "belonging to Gemariah, son of Saphan", presumably the same person as in this verse.[22][23]

Verse 23Edit

And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.[24]
  • "Columns" (most English Bibles) or "leaves" (KJV) or "columns of scroll" (NIV): translated from Hebrew word delet which has the "sense of a column of writing."[25] This Hebrew word is a hapax legomenon in the Masoretic text.[25] Holladay notices from this verse that the scroll (KJV: "roll") containing Jeremiah's prophecies is thus "a fairly extensive collection, containing several multiples of three or four columns of writing."[26] Hicks noted that many ancient Hebrew manuscripts found in Qumran Caves have 3 to 4 columns per sheet. For example, the Great Isaiah Scroll, 1QIsa, consists of 17 sheets, 10 have 3 columns per sheet and 5 have 4 columns, whereas 1QIsb has 4 columns per sheet uniformly, as well as some other manuscripts.[27] As all ancient Hebrew manuscript sheets found to date are made of leather/vellum, instead of papyrus, it would be difficult to cut them - through with a "scribe's knife" (KJV: "penknife").[27] Therefore, Hicks concluded that the scroll was cut "sheet by sheet at the sutures", and that some sheets have 4 columns and the others 3, just like 1QIsa.[28] Additionally, Hicks studied the average number of lines per column and the average number of words per line in ancient Hebrew biblical manuscripts to estimate that the text in one of the columns of writing described in this verse would contain "a little bit more than one Masoretic chapter of Jeremiah," as his examples show variations between 1.25 and 1.75 chapter per column.[29] Furthermore, with the data of the height-to-width ratio of a column (i.e., 2:1 in his study) and the interpretation of the grammar of the verbal sequence in the same verse, Hicks comes to an estimate that the scroll destroyed in the presence of king Jehoiakim "would have contained between 18-24 chapters of our Masoretic book of Jeremiah," which may form the major parts of the first 25 chapters in the current Masoretic version of the book.[30]

Verse 26Edit

Then the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord had hidden them.[31]
  • "Jerahmeel the king's son" (KJV: "Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech"): an old bulla with the inscription "Jerahmeel the king's son" has been found and considered authentic.[32]

Verse 30Edit

Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night.[33]

Jehoiakim's rejection to the words in the scroll results in the tragic end of the monarchy and his own life.[34]

Verse 32Edit

Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the instruction of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And besides, there were added to them many similar words.[35]

Jeremiah used the destruction of the first scroll (KJV: "roll") as a symbol for Jehoiakim's later death (Jeremiah 22:18–19; 2 Kings 24:6–15) and asked Baruch to wrote another roll with expanded contents of the first one.[1]

  • "At the instruction of Jeremiah": or "from the mouth of Jeremiah".[36]

See alsoEdit

  • Related Bible part: 2 Kings 22, Jeremiah 25, Jeremiah 26, Jeremiah 29
  • ReferencesEdit

    1. ^ a b c d e The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Augmented Third Edition, New Revised Standard Version, Indexed. Michael D. Coogan, Marc Brettler, Carol A. Newsom, Editors. Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 2007. pp. 1136-1137 Hebrew Bible. ISBN 978-0195288810
    2. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 35-37.
    3. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 73-74.
    4. ^ a b "Table of Order of Jeremiah in Hebrew and Septuagint".
    5. ^ As reflected in the Jewish Publication Society's 1917 edition of the Hebrew Bible in English.
    6. ^ Jeremiah 36:1 HCSB
    7. ^ Huey 1993, p. 312.
    8. ^ Jeremiah 36:2 NKJV
    9. ^ Hicks 1983, p. 46.
    10. ^ Jeremiah 36:5 NKJV
    11. ^ Jeremiah 36:5 NIV
    12. ^ Barnes, A., Barnes' Notes on Jeremiah 36, accessed 20 March 2019
    13. ^ Streane, A. W., Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Jeremiah 36, accessed 20 March 2019
    14. ^ Blayney (or Blaney), quoted in editorial comment within Calvin, J., Calvin's Commentary on Jeremiah 36, accessed 20 March 2019
    15. ^ Jeremiah 36:9 NKJV
    16. ^ a b c Huey 1993, p. 321.
    17. ^ Lendering, Jona. "ABC 5 (Jerusalem Chronicle)". Retrieved May 31, 2017., observe, lines 18-20.
    18. ^ Jeremiah 36:10 (King James)
    19. ^ Avigad, N. "Baruch the Scribe" p. 53. Also, Avigad, Hebrew Bullae from the Time of Jeremiah- Remnants of a Burnt Archive (Jerusalem- Israel Exploration Society, 1986), pp. 28–29.
    20. ^ Ward, J.M. "Baruch," in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (Nashville- Abingdon, 1962), vol. 1, p. 361; J. Muilenburg, "Jeremiah the Prophet," in The Interpreter’s Dictionary, vol. 2, p. 832; Avigad, N. "Baruch," in Encyclopedia Biblica (Jerusalem- Bialik, 1954) vol. 2, cols. 337–338 (in Hebrew).
    21. ^ Avigad, N. "The Seal of Seraiah, Son of Neriah," Eretz Israel 14 (1978), pp. 86–87 (in Hebrew).
    22. ^ Shiloh, Y. A Group of Hebrew Bullae from the City of David, Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ) 36:16-38. 1986.
    23. ^ Avigad, N. Hebrew Bullae from the Time of Jeremiah. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society. 1986. p. 129, n. 164.
    24. ^ Jeremiah 36:23 NKJV
    25. ^ a b Hicks 1983, p. 48.
    26. ^ Holladay, William Lee (1974) Jeremiah: Spokesman Out of Time. United Church Press, Philadelphia. p. 155, as cited in Hicks, R. (1983). "Delet and megillāh: A Fresh Approach to Jeremiah XXXVI". Vetus Testamentum, 33(1), 48.
    27. ^ a b Hicks 1983, p. 61.
    28. ^ Hicks 1983, p. 62.
    29. ^ Hicks 1983, pp. 62-63.
    30. ^ Hicks 1983, pp. 65-66.
    31. ^ Jeremiah 36:26 HCSB
    32. ^ Avigad, Nachman. Baruch the Scribe and Yerahme'el the King’s Son. Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ) 28:52. 1978
    33. ^ Jeremiah 36:30 ESV
    34. ^ O'Connor 2007, p. 518.
    35. ^ Jeremiah 36:32 NKJV
    36. ^ Note [h] on Jeremiah 36:32 in the New King James Version.


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