Jehoiakim Burns Up Jeremiah’s Scroll
1A message from the Lord came to Jeremiah. It came in the fourth year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah. He was the son of Josiah. The message said, 2 “Get a scroll. Write on it all the words I have spoken to you. Write down what I have said about Israel, Judah and all the other nations. Write what I have said to you from the time of King Josiah until now. 3 The people of Judah will hear about all the trouble I plan to bring on them. Maybe then each of them will turn from their evil ways. If they do, I will forgive their sins and the evil things they have done.”
4 So Jeremiah sent for Baruch, the son of Neriah. Jeremiah told him to write down all the words the Lord had spoken to him. And Baruch wrote them on the scroll. 5 Then Jeremiah said to him, “I’m not allowed to go to the Lord’s temple. 6 So you go there. Go on a day when the people are fasting. Read to them from the scroll. Read the words of the Lord you wrote down as I gave them to you. Read them to all the people of Judah who come in from their towns. 7 They will hear what the Lord will do to them when his burning anger blazes out against them. Then perhaps they will pray to him. And maybe each of them will turn from their evil ways.”
8 Baruch, the son of Neriah, did everything Jeremiah the prophet told him to do. He went to the Lord’s temple. There he read the words of the Lord from the scroll. 9 It was in the fifth year that Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, was king of Judah. It was the ninth month of that year. A time of fasting at the Lord’s temple had been ordered. All the people in Jerusalem were told to take part in it. So were those who had come in from the towns of Judah. 10 Baruch read to all the people who were at the Lord’s temple. He read Jeremiah’s words from the scroll. He was in the room of Gemariah the secretary. It was located in the upper courtyard at the entrance of the New Gate of the temple. Gemariah was the son of Shaphan.
11 Micaiah was the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan. Micaiah heard Baruch reading all the Lord’s words that were written on the scroll. 12 Then he went down to the secretary’s room in the royal palace. All the officials were sitting there. They included the secretary Elishama and Delaiah, the son of Shemaiah. Elnathan, the son of Akbor, was also there. So was Gemariah, the son of Shaphan. Zedekiah, the son of Hananiah, was there too. And so were all the other officials. 13 Micaiah told all of them what he had heard. He told them everything Baruch had read to the people from the scroll. 14 All the officials sent Jehudi to speak to Baruch, the son of Neriah. Jehudi was the son of Nethaniah. Nethaniah was the son of Shelemiah. Shelemiah was the son of Cushi. Jehudi said to Baruch, “Come. Bring the scroll you have read to the people.” So Baruch went to them. He carried the scroll with him. 15 The officials said to him, “Please sit down. Read the scroll to us.”
So Baruch read it to them. 16 They heard all its words. Then they looked at one another in fear. They said to Baruch, “We must report all these words to the king.” 17 They said to Baruch, “Tell us. How did you happen to write all these things? Did Jeremiah tell you to do this?”
18 “Yes,” Baruch replied. “He told me to write down all these words. So I wrote them in ink on the scroll.”
19 Then the officials spoke to Baruch. They said, “You and Jeremiah must go and hide. Don’t let anyone know where you are.”
20 The officials put the scroll in the room of Elishama the secretary. Then they went to the king in the courtyard. They reported everything to him. 21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the secretary. Jehudi read it to the king. All the officials were standing beside the king. So they heard it too. 22 It was the ninth month. The king was sitting in his winter apartment. A fire was burning in the fire pot in front of him. 23 Jehudi read three or four sections from the scroll. Then the king cut them off with a secretary’s knife. He threw them into the fire pot. He did that until the entire scroll was burned up in the fire. 24 The king and some of his attendants heard all these words. But they weren’t afraid. They didn’t tear their clothes. 25 Elnathan, Delaiah and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll. But he wouldn’t listen to them. 26 Instead, the king commanded three men to arrest Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet. But the Lord had hidden them. The three men were Jerahmeel, Seraiah and Shelemiah. Jerahmeel was a member of the royal court. Seraiah was the son of Azriel. And Shelemiah was the son of Abdeel.
27 A message from the Lord came to Jeremiah. It came after the king burned the scroll. On the scroll were the words Baruch had written down. Jeremiah had told him to write them. The message said, 28 “Get another scroll. Write on it all the words that were on the first one. King Jehoiakim burned that one up. 29 Also tell King Jehoiakim, ‘The Lord says, “You burned that scroll. You said to Baruch, ‘Why did you write that the king of Babylon would certainly come? Why did you write that he would destroy this land? And why did you write that he would remove from it people and animals alike?’ ” 30 So now the Lord has something to say about Jehoiakim, the king of Judah. He says, “No one from Jehoiakim’s family line will sit on David’s throne. Jehoiakim’s body will be thrown out. It will lie outside in the heat by day and in the frost at night. 31 I will punish him and his children and his attendants. I will punish them for their sinful ways. I will bring on them all the trouble I said I would. And I will bring it on the people of Jerusalem and Judah. They have not listened to me.” ’ ”
32 So Jeremiah got another scroll. He gave it to Baruch the secretary. He was the son of Neriah. Jeremiah told Baruch what to write on it. Baruch wrote down all the words that were on the scroll King Jehoiakim had burned up in the fire. And many more words were written on it. They were similar to those that had already been written.