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son of Neriah did according to ail that Jeremiah the
prophet commanded him, reading in the book the 9 words of the Lord in the Lord's house. And 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 that came from the
cities of Judah unto Jerusalem ; perhaps for the removal 10 of that drought mentioned, chap. xiv, 1, 2. 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 ; probably out of fome window or balcony, that the
people in the courts of the temple might the better hearhim. 1 When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of
Shaphan, had heard out of the book all the words of 12 the LORD, Then he went down into the king's house
into the scribe's chamber ; and, lo, all the princes fat there, (even) Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, and Elnathan the fon of Achbor, and
Gemariah the fon of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son ... 13 of Hananiah, and all the princes. Then Michaiah
declared unto them all the words that he had heard,
when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people.' 14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Netha.
niah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto • Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein
thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come.
So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, 15 and came unto them. And they said unto him, Sit
down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read 36 [it] in their ears. Now it came to pass, when they
had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the
king * This was near a year after the former command; he had probably been reading it to select companies all this time. .
Y Michaiah seems to have done this from a good principle, as his father had lent Baruch the chamber to read out of; he went 'to the secretaries office, and told them of it; they perhaps being too busy to attend the temple service on a falt day.
· king of all these words: impressed with the predictions and
threatenings, they resolved to tell them the king, as they 17 could do nothing without him. And they asked Baruch,
saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these 18 words at his mouth? Then Baruch answered them, He
pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, 19 and I wrote [them) with ink in the book. Then said
the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah, and let no man know where ye be; thinking that the book would provoke the king, and having a regard for Jeremiah and Baruch, they advised them to hide them- .
selves. : 20 And they went in to the king into the court, but · they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the
fcribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king. 21 So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took
it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi
read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all 22 the princes which stood beside the king. Now the
king fat in the winter house, in the ninth month: and
[there was a fire) on the hearth burning before him. 23. And it came to pass, [that] when Jehudi had read
three or four leaves, or rather, columns or paragraphs, that he cut it with the penknife, and cast [it] into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was) on the hearth; a high
affront to God, and a declaration that he despised his pre24 cepts, and defied his threatenings. Yet they were not
afraid, nor rent their garments, [neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words, as they ought to have done, and as Josiah did in the like case. In verse sixteenth it is said they were afraid; but, being under
the influence of the king, they began to think as he did, at 25 least to show no fear before him. Nevertheless Elnathan
and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the
king that he would not burn the roll: but he would 26 not hear them. But the king commanded Jerahmeel
the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the Lord hid : VOL. V.
them ; God fo ordered matters that they were not discovered. 27. Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after
that the king had burned the roll, and the words which 28 Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, faying, Take
thee again another roll, and write in it all the former
words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the 29 king of Judah hath burned. And thou shalt fay to
Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus faith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, faying, Why haft thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon fhall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to
cease from thence man and beast? intimating that this was 30 the fubstance of the whole: Therefore thus faith the LORD
of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to fit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be
cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the 31 frost.? And I will punish him and his feed and his fer: vants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them,
and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced
against them; but they hearkened not. 32 Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to
Baruch the scribe, the fon of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire; and there were added befides unto them many like words.
REFLECTION S. 1. TV E are here shown the end for which the fcrip
VV tures were written, and ministers preach, v.3–7. It was by divine appointment that the scriptures were *written; and they are to be publickly read and explained, to engage men to consider, and repent of their evil ways. It is a great encouragement to repentance that God will forgive their iniquity; tho' without it he will not. For this end
ministers · ? Which Josephus says was the case. There is a great differ
ence between that climate and ours; a river there, is fometimes frozen over in a night, when the preceding day is very hot.
ministers are to preach the word: and if, as in the case before us, they repeat the same sentiments, exhortations, or even discourses, it may be useful, that they may be better known, considered, and remembered. They have a divine pattern for so doing; and perhaps, those curious hearers, who are most ready to complain of it, need it most.
The end of preaching is so important, that there is need of line upon line, and precept upon precept, to save men from fin and destruction.
2. How vain are all the outward fhows of piety, while the power of it is wanting! These finful people proclaimed a fast, while they went on in their trespasses. These courtiers showed some reverence to the word of God at first, fome respect to the prophet and his secretary: but the good impressions quickly wore off. When they saw how light the king made of the threatenings, they began to think there was nothing in them; they contented themselves with asking impertinent questions about the manner of writing the prophet's fermons, while they were not wrought upon by the sermons themselves. So easily do men deceive them. felves in the most weighty matters. How careful should we be that we hear, consider, and obey the commands of the Lord, and tremble at his word.
3. How lamentable is the obstinacy of finners when it leads them to despise the word of God. What horrible insolence was the king guilty of in burning Jeremiah's prophecy! What impatience under reproof! What an affront to God! He showed a steady determination not to comply with the command, and expressed an impudent defiance of the threatening: thus he hardened his own heart, and set a bad example to his courtiers and people. But observe how the chapter concludes : the same words were written in another book, and there were added unto them many like words. Men may burn the bible, but not one tittle of it shall fall to the ground. Its threatenings stand in full force, and shall all be executed upon the disobedient; who only prepare heavier judgments for themselves, by their contempt of God's word and commandments: for it is as true of its · threatenings, as of its promises, that the word of God liveth and abideth for ever. Nn 2
CH A P. CHA P. XXXVII. The Egyptians having raised the Chaldean siege, Zedekiah sends
to Jeremiah, who prophefies the return of the Chaldeans, and
their viflory; upon which he is beaten and put into prison. -I A ND king Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned in
A stead of Coniah the fon of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon made king in the land
of Judah, in the room of his nephew, and had taken of him 2 an oath of homage. But neither he, nor his servants,
nor the people of the land, did hearken unto the words:
of the Lord, which he spake by the prophet Jeremiah. 3 And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shele.
miah and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest to
the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Pray now unto the LORD 4 our God for us. Now Jeremiah came in and went out
among the people: for they had not put him into 5 prison. Then Pharaoh's army was come forth out of
Egypt: and when the Chaldeans that besieged Jerusalem heard tidings of them, they raised the siege and de
parted from Jerusalem.a 6 Then came the word of the Lord unto the prophet 7 Jeremiah, saying, Thus faith the LORD, the God of
Israel; Thus Thall ye fay to the king of Judah, that fent you unto me to enquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh's
army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to 8 Egypt into their own land. And the Chaldeans shall
come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and 9 burn it with fire. Thus faith the LORD; Deceive not
yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart 10 from us : for they shall not depart. For though ye
had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained (but] wounded men among them, (yet) should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire; God will find in
struments a Zedekiah had broken his league with the king of Babylon, and entered into an alliance with the king of Egypt, and the Egyptians came to help him; upon this the Chaldeans left Jeru. falem, and went to face the Egyptians; in which having succeeded, they came again to the siege.