The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
In the fourth year of Josias’ son Joachim, the Lord gave Jeremias this commandment:
Get thyself a scroll, and write down on it all the warnings I have uttered against Israel and Juda, and against the other nations of the world, ever since I first spoke to thee under king Josias.
Maybe, when the men of Juda hear of all the mischief I mean to do them, they will leave off their straying in false paths, and so I will overlook the guilt of their wrong-doing.
So Jeremias sent for Baruch the son of Nerias; the Lord’s utterances, every one, Jeremias rehearsed and Baruch wrote down on the scroll.
And now Jeremias had an errand for him; I must keep my house, said he, go into the Lord’s temple I may not.✻
Do thou, on a fasting day, go there instead, and read out some of the divine utterances I have dictated to thee, in the temple itself, for all the citizens to hear, and all the men of Juda besides, that have come in from their several townships.
Maybe their intercession will find its way into the Lord’s presence; maybe they will leave off their straying in false paths; here are grievous threats from the Lord of angry vengeance against his people.
So it was Baruch son of Nerias, but in fulfilment of Jeremias’ command, that took the scroll and read out, there in the Lord’s house, the Lord’s message.
It was the ninth month, in the fifth year of Josias’ son Joachim, when they proclaimed a fast, that was to be kept in the Lord’s presence by all the citizens and all who had come in from the other towns of Juda.
And there in the Lord’s house, from the apartment of Gamarias, whose father, Saphan, had once been secretary, in the upper court, close by the entry of the new temple gate, Baruch read out Jeremias’ book of warning.
No line he read of the divine utterance but had an eager listener in Gamarias’ son Michaeas,
who thereupon went down to the secretary’s room, where he found all the notables assembled. There was the secretary, Elisama; there were Dalaias son of Semeias, and Elnathan son of Achobor, and Gamarias son of Saphan, and Sedecias son of Hananias, and all the notables in general.
To these Michaeas repeated all he had heard Baruch read out from the scroll in public;
and Judi, son of Nathanias, son of Selemias, son of Cushi, was sent on an errand to Baruch in the name of all present. Come thither he must, and bring the scroll he had read thus publicly with him. So it was Baruch, son of Nerias, that came before them, and the scroll with him;
they bade him be seated, and read it aloud to them, so read it he did.
When all the reading was over, they looked each at other in amazement, and told Baruch all this must be brought to the king’s ears.
Then they asked, How comes it that these are the words of Jeremias, and yet of thy writing?
Why, said he, Jeremias gave them out, as if he were reading them aloud, and I sat by with paper and ink to write them down.
Go into hiding, they told him, thou and Jeremias with thee, and be sure none knows where to find you.
Then they made their way into the palace court to find the king, leaving the book there in the secretary’s room. When they had brought their news to his hearing,
the king would have Judi fetch the book itself from Elisama’s room; which he did, and read it out for the king to hear, and all the courtiers that stood about him.
Since it was the ninth month, Joachim was in his winter parlour, and a brazier of coals in front of him;
and when Judi had read but three columns or four, he took his pen-knife and began cutting the scroll into pieces, which he threw on to the brazier until the whole book had perished in the flames.
King and courtiers listened to all these warnings, yet feared they never, nor rent their clothes;
and although Elnathan, Dalaias and Gamarias would have prevented Joachim from burning the scroll, he would not listen to them.
Jeremiel son of Amalech,✻ Saraias son of Ezriel, and Selemias son of Abdeel were bidden to attach the persons of the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremias; but the Lord kept them in safe hiding.
And this was the Lord’s word to the prophet Jeremias, when the king burnt the scroll, and with it all the utterances he had dictated to Baruch:
Get thee another scroll, and write down on it whatever was contained in the one king Joachim burnt.
And to king Joachim give this message from the Lord: Burn book and chide prophet, if thou wilt, for warning thee that the king of Babylon will come back with all speed, and lay this country waste, leaving neither man nor beast to dwell in it.
But this is the Lord’s doom against king Joachim of Juda: No son of his shall follow him on the throne of David; his body shall be cast away in the open, to bear the day’s heat and the night frost.
With guilt of his, with guilt of household and court of his, I will reckon in full; all my unheeded threats against Jerusalem and Juda shall be made good.
So Jeremias must get Baruch another scroll to write on, and all the contents of the book Joachim burnt must be dictated anew; much more was added besides to enlarge it.
The Holy Bible