Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Fourth, towards the conclusion, after the siege was raised, ver. 6, 9.
Write. He had already prophesied 22 years. Now he was more frequently ordered to write. (Calmet) --- He executed the order by the hand of Baruch, ver. 4.
If. This indicates free-will. (Haydock) --- God makes this last effort, that the hearing of so many separate prophecies together might make a deeper impression.
Book. This was afterwards burnt. What he wrote a second time has not come down to us, in the same order. Jeremias made us of his memory, which was directed by the Holy Spirit. (Calmet)
Shut up. Not that the prophet was now in prison; for the contrary appears from ver. 19., but that he kept himself shut up, by reason of the persecutions he had lately met with. See chap. xxvi. (Challoner) --- If he had been confined, as Grotius asserts, the king would easily have found him. (Calmet) --- He and Baruch retired to some secret place, as most priests (Worthington) did formerly in England, (Haydock) that they might better exercise their functions than they could do in the hands of the persecutors. (Worthington)
Read. This may sometimes have as good an effect as preaching without a book. (Haydock) --- Fasting day of expiation, (Usher, the year of the world 3398) or rather on (Haydock) the day prescribed in the 9th month, ver. 9. (Lyranus) (Tirinus)
They. Literally, "their supplication may fall prostrate before," &c. (Haydock) --- It is personified. So Homer represents (Calmet) "supplications," as daughters of Jupiter, lame, and with eyes averted, (Iliad ix.) to shew how we ought to pray. Jeremias finds means to instruct the people: the word of God is not bound, 2 Timothy ii. 9. (Calmet) --- As many refused to hear his discourses, God ordered him to write what might be a perpetual warning and reproach, or testimony against them. (Worthington)
Fast. Probably on account of the catastrophe the second year, Daniel i. 2. Many such were afterwards appointed, Zacharias vii. 3., and viii. 19. All came to Jerusalem on such occasions.
Gate, on the east, (2 Paralipomenon xx. 5.) leading to the court of the priests. (Calmet)
Reading. No study was requisite. (Haydock) --- Ink. It formerly resembled that used by printers, (Calmet) being composed of soot and gum. (Vitruvius vii. 10.)
Are. Thus they provide for the safety of the prophets, and perform their duty to the king.
Read it. This was the third time. It was in vain afterwards to destroy the book.
Winter-house. He was very magnificent, and had other apartments for summer. Though the climate was warm, fires would be useful in November. --- Hearth. There was no chimney used, and the smoke went out by the door, or by holes at the top of the room, as we see in some old monasteries. (Calmet) --- Charcoal was probably used, Baruch vi. 42.
Pages. Perhaps what was written on so many skins, (Haydock) or sheets of paper, pasted together, and rolled up; or there might be some marks to shew the different subjects, like the sections used in the synagogue, (Calmet) or our chapters; though we are assured that all was formerly written without any separation even of letters. Protestants have "leaves." (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "doors." (Calmet) The secretary cut and burnt the leaves by the king's order, ver. 25. (Worthington)
Afraid. They saw all without any concern, not believing that God spoke to them. They did not imitate Josias, 2 Paralipomenon xxxiv. 19.
Hid them, and prevented any one from betraying them. (Calmet) --- He did not remove them to a place different from what they had chosen by his direction. (Worthington)
None, &c. Because his son, Joachin or Jechonias, within three months after the death of his father, was carried away to Babylon, so that his reign is not worthy to be taken notice of. (Challoner) (Theodoret) (Worthington) --- He was subject to the Chaldeans; his uncle took his place. Joakim had the burial of an ass, chap. xii. 18. (Calmet) --- None of the following princes enjoyed the glory or power of the ancient king. (St. Thomas Aquinas, [Summa Theologiae] p. 3. qu. 31. a. 2.) (Worthington)
Before. We cannot tell what. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "many like words." (Haydock)