Jeremiah 36:10
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) In the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan.—The man thus named belonged to a family which, through three successive generations, presented conspicuous examples of devout patriotism. His father Shaphan was energetic in the work of re-building the Temple under Josiah (2Kings 22:3), in conjunction with the high priest Hilkiah, and had taken an active part in publishing the contents of the newly-discovered book of the Law of the Lord (2Kings 23:12). As a scribe, he must have taken part in the king’s edicts for the restoration of the true worship, and probably also in ordering copies of the new-found treasure—the whole Law, or, more probably, the book of Deuteronomy—to be made by the scribes who worked under him. We have seen one of his sons, Ahikam, protecting the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 26:24. Here Gemariah places his chamber in the Temple court at the service of the prophet’s delegate. The “new gate” may well have been a prominent part of the wor!r effected by Shaphan and Hilkiah (2Kings 22:5-6), and this may have led to a chamber over it being assigned to his son. (See Note on Jeremiah 35:4.) The people addressed may have been either in the outer court of the Temple, or gathered outside the gate. A chamber over the gateway would naturally have an opening on either side. The general use of the word for “entry” is in favour of the latter hypothesis.

36:9-19 Shows of piety and devotion may be found even among those, who, though they keep up forms of godliness, are strangers and enemies to the power of it. The princes patiently attended the reading of the whole book. They were in great fear. But even those who are convinced to the truth and importance of what they hear, and are disposed to favour those who preach it, often have difficulties and reserves about their safety, interest, or preferment, so that they do not act according to their convictions, and try to get rid of what they find troublesome.Gemariah seems to have inherited his father's office of public scribe or secretary of state (see 2 Kings 22:3). As brother of Ahikam, he would be favorable to Jeremiah.

The higher court - The inner court; into which it was not lawful for the people to enter, but the chamber probably itself formed one of its sides, and could be approached from the outer court.

10. chamber—Baruch read from the window or balcony of the chamber looking into the court where the people were assembled. However, some of the chambers were large enough to contain a considerable number (Ne 13:5).

Gemariah—distinct from the Gemariah, son of Hilkiah, in Jer 29:3.

Shaphan—the same person as in 2Ki 22:3.

scribe—secretary of state, or he who presided over the public records.

higher court—that of the priests, the court of the people being lower (2Ch 4:9).

new gate—(Jer 26:10). The east gate.

This verse only attesteth Baruch’s obedience to the command of the prophet Jeremiah, not only as to the thing. his reading it in the temple, but as to the circumstance, in as public a manner as he could,

in the chamber of Gemariah, & c., most likely out of some window, or in some balcony, the people being below, and hearing it. Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord,.... The prophecies of Jeremiah he had taken from him in writing on a roll of parchment; these he read in the temple, in a part of it, after described:

in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe; not a scribe of the law, or an officer of the temple, but the king's chancellor or secretary of state; for this is the title, not of Gemariah, who had a chamber in the temple here mentioned, in which Baruch read his roll, and was an officer there, but of Shaphan, as the accents show, and as his title runs elsewhere, 2 Kings 22:9; which chamber was

in the higher court; it looked into it, which some say was the court of the priests; but into that Baruch, not being a priest, could not enter: rather, according to Dr. Lightfoot, it was the court of Israel, on the same ground with it, though parted from it, and divided from the court of the women by a wall, to which they went by an ascent of fifteen steps; so that it might with great propriety be called the higher court:

at the entry of the new gate of the Lord's house; the eastern gate, as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret it: here Baruch read his roll,

in the ears of all the people; that were in the court; so that being in a chamber, he must read out of the chamber window, or in a balcony before it.

Then Baruch read 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 entrance of the {h} new gate of the LORD'S house, in the ears of all the people.

(h) Which is the East gate of the temple.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe] Shaphan was himself scribe in the days of Josiah (2 Kings 22:3). If this Shaphan be the one mentioned in Jeremiah 26:24, Gemariah was brother of Ahikam, who was friendly to Jeremiah. He is, of course, distinct from the Gemariah mentioned Jeremiah 29:3.

upper court] the same as the “inner court” of 1 Kings 6:36; 1 Kings 7:12. See on Jeremiah 20:2.

new gate] See on Jeremiah 26:10.Verse 10. - The chamber (see on Jeremiah 35:4) of Genesisariah...the scribe. Genesisariah was favourably disposed to Jeremiah (ver. 25); he was probably the brother of Jeremiah's friend, Ahikam (Jeremiah 26:24). He was one of the royal secretaries, and reckoned among the "princes" (see ver. 12). In the higher court. "Higher" equivalent to "inner." The new gate (see on Jeremiah 20:2). Jeremiah carries out the divine command by making Baruch write down on a book-roll all the words of the Lord, out of his mouth ('מפּי , i.e., at the dictation of Jeremiah); and since he himself is prevented from getting to the house of the Lord, he bids him read the words he had written down in the ears of the people in the temple on the fast-day, at the same time expressing the hope, Jeremiah 36:7 : "Perhaps their supplication will fall down before the Lord, and they will return each one from his wicked way; for great is the wrath and the anger which the Lord hath expressed concerning this people." Baruch, who is mentioned so early as Jeremiah 32:12. as the attendant of the prophet, was, according to the passage now before us, his amanuensis, and executed his commissions. אני עצוּר, according to Jeremiah 33:1 and Jeremiah 39:15, might mean, "I am in prison;" but this does not accord with the request of the princes, Jeremiah 36:19, that Jeremiah should hide himself. Moreover, עצוּר does not mean "seized, captus," but "stopped, restrained, hindered;" see on Nehemiah 6:10. The cause of hindrance is not mentioned, as being away from the purpose of the narrative. "To read in the roll in the ears of the people," i.e., to read to the people out of the book. בּיום צום does not mean "on any fast-day whatever," but, "on the fast-day." The article is omitted because there was no need for defining the fast-day more exactly. The special fast-day mentioned in Jeremiah 36:9 is intended. 'תּפּל תּחנּתם וגו, "their supplication will fall down before the Lord," i.e., reach unto God, as if it were laid before His feet. נפל is transferred from the posture of the suppliant - his falling down before God - to his supplication. Hence, in Hiphil, to make the supplication fall down before the Lord is equivalent to laying the request at His feet; Jeremiah 38:26; Jeremiah 42:9; Daniel 9:18, Daniel 9:20. If the supplication actually comes before God, it is also heard and finds success. This success is pointed out in 'וישׁבוּ וגו, "that they may repent." If man, in a repentant spirit, supplicates God for grace, God grants him power for conversion. But the return of the people from their wicked way is indispensable, because the wrath which God has expressed concerning it is great, i.e., because God has threatened a heavy judgment of wrath.
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