Jeremiah 36:14
Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, 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, and came unto them.
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(14) Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah. . . .—There must obviously have been some reason for the exceptionally long genealogy thus given. It is probably indicated by the first and last names on the list. Cushi ( = Ethiopian)—the name appears, probably with this sense, as that of a courier of Joab’s in 2Samuel 18:21—was an alien by birth, who, like Ebed-melech the Ethiopian (Jeremiah 38:7), had gained the favour of one of Jehoiakim’s predecessors, and had become a proselyte. The rule of Deuteronomy 23:8 did not admit of the full incorporation of the descendants of such proselytes—Edomite or Egyptian, the latter term being taken probably as including Ethiopian—till the third generation, and the name Jehudi ( = Jew) was naturally enough given to the child who first became entitled to that privilege. The part he takes in the proceedings, though not more than ministerial, indicates sympathy with the prophet, and we may perhaps connect this with the like sympathy shown by Ebed-melech in Jeremiah 38:7. In Psalm 87:4 (probably belonging to the reign of Hezekiah) we have, it may be noted, a record of the admission of such Ethiopian proselytes. The purpose of his mission was to bring Baruch to the council of princes, that they might judge, on hearing the contents of the roll, how far it corresponded with Michaiah’s report. He comes, the princes listen, and the impression made on them is given in Jeremiah 36:16. We note a tone of respect in the request that Baruch would “sit down”—i.e., take the attitude of a teacher (Luke 4:20).

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.Jehudi signifies a Jew and Cushi an Ethiopian, but it seems reasonable to conclude that they are genuine, proper names. 14. Jehudi—of a good family, as appears from his pedigree being given so fully, but in a subordinate position.

come—Instead of requiring Baruch to come to them, they ought to have gone to the temple, and there professed their penitence. But pride forbade it [Calvin].

That is, all the princes that at that time sat there in council sent a messenger with a command to Baruch to appear before them: and to bring the roll which he had read in the ears of the people.

Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi,.... Who, according to Junius, was the king's apparitor: he is described by his descent,

the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi; him the princes sent, being not one of their body, but a servant at court:

to Baruch; who was very probably still in the temple, where Micaiah left him:

saying, take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come; that is, to the king's palace, to the secretary's office, where they were, and bring the roll along with him he had been reading to the people, and of which Micaiah had given them some account; and which had such an effect upon them, as to make them desirous of hearing it themselves;

so Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them; which showed great boldness and intrepidity in him, to go at once, without any hesitation, to court, and appear before the princes with his roll, which contained things so very disagreeable to the king and his ministry; but as he had not been afraid to read it publicly before the people in the temple, so neither was he afraid to read it before the princes at court.

Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, 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, and came unto them.
14. Jehudi … the son of Cushi] Although the first of these names also means a Jew, and the second an Ethiopian, it is more probable that both are distinctly proper names here. There may, however, still be a reference to Ethiopian descent in the latter name. We may note that it is quite usual in mentioning persons of comparatively slight distinction to trace their descent back for three generations.

Verse 14. - Jehudi... the son of Cushi. A genealogy which contains a history. Jehudi is not a true proper name, any more than Gadi ("a Gadite"), the quasi-name of the father of Menahem (2 Kings 15:14), or than Cushi, the quasi-name of Jehudi's great-grandfather. Cushi himself was, doubtless, an Ethiopian, and probably (like Ebed-melech, Jeremiah 38:7) a eunuch, or at least chamberlain; his son and grandson were both worshippers of Jehovah (as their names indicate), but were not qualified to become Jewish citizens. The Egyptian was not, indeed, to be abhorred, but not until the third generation could his descendants be admitted into" the congregation" (Deuteronomy 23:8). Egypt and Ethiopia were historically connected (see Lenormant's 'Ancient History,' index to vol. 1.). For the name of "Jehudi," comp. "Jehudith," daughter of Beeri the Hittite (Genesis 26:34). Jeremiah 36:14On this information the princes sent Jehudi (perhaps one of the under-officers of the secretary of state) to Baruch, to bring him, with the book from which he had read. From the designation, "Jehudi son of Nethaniah, son of Shelemiah, son of Cushi," Hitzig and Graf conclude that the first and last are not proper names, but appellatives, "the Jew" and "the Cushite," and account for the use of them on the ground that, through the application of the law given in Deuteronomy 23:7-8 to Cushites as well as Egyptians, the ancestor was a Cushite, and only his great-grandson became a Jew, or Jewish citizen, and was called "Jehudi." But this view is opposed (1) by the fact that the names of the father and the grandfather are true proper names, and these, moreover, contain the name Jah (Jahveh), - hence are genuine proper names of Israelites; moreover, (2) even in olden times Jehudith occurs as a woman's name, Genesis 26:34. According to this, Jehudi is a true proper name, and at the most, Cushi is but a surname of the great-grandfather, given him because of his descent from the Cushites. Further, the law, Deuteronomy 23:7, applies only to the posterity of the Edomites and Egyptians, that these should not be received into the congregation of the Lord till the third generation; this ordinance was based on grounds which did not permit of its application to other nations. These might be naturalized even in the first generation on undergoing circumcision, with the exception of Canaanites, Ammonites, and Moabites, who were not to be admitted into the Israelitish community even in the tenth generation, Deuteronomy 23:3.
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