Jeremiah 36:2
Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Take thee a roll of a book.—The same phrase meets us in Psalm 40:7 (ascribed by some critics to Jeremiah), but does not occur in any earlier prophet or historical book. It is found in later prophets (Ezekiel 2:9; Ezekiel 3:1; Zechariah 5:1-2). It probably followed on the introduction of parchment as a material for writing on, and the consequent substitution of the roll for the papyrus books, for which, from their fragile fabric, a different form was necessary. The command thus given to Baruch is interesting as letting us, so to speak, into the “workshop” of the prophet. He speaks probably without premeditation, as the word of the Lord comes to him (Matthew 10:19). A disciple acts as reporter, and preserves the utterance in writing. It is interesting in this respect to note the parallelism between Jeremiah’s modus operandi and St. Paul’s (Romans 16:22; Galatians 6:11; 2Thessalonians 3:17). From time to time the prophet collects, repeats, revises, and, in modern phrase, edits what he has uttered. We have here accordingly what may be described as the history of the first volume of his discourses—a volume which perished, as the chapter records, but of which the earlier chapters of the present book are substantially a reproduction.

Jeremiah 36:2. Take thee a roll of a book — Compare Isaiah 8:1; Ezekiel 2:9; Zechariah 5:1. The ancient manner of writing was upon long scrolls of parchment, which they afterward rolled upon sticks. On these words it is remarked by Harmer, (vol. 4. chap. 7, obs. 122,) “Many things were rolled up, much in the shape of an ancient Jewish manuscript, which yet were not fit to write upon; the words then in this, and some other similar cases, may be understood to mean, Take thee a roll, or volume, fit to be made a book of, fit to be written on.” And write therein all the words that I have spoken against Israel and Judah — Jeremiah prophesied against Israel as well as against Judah, Jeremiah 2:4; Jeremiah 3:12; Jeremiah 3:14; Jeremiah 23:13; Jeremiah 32:30. The kingdom of Israel was indeed destroyed by Shalmaneser, before the time of Jeremiah; but yet the prophet was ordered to reprove their sins, both to make the justice of God appear in punishing them so severely, and withal to warn the Jews by their example. Besides, there were some remains of these tribes still left, who joined themselves to the tribe of Judah. And against all the nations — See Jeremiah 25:15-16. From the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah — Namely, all the revelations which he had had from God for twenty-two years last past; for he began to prophesy in the thirteenth year of Josiah, who reigned thirty-one years, so that he prophesied eighteen years during Josiah’s life, and this was the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, his successor. God would have his prophecies recorded, that there might be a memorial of them, that so the truth of them might appear when God should bring them to pass; the time of which now drew near.

36:1-8 The writing of the Scriptures was by Divine appointment. The Divine wisdom directed to this as a proper means; if it failed, the house of Judah would be the more without excuse. The Lord declares to sinners the evil he purposes to do against them, that they may hear, and fear, and return from their evil ways; and whenever any one makes this use of God's warnings, in dependence on his promised mercy, he will find the Lord ready to forgive his sins. All others will be left without excuse; and the consideration that great is the anger God has pronounced against us for sin, should quicken both our prayers and our endeavours.A roll of a book - A parchment-scroll, consisting of several skins sewn together, and cut of an even breadth, with a piece of wood at one end (or, in case of larger volumes, at both ends) on which to roll them up.

Write therein all the words ... - The phrase means that the roll was to contain "all the counsel of God" Acts 20:27 upon the special point mentioned in Jeremiah 36:3; and that the prophet was not to keep anything back.

2. roll of a book—a book formed of prepared skins made into a roll. Compare "volume of the book," that is, the Pentateuch (Ps 40:7). It does not follow that his prophecies were not before committed to writing; what is implied is, they were now written together in one volume, so as to be read continuously to the Jews in the temple.

against … nations—(Jer 25:15, &c.).

from … days of Josiah—(Jer 25:3). From Josiah's thirteenth year (Jer 1:2).

By

a roll of a book is to be understood parchments, which anciently were their books, the art of binding books being not then known. The precept is for recording all the revelations he had from God for twenty-two years last past; for he began to prophesy in the thirteenth year of Josiah, who reigned one and thirty years, so as he prophesied eighteen years during Josiah’s life, and this was the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim. God would have them recorded, that there might be a memorial of them, that so the truth of them might appear, when God should bring them to pass, the time of which now drew very near.

Take thee a roll of a book,.... A roll of parchment, which being wrote on, and rolled up, was called a book; but books, in those times, did not consist of leaves cut and stitched together, and bound up, as our books are, but sheets of parchments being written upon, were glued together, and then rolled up; hence such writings were called volumes; which name we still retain, and give to books, though the same practice is not used:

and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah; for though Israel was carried captive before the times of Jeremiah, and his prophecies were chiefly directed against Judah; yet as there were some of the ten tribes mixed with them, they were included in these prophecies, and therefore mentioned:

and against all the nations; such as Egypt, Edom, Ammon, and Moab, Jeremiah 9:26;

from the day that I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day; that is, from the time the Lord called him to prophesy in his name, which was in, the thirteenth year of Josiah, who reigned one and thirty years; and this being the fourth year of Jehoiakim, it must be the three and twentieth year of his prophesying, and the a course of full two and twenty years; see Jeremiah 1:2; now all the sermons, discourses, and prophecies, he had delivered out against one and another, during this time, must all be written in one roll or book, that that they might be read. Kimchi says their Rabbins (n) would have it that this roll was the book of the Lamentations, called by them "Megallah", or roll.

(n) T. Bab. Moed Katon fol. 26. 1.

Take thee a scroll of a book, and write in it all the words that I have spoken to thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to thee, {b} from the days of Josiah, even to this day.

(b) Which were twenty and three years, as in Jer 25:3 counting from the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. Take thee a roll of a book] Several skins were stitched together and attached to a roller of wood at one or both ends. The writing was arranged in columns parallel to the rollers, so that as the parchment was gradually unrolled from one end to the other, the successive columns could be read. Our word volume (that which is rolled up) points by its derivation to this older form of book.

write therein all the words] The prophet’s memory would supply him with the substance at any rate of the prophecies which he had uttered for the twenty-three years of his mission. But we may well believe, from the vivid style in which some of the earlier prophecies have come down to us, that he was able to draw upon some contemporary records of the exact language he had used, occasionally modifying it so as to adapt it to new circumstances.

Israel] Jeremiah addresses the Northern kingdom with promises only (Jeremiah 3:6 ff., Jeremiah 31:2 ff.). Accordingly it is better to read, with considerable support from MSS. of LXX, Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 36:2The word of the Lord to Jeremiah was to this effect: "Take thee a book-roll, and write on it (אליה for עליה) all the words that I have spoken unto thee concerning Israel and Judah, and concerning all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah till this day. Jeremiah 36:3. Perhaps the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I meditate doing to them, that they may return every one from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin." ישׁמעוּ here means, to hear correctly and lay to heart; cf. Jeremiah 26:3. Hitzig views the command as meaning, not that Jeremiah is now for the first time to write down his addresses (which would be an impossibility for the most faithful memory), but that he is merely to write them down together in one book, out of the several scattered leaves and scraps. Graf has already refuted this view, though more fully than was necessary. It is not a copying, word for word, of every separate address that is meant, but merely a writing down of the essential contents of all his oral discourses. This is quite clear, not merely from what is stated in Jeremiah 36:3 as the object of this command, but also from the character of these collected addresses, as they are preserved to us. That the expression "all the words" is not to be understood in the most rigid sense, follows from the very fact that, when Jeremiah anew wrote down his prophecies, Jeremiah 36:32, he further added "many similar words" to what had been contained in the first book-roll, which was burned by Jehoiakim. But Jeremiah might perhaps be able to retain in his memory the substance of all the addresses he had delivered during the twenty-three years, since all of them treated of the same subjects - reproof of prevailing sins, threat of punishment, and promises.
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