Jeremiah 36:20
And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) They laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama . . .—The step was a material one, from the official standpoint. If either the prophet or the disciple were to be prosecuted for what had been spoken, it was important that the corpus delicti should itself be ready for reference, whether on behalf of the accusers or accused. The precaution taken by the princes of lodging it with Elishama, as the scribe or keeper of the archives, indicates an apprehension that the king, in his passionate waywardness, might act as he actually did. They accordingly content themselves with reporting from memory the substance of what they had heard.

Jeremiah 36:20. And they went in to the king into the court — “They were before, it is said, Jeremiah 36:12, in the king’s house, that is, in the exterior precincts of the palace, where were apartments and offices fitted up for the principal officers of state, and for the attendants of the court. But, from what is here said, there was an interior body of building for the king’s personal residence, ranged, as is the fashion of the great houses of the East at this day, round an open court, or quadrangle, and containing apartments separately appropriated for summer and winter use.” — Blaney. But they laid up the roll, &c. — They were obliged by their office, as counsellors to the king, to acquaint him with what they heard, which might be prejudicial to him and his nation; and indeed this was the very end for which God commanded the enrolling of these prophecies, that both the king and his counsellors, together with all the people, might take notice of them; but they did not carry the book with them, but laid it up in the secretary’s chamber.36:20-32 Those who despise the word of God, will soon show, as this king did, that they hate it; and, like him, they would wish it destroyed. See what enmity there is against God in the carnal mind, and wonder at his patience. The princes showed some concern, till they saw how light the king made of it. Beware of making light of God's word!The court - i. e., The inner quadrangle of the palace, in which was the royal residence.

They laid up the roll - They left the scroll in charge, i. e., in the care of someone.

20. chamber—There were chambers in the king's palace round the court or great hall, as in the temple (Jer 36:10). The roll was "laid up" there for safekeeping, with other public records. They were obliged by their office as counsellors to the king to acquaint him with what they heard, which might be prejudicial to him and his nation; and indeed this was the very end why God had commanded the enrolling of these prophecies, that both the king, and princes, and people might take notice of them; but they did not carry the book with them, but laid it up in the secretary’s chamber. And they went in to the king into the court,.... The inner court, the king's court, where he usually resided; though very probably they did not rush in at once; but first sent to know whether the king could be spoke with, or would admit them, they having something to communicate to him; which they might do by the person in waiting, by whom they were introduced:

but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe; they did not take it with them, but left it in the secretary's office; and, no doubt, put it up safe in some chest or scrutoire, as something valuable, and not to be exposed to everyone; or to be thrown about, torn, or trampled on, as a book of no use and value: very probably it was with the consent of Baruch that it was left with them: and this was a point of prudence in them not to take it with them when they went to the king:

and told all the words in the ears of the king; that is, the sum and substance of them; for it cannot be thought they should remember every word in the roll; but the main of it they did, and rehearsed it in a very audible manner.

And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. the court] This would of course be an open place. Cf. Jeremiah 36:22. Read therefore (changing one consonant in MT.) the word which occurs in MT. of 1 Kings 1:15 (“chamber”) and render cabinet. (So Gi., Du., Co.)Verse 20. - Into the court; i.e. into the inner court, in which the royal apartments were apparently situated (comp. 1 Kings 7:8). On 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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