Jeremiah 36:24
Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.
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(24-25) Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments . . .—If we suppose that the “servants” are identical with the princes, these were the very men who, when they first heard the words, had been afraid, “both one and other.” Now the king’s presence restrains them, and they dare not show their alarm at the contents of the scroll, nor “rend their clothes” (comp. Matthew 26:65; Acts 14:14) at what must have seemed to them the sacrilege of burning a scroll that contained a message from Jehovah. Three only had the courage, though they did not show their abhorrence, to entreat the king to refrain from his impiety. (See Note on Jeremiah 36:12.) Possibly, however, the “servants” or “courtiers” are distinguished from the princes, and are specially named in the next verse.

Jeremiah 36:24. Yet they were not afraid — No, not those princes that trembled at the word when they heard it the first time, Jeremiah 36:16. The fear with which they were then seized quickly wore off, or else they durst not discover it in the king’s presence, who showed no concern himself. Nor rent their garments — A custom observed among the Jews at the hearing of any dreadful news; neither the king nor any of his servants that heard all these words — How different was the spirit of this king and his courtiers from that of his father Josiah, who, when he heard the words of the law read to him by Shaphan the scribe, both rent his clothes and wept before the Lord in the deepest humiliation and distress, persuaded that great was the wrath about to be poured upon the nation; and yet the parts of the law read to him were certainly neither so particular, nor so immediately adapted to the present state of affairs in the country as the contents of this roll were.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!Leaves - Columns: literally folding-doors; the word exactly describes the shape of the columns of writing upon the scroll.

Penknife - "Scribe's knife;" used to shape the reed for writing, and to make erasures in the parchment.

On the hearth - Or, in the fire-pan. The conduct of the king shows how violent was his temper.

24. The king and his "servants" were more hardened than the "princes" and councillors (see on [947]Jer 36:12; [948]Jer 36:14; [949]Jer 36:16). Contrast the humble fear exhibited by Josiah at the reading of the law (2Ki 22:11). So hardened were this people’s hearts, that though they knew that Jeremiah was a prophet of the Lord, upon the experience now of more than twenty years, and the whole scope of his prophecies had been to denounce the just judgments of God that now were coming upon this people, and they could not but understand that God must be greatly assistant to Jeremiah in writing this roll, all the matter of which he could not otherwise have kept in mind so many years, yet they had no serious fear of God upon their hearts, working upon the hearing the dreadful matter of these prophecies, nor showed any sign of remorse, or sense of their sins, or God’s judgments coming upon them as indications of his wrath. Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments,.... They were not struck with horror at such an impious action as the burning of the roll; nor afraid of the judgments and wrath of God threatened in it; nor did they rend their garments in token of sorrow and mourning on account of either, as used to be when anything blasphemous was said or done, or any bad news were brought. The Jews from hence conclude, that whenever a man sees the book of the law torn of cut to pieces, he should rend his garments (t). The persons here meant are not the princes that first heard the roll read in the secretary's office, for they were afraid, Jeremiah 36:16; unless they now dissembled in the king's presence, or had shook off their fears; however, if they are included, three must be excepted, whose names are mentioned in Jeremiah 36:25; and those who are more especially designed are expressed in the next clause:

neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words; not all that were in the roll, for they only heard a part; but all that were in that part, which was enough to make them fear and tremble; but they were hardened in their sins; and by the hardness and impenitence of their hearts treasured up wrath against the day of wrath. These servants of the king seem to be those in waiting, and not the princes that came to him; however, they were not all of this complexion and character, since it follows:

(t) T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 26. 1.

Yet they were not afraid, nor tore {m} their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.

(m) Showing that the wicked instead of repenting when they hear God's judgments, grow into further malice against him and his word.

24. And they were not afraid … neither the king] Contrast the conduct of the king’s father (2 Kings 22:11).Verse 24. - Yet they were not afraid. Unlike Josiah (2 Kings 22:11), and even Ahab (1 Kings, 21:27). Nor any of his servants; i.e. the courtiers, as opposed to the "princes." Meanwhile, in order to inform themselves more exactly regarding what had happened, they ask Baruch, "Tell us, how hast thou written all these words at his mouth?" Thereupon Baruch replied, "He used to call aloud these words to me," i.e., he used to dictate them to me by word of mouth, "and I wrote them in the book with ink." The imperfect expresses the repeated or continued doing of anything; hence יקרא here means to dictate, which requires considerable time. In the following circumstantial clause is found the participle ואני כתב, while I was writing; and so I myself was doing nothing else all the time than writing down what was dictated. Some commentators have found a stumbling-block in מפּיו in the question of the princes (Jeremiah 36:17); the lxx and Ewald omit this word, inasmuch as Baruch does not explain till afterwards that he had written down the words from the mouth of Jeremiah. Others, like Venema, take מפּיו as a question equals המפּיו. Both explanations are arbitrary and unnecessary. The princes knew quite well that the substance of the book was from the mouth of Jeremiah, i.e., contained his addresses; but Baruch, too, might have composed the book from the oral discourses of the prophet without being commissioned by him, without his knowledge also, and against his will. Accordingly, to attain certainty as to the share of the prophet in this matter, they ask him, and Baruch answers that Jeremiah had dictated it to him.
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