Jeremiah 36:5
And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the LORD:
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Jeremiah 36:5-6. Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up — It is not said, that “he was shut up in prison” at this time: but barely that he was shut up, or confined, as עצורsignifies, that is, under some such confinement, or restraint, as precluded his going to the house of the Lord. Therefore go thou and read in the roll, &c., upon the fasting day — Not the day of the yearly fast, mentioned Leviticus 23:27, but on a day appointed for a national fast, of which we read more, Jeremiah 36:9, proclaimed by Jehoiakim, probably to avert the calamity hanging over them from the Chaldeans, or from the drought. And it was undoubtedly because of the concourse of people which the prophet knew would then be in the temple that he chose that day, when some would be present from all parts of Judah. It was the opinion, indeed, of Archbishop Usher and Dean Prideaux, that the roll was twice read by Baruch in the temple, and that the first reading was on the tenth day of the seventh month, being the great day of atonement, in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim. “But this,” says Blaney, “I am persuaded is a mistake; and that the reasons urged by the latter of those two learned men, in support of this hypothesis, are by no means conclusive. I see no good reason for concluding that the roll was read publicly in the temple more than once; nor does Josephus, who speaks of its being read in the ninth month of the fifth year, (Antiquities, lib. 10. cap. 6,) give the least hint of its having been read before; if it had been, I think we might naturally expect to be informed how it was received by those who heard it the first time, as well as by those who heard it the second. From the utter silence on this head, the contrary may be presumed, and we may fairly conjecture the case to have been pretty nearly as follows. Toward the latter end of Jehoiakim’s fourth year, after Nebuchadnezzar had replaced him on the throne, and had left the city, it is possible that both king and people, freed from former apprehensions, began again to indulge their wicked inclinations; and therefore Jeremiah was ordered to lay before them at once all the evils that still threatened them, and from which nothing but speedy repentance could protect them. In consequence of this charge, he caused Baruch to write a collection of all his prophecies, and to have them in readiness to read at a fit opportunity. Perhaps the collection was not fully completed before the fifth year was already begun; but the season pitched on, as most convenient for reading this tremendous publication, was the day on which the people should assemble to deplore, before God, the calamity with which he had visited them just twelve months before. Accordingly, at that time Baruch read openly in the temple what he had written, and the immediate consequences of such reading are here related at large.”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.Shut up - Hindered from going; perhaps through fear of Jehoiakim. 5. I am shut up—not in prison, for there is no account of his imprisonment under Jehoiakim, and Jer 36:19, 26 are inconsistent with it: but, "I am prevented," namely, by some hindrance; or, through fear of the king, to whose anger Baruch was less exposed, as not being the author of the prophecy. No text from Poole on this verse. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up,.... In prison, according to Jarchi; but this is not likely, for then there would have been no occasion for an order to take him, Jeremiah 36:26. Grotius thinks he was obliged by the king's order to stay at home; possibly he might be restrained by the Spirit of God, or had not freedom in his own mind to go abroad; there might be a restraint, an impulse upon his spirit, by the Spirit of God. Some think he was under some legal pollution, which made him unfit to go into the temple: for it follows:

I cannot go into the house of the Lord: labouring either under some bodily infirmity, or ceremonial defilement, or was forbidden by the king. What was the true cause is not certain; but so it was, that either he was discharged, or disabled, or disqualified, from going into the house of God.

And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am {d} shut up; I cannot go into the house of the LORD:

(d) Meaning, in prison through the malice of the priests.

5. I am shut up] The same verb occurs chs. Jeremiah 33:1, Jeremiah 39:15, in the sense of in confinement. Here, however, it cannot have that force (see Jeremiah 36:19), but simply means that he was hindered from addressing the people by ceremonial uncleanness (cp. 1 Samuel 21:7, where the Hebrew verb “detained” is the same) or some other cause, perhaps danger to his life arising from the extreme unpopularity of his recent utterances.Verse 5. - I am shut up. Not so; Jeremiah was not detained by material force. Some strong reason he had (perhaps of a ceremonial kind), but as it was irrelevant to the narrative, it is not given. Render, I am detained (same verb as in 1 Samuel 21:7). The declaration concerning the Rechabites is introduced by the formula, "And to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said;" thereby, too, it is shown that the statement does not form an integral portion of the preceding address, but was uttered by Jeremiah perhaps at the close of his transactions with them (Jeremiah 35:11). But it is not given till now, in order to signify to the people of Judah that even fidelity to paternal commands has its own rewards, to make the threat uttered against Judah all the more impressive. On the promise Jeremiah 35:19, cf. Jeremiah 33:18. Since עמד denotes the standing of a servant before his master, and in Jeremiah 7:10 is used of the appearance of the people before the Lord in the temple, עמד לפני seems here also to express not merely the permanence of the family, but in addition, their continuance in the service of the Lord, without, of course, involving sacerdotal service; cf. on the other hand, Jeremiah 33:18, where this service is more exactly described. The acknowledgment of the Lord on the part of the Rechabites is a necessary result of their connection with Israel.

(Note: According to the account of the Jewish missionary Wolff, there are still some Rechabites in Asia, in Mesopotamia and Yemen, who affirm that they are descended from Hobab the brother-in-law [A.V. "father-in-law;" but see Smith's Bible Dictionary, vol. i. Hobab] of Moses. Wolff points out that part of the desert of Yemen near Senaa as the special locality where these Rechabites live. Cf. Dr. Joseph Wolff, ein Wanderleben, von Dr. Sengelmann, Hamburg 1863, S. 65 u 196.)

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