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Jeremiah 36:17-18

17. And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth?

17. Baruch autem interrogarunt, dicendo, Indica agedum nobis quomodo scripseris cunctos sermones istos ex ore ejus?

18. Then Baruch answered them, he pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book.

18. Et dixit illis Baruch, Ex ore suo pronuntiavit mihi cunctos sermones istos, et ego scripsi super librum cum atramento.


The king’s counsellors were, no doubt, so astonished when they heard that these threatenings had been written as the Prophet had dictated them, that they were agitated by different thoughts, as the unbelieving are wont to be; and not receiving as they ought to have done, the heavenly doctrine, they vacillated, and could not pursue a uniform course. Such, then, was the uncertainty that possessed the minds of the princes; for they could hardly believe that these words had been delivered by memory, but had suspicion of some trickery, as the unbelieving imagine many such things respecting God’s servants; and they seem to act thus designedly, that they may obscure God’s favor, which appears before their eyes. For this purpose, then, they are said to ask Baruch how he took the words from the mouth of Jeremiah 105105     Some have made two questions here, — “How didst thou write all these words? from his mouth?” The answer seems to favor this construction; as usual in Scripture, the last question is answered first, and then the first: Baruch said, “From his mouth he pronounced to me all these words;” and then he adds, answering the first question, “and I wrote on the book with ink.” — Ed.

He simply answered, that Jeremiah had pronounced these words to him. They might hence have concluded, that Jeremiah had no roll laid before him, and that he had been not long meditating on what he communicated to his scribe Baruch. And though he seems to have said no more than what might satisfy the princes, yet the purport of the whole is, that Jeremiah did not produce the roll from a recess or his desk, but promptly gave utterance to what God’s Spirit suggested to him. Their astonishment, then, must have increased, when the king’s counsellors knew that these commands did not proceed from a mortal man, but that, on the contrary, God spoke them by the mouth of Jeremiah, and by the hand of Baruch. It follows, —

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