Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book Yahweh’s words in Yahweh’s house. Now in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem, proclaimed a fast before Yahweh. Then Baruch read the words of Jeremiah from the book in Yahweh’s house, in the room of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court, at the entry of the new gate of Yahweh’s house, in the ears of all the people.
When Micaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book all Yahweh’s words, he went down into the king’s house, into the scribe’s room; and behold, all the princes were sitting there, Elishama the scribe, Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of Achbor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes. Then Micaiah declared to them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people. Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to Baruch, saying, “Take in your hand the scroll in which you have read in the ears of the people, and come.”
So Baruch the son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand, and came to them. They said to him, “Sit down now, and read it in our hearing.”
So Baruch read it in their hearing.
Now when they had heard all the words, they turned in fear one toward another, and said to Baruch, “We will surely tell the king of all these words.” They asked Baruch, saying, “Tell us now, how did you write all these words at his mouth?”
Then Baruch answered them, “He dictated all these words to me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book.”
These events appear to have been pretty unusual in Judah during Jeremiah’s time, but they have become the cornerstone of Christian gatherings today. What we have here is the story of a time in Israel in which the words of a prophet were written down and this allowed another man to take it and read it to others. Today, the Bible contains the written words of the prophets that God wants us to know and we have been able to print it and reproduce it on the Internet so that it can get to people almost anywhere on earth and even in space. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was one of the reasons that the New Testament saints chose to use letters to pass around God’s truth. Jeremiah had given them a perfect example of its effectiveness.
All Baruch had to do at this point was to obey and read the book in front of other people and that’s exactly what he did. The amazing thing is that it really did have an effect. We read here that someone who heard the words in the temple area, reported it to the nobles and they requested another hearing. As a result, a proper fear came upon them. Jeremiah had already spoken all of these words but God allowed the written version of them to be heard when they were passed along by another man. That should be an encouragement to us. You may not be able to come up with amazing messages about God, but if you have a Bible, you could just read it to others. I believe that God is showing us that it can have a major effect if we are willing to simply spread the actual words of God.
These words that I am writing are an attempt to point some things out about the verses we read, but the truth of the matter is, that it is God’s word that is the most important part. What you need and what I need the most is just to hear the words of God that the prophets wrote. The words of the Bible are the ones inspired by God and they are the ones that will change your life.