The value placed on the Bible in the above story is in contrast to the reaction of an Old Testament king to the word of God sent to him. Before quoting the scriptures, it is necessary to explain “rolls” to some modern readers. History is not taught in the schools the way it used to be so some readers may puzzle over “rolls”.
At the time of the Old Testament, they did not have books. They used skins of animals to write on, so the “rolls” that Baruch wrote on are equivalent to saying books or pamphlets or reports in our modern day language. The Egyptians also used rolls or scrolls, but theirs were made of papyrus, a plant.
Jeremiah 36:14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them.
15 And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears.
16 Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words.
17 And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth?
18 Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book.
19 Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye be.
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.
21 So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.
22 Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.
23 And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.
24 Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.
25 Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll: but he would not hear them.
26 But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the Lord hid them.
The king ultimately heard it, didn’t like it, burned it in the fire and consequently …
Jeremiah 36:27 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying,
28 Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.
29 And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast?
30 Therefore thus saith the Lord of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.
31 And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not.
32 Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.
[emphasis mine, parents and caretakers probably can relate]
So after Jehoiakim “talked smack” to the Lord by burning the words that came through Jeremiah, what happened?
Here is a little more of the history of Jehoiakim. As Jeremiah prophesied, and as documented by a famous Jewish historian, “Josephus writes that Nebuchadnezzar slew Jehoiakim along with high-ranking officers and then commanded Jehoiakim’s body “to be thrown before the walls, without any burial.” Source
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