In December 604 B.C., Jeremiah was ordered by the Lord to write down all his prophecies on a scroll. The prophecies included many threats against the nation of Judah and its rulers and people, which would be enacted if they did not repent of their rebellious ways. Jeremiah, prevented from entering the Temple, sent his secretary Baruch to read the scroll to the people. The populace had gathered in the Temple for a fast. When they heard what Jeremiah had written, certain officials became interested and asked that the scroll be read in their presence too.
When Baruch complied, these officials took the words seriously and said that the king must be informed. Knowing that the king would not welcome the prophecies, they suggested that Baruch and Jeremiah go into hiding. The scroll was then taken into the kingâ€™s presence and read to him by a servant named Jehudi.
Since it was winter, there was a brazier with fire in it to heat the apartments. â€œEach time Jehudi had read three or four columns, the king cut them off with a scribeâ€™s knife and threw them into the fire in the brazier until the whole of the scroll had been burned in the brazier fireâ€ (Jeremiah 36:23). The king then ordered the arrest of Jeremiah and Baruch, but they had been hidden. The Lord ordered Jeremiah to write the scroll over again; it is likely that what he wrote now comprises the bulk of his prophecies that we find in the Bible. As we know, the king and his successor did not repent, and the threats in the prophecies of Jeremiah were fulfilled.