Jesus sat down (Lk 4:20-4:20)

“He rolled up

The scroll.

He gave it back

To the attendant.

He sat down.

The eyes of all

In the synagogue

Were fixed on him.”

 

καὶ πτύξας τὸ βιβλίον ἀποδοὺς τῷ ὑπηρέτῃ ἐκάθισεν· καὶ πάντων οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ ἦσαν ἀτενίζοντες αὐτῷ.

 

This is unique to Luke, as he once again explained details about this Nazareth Sabbath synagogue service.  After Jesus had finished reading the passage from Isaiah, he rolled up the scroll (καὶ πτύξας τὸ βιβλίον).  Then he gave it back or delivered it to the attendant (ἀποδοὺς τῷ ὑπηρέτῃ).  Finally, he sat down (ἐκάθισεν), which was the common practice of teachers.  Meanwhile, the eyes of everyone (καὶ πάντων οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ) in the synagogue (ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ) were fixed on him (ἦσαν ἀτενίζοντες αὐτῷ) to see what he was going to say.

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Historical Introduction (Bar 1:1-1:2)

“These are the words

Of the book

That Baruch,

The son of Neriah,

The son of Mahseiah,

The son of Zedekiah,

The son of Hasadiah,

The son of Hilkiah,

Wrote in Babylon.

This was

In the fifth year,

On the seventh day

Of the month,

At the time

When the Chaldeans

Took Jerusalem.

They burned it

With fire.”

This is a historical introduction to this book that gives a name and specific date with a reference to a book, not merely a scroll. The author is Baruch, the same Baruch that was mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah, chapters 32, 36, 43, and 45. This Baruch was a scribe, friend, and follower of Jeremiah. He was clearly identified with a long genealogy. His father was Neriah. His brother Seraiah worked with King Zedekiah. He traced his family back to Hilkiah. Mahseiah, his grandfather was mentioned in Jeremiah also. There were many people with the name of Zedekiah, including the king so that it is hard to pinpoint one. Hasadiah was another common name, while over 30 biblical people have the name Hilkiah. Baruch was in Babylon. However, the last time he was mentioned in Jeremiah, he was with Jeremiah in Egypt. Perhaps, he may have left Jeremiah there. This book is placed 5 years after the fall of Jerusalem and the burning of Jerusalem, around 582 BCE on the 7th day of the month that Jerusalem was destroyed.

The end of the book of Jeremiah (Jer 51:64-51:64)

“Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.”

Simply stated, this is the classical ending to the Book of Jeremiah. This line is not in the Greek Septuagint text. This book or scroll was tossed into the Euphrates River. There is an appendix attached, but it is mostly a duplicate of chapters 24-25, in 2 Kings, as well as chapter 39 of this work of Jeremiah.

The oracle after the burning of the scroll (Jer 36:27-36:27)

“Now,

After the king

Had burned

The scroll

With the words

That Baruch wrote

At Jeremiah’s dictation,

The word of Yahweh

Came to Jeremiah.”

This oracle of Yahweh takes place after King Jehoiakim had burned the scroll dictated by Jeremiah and written by Baruch. The king had destroyed it page by page or column by column by burning it.

Baruch reads the scroll to the royal officials (Jer 36:14-36:16)

“Then all the officials

Sent Jehudi,

The son of Nethaniah,

The son of Shelemiah,

The son of Cushi,

To say to Baruch.

‘Bring the scroll

That you read

In the hearing

Of the people.

Come!’

So Baruch,

The son of Neriah,

Took the scroll

In his hand.

He came to them.

They said to him.

‘Sit down!

Read it to us!’

So Baruch read it to them.

When they heard

All the words,

They turned to one another

In alarm.

They said to Baruch.

‘We certainly must report

All these words

To the king.’”

These royal officials sent a man named Jehudi to get Baruch. Jehudi has three generations of ancestors listed, instead of the usual one or two. Jehudi may mean Jew. Perhaps his great grandfather was an Ethiopian or Cushite, so that his family may have converted to Judaism, giving him this name. Anyway, this man was sent to get Baruch to come before the royal officials with his scroll so that they could hear the exact words of this scroll for themselves. When Baruch came with his scroll, they asked him to sit down like a distinguished teacher. He then read the words of the scroll that he had written under the dictation of Jeremiah. These officials seemed alarmed. They told Baruch that they were going to report the words from the scroll to the king directly. There was nothing secret about this, since Baruch had publically proclaimed these words a little earlier.

Can you read the book? (Isa 29:11-29:12)

The vision of all this

Has become for you

Like the words of a sealed document.

If it is given to those

Who can read,

With the command.

‘Read this!’

They say.

‘We cannot.

Because it is sealed.’

If it is given to those

Who cannot read,

Saying.

‘Read this!’

They say.

‘We cannot read.’”

These few verses seem to be an addition about how revelation is hidden. This vision about the future is like a sealed document or scroll that you cannot read. Even if you are told to read it, you cannot, because it is sealed. In fact, the same thing happens to those who cannot read, whether the document is sealed or not. They still cannot read it, because they do not know how to read. This pertained to the majority of the people, since only about 5-15% of the Israelite people could read.

The law in your heart (Ps 40:6-40:8)

“Sacrifice and offering,

You do not desire.

But you have given me an open ear.

Burnt offering and sin offering,

You hast not required.

Then I said.

‘Here I am,

In the scroll of the book

It is written of me.

I delight to do your will!

O my God!

Your law is within my heart.’”

This psalm is in contradiction to what most of the other sayings pointed out that it was necessary to offer sacrifices and sin offerings. David often did it. This time David has the open ear of Yahweh. He said that he was available with the famous, “Here I am.” His name was written in the scroll of the book that said that he delighted in doing the will of God. In fact, the law was written in his heart.