Baruch reads the scroll at the great fast (Jer 36:8-36:10)

“Baruch,

The son of Neriah,

Did all

That the prophet Jeremiah

Ordered him

About reading

From the scroll

The words of Yahweh

In Yahweh’s house.

In the fifth year

Of King Jehoiakim,

The son of King Josiah,

Of Judah,

In the ninth month,

All the people in Jerusalem,

With all the people

Who came from the towns

Of Judah to Jerusalem,

Proclaimed a fast

Before Yahweh.

Then,

In the hearing

Of all the people,

Baruch read

The words of Jeremiah

From the scroll,

In the house of Yahweh,

In the chamber of Gemariah,

The son of Shaphan,

The secretary,

Which was in the upper court,

At the entry

Of the New Gate

Of Yahweh’s house.”

Baruch did exactly as Jeremiah had told him to do. He read the scroll of Jeremiah that had the words of Yahweh that had been dictated to him by Jeremiah, in Yahweh’s Temple. This occasion was a great fast that had been called to ward off the king of Babylon. This was about a little over a year after the original oracle of Yahweh to Jeremiah, about 604 BCE. Thus at this assembly, Baruch read from the scroll in the chamber of Gemariah, the son of a friend of Jeremiah, Shaphan, who was a secretary. All this took place in the upper court at the entry to the New Gate at the Temple.

Wisdom and knowledge will not save the Babylonians (Isa 47:10-47:11)

“You felt secure

In your wickedness.

You said.

‘No one sees me.’

Your wisdom

With your knowledge

Led you astray.

You said in your heart,

‘I am.

There is no one besides me.’

But evil shall come upon you.

You cannot charm it away.

Disaster shall fall upon you.

You will not be able to ward it off.

Ruin shall come on you suddenly,

When you know nothing about it.”

Another common biblical theme was the idea that no one saw them when they were doing wicked things. The Babylonians were led astray by their own knowledge and wisdom, instead of helping them. They thought that there was no one equal to them. Their charms will not help them to ward off disaster, since their ruin will come quickly. They will not know what hit them.