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24 Neither he nor any of his attendants showed any alarm when they heard all that had been read. Nor did they tear their clothes to show any grief or sorrow.[a]

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  1. Jeremiah 36:24 tn Heb “Neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words were afraid or tore their clothes.” The sentence was broken into two shorter sentences to better conform to English style, and some terms were explained (e.g., tore their clothes) for the sake of There are some interesting wordplays and contrasts involved here. The action of the king and his attendants should be contrasted with that of the officials who heard the same things read (v. 16). The king and his officials did not tear their garments in grief and sorrow; instead the king cut up the scroll (the words “tear” and “cut off” are the same in Hebrew [קָרַע, qaraʿ]). Likewise, the actions of Jehoiakim and his attendants are to be contrasted with those of his father Josiah, who some twenty or more years earlier tore his clothes in grief and sorrow (2 Kgs 22:11-20) and led the people in renewing their commitment to the covenant (2 Kgs 23:1-3). That was what the Lord had hoped would happen when the king and the people heard the warnings of Jeremiah (Jer 36:2-3). Instead, Jehoiakim expressed his contempt for God's word by destroying the scroll.

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