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To the very end, Jeremiah speaks out against the injustices and infidelities of his countrymen who keep turning to other gods. His words are strong, and Jeremiah lives to see many of his painful prophecies come true. What remains in the following chapters are words surely spoken before the prophet was an old man in Egypt: first is a brief message for his scribe Baruch in the heartbreaking aftermath of the burning of the scroll (36:1–8) and the terrible judgment then declared on Judah; second is a series of declarations or oracles against the various nations surrounding Judah in these historic times.

45 This is the message the prophet Jeremiah gave to his secretary, Baruch (son of Neriah) when he had written on a scroll all the words Jeremiah dictated to him. It took place when Jehoiakim (son of Josiah) had been king of Judah for four years.

Jeremiah (to Baruch): The Eternal, the God of Israel, has given me a message for you, Baruch. He heard you when you cried out, “Oh my, what pain I am in! As if I weren’t hurting enough, the Eternal has piled on even more sorrow. I am so tired from groaning; I can find no rest.” And so the Eternal has given me this message for you: “Hear Me, Baruch, for I tell you I am about to upend what I have built and uproot what I have planted in this land, in the whole land. Should you worry about achieving personal greatness? No, do not chase after such a dream! But take comfort that when I bring this disaster on all people, I will reward you by sparing your life. I promise to protect you wherever you go.

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