But on the third year, upon hearing that the king of the Babylonians
made an expedition against the Egyptians, he did not pay his tribute; yet
was he disappointed of his hope, for the Egyptians durst not fight at this
time. And indeed the prophet Jeremiah foretold every day, how vainly they
relied on their hopes from Egypt, and how the city would be overthrown
by the king of Babylon, and Jehoiakim the king would be subdued by him.
But what he thus spake proved to be of no advantage to them, because there
were none that should escape; for both the multitude and the rulers, when
they heard him, had no concern about what they heard; but being displeased
at what was said, as if the prophet were a diviner against the king, they
accused Jeremiah, and bringing him before the court, they required that
a sentence and a punishment might be given against him. Now all the rest
gave their votes for his condemnation, but the elders refused, who prudently
sent away the prophet from the court of [the prison], and persuaded the
rest to do Jeremiah no harm; for they said that he was not the only person
who foretold what would come to the city, but that Micah signified the
same before him, as well as many others, none of which suffered any thing
of the kings that then reigned, but were honored as the prophets of God.
So they mollified the multitude with these words, and delivered Jeremiah
from the punishment to which he was condemned. Now when this prophet had
written all his prophecies, and the people were fasting, and assembled
at the temple, on the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim, he read
the book he had composed of his predictions of what was to befall the city,
and the temple, and the multitude. And when the rulers heard of it, they
took the book from him, and bid him and Baruch the scribe to go their ways,
lest they should be discovered by one or other; but they carried the book,
and gave it to the king; so he gave order, in the presence of his friends,
that his scribe should take it, and read it. When the king heard what it
contained, he was angry, and tore it, and cast it into the fire, where
it was consumed. He also commanded that they should seek for Jeremiah,
and Baruch the scribe, and bring them to him, that they might be punished.
However, they escaped his anger.