Note: There appears to be a chiasm from verses 1 to 9 centring on the absence of Jeremiah himself from the following events to do with the words God gave him. . BCD are symmetrical – B Jeremiah told to write, C so that Israel might repent, D then Baruch told to write. B’C’D’ are also symmetrical – B’ Baruch told to read, C’ so that Israel repents, D’ then Baruch reads. BCD is about writing, B’C’D’ is about reading. This caused a crisis in the life of Baruch. See Jeremiah chapter 45 which exposes the crisis of courage and conscience that came on Baruch when Jeremiah asked him to read the words of the prophecy in public.
A.(1) And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
B.(2) Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.
C.(3) It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
D.(4) Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah:and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.
E. (5) And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the LORD:
D’. (6) Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the LORD ‘s house upon the fasting day:and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities.
C’.(7) It may be they will present their supplication before the LORD, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the LORD hath pronounced against this people.
B.(8) And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the LORD in the LORD’ s house.
A’.(9) And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the LORD to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem.