0 What was a "scribe’s knife"? (Jeremiah 36:23) Context: 20 After they put the scroll in the room of Elishama the secretary, they went to the king in the courtyard and reported everything to him. 21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the secretary and read it to the king and all the officials standing beside him. 22 It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment, with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him. 23 WHENEVER JEHUDI HAD READ THREE OR FOUR COLUMNS OF THE SCROLL, THE KING CUT THEM OFF WITH A SCRIBE’S KNIFE AND THREW THEM INTO THE FIREPOT, UNTIL THE ENTIRE SCROLL WAS BURNED IN THE FIRE. 24 The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes. 25 Even though Elnathan, Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. 26 Instead, the king commanded Jerahmeel, a son of the king, Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet. But the Lord had hidden them.
ESV - 23 As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot.
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My understanding is that a "scribe's knife" was a short implement with a different type or shape of precision blade on each end (to increase the ways in which the knife could be used). These knives were used by scribes in their work with manuscripts for purposes such as cutting parchment (as King Jehoiakim used it), marking lines, controlling the shape of written letters, and erasing or removing mistakes.
He cut it with a penknife — Hebrew, בתער הספר, the knife of the scribe. It seems the implements for writing were lying on the table before/in front of the king, ready for the scribe’s or secretary’s use, in case there was any call for writing orders or dispatches. Among these was the knife he used, either for cutting the pen when necessary or for making erasures.
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