Author: Baruch, son of Neriah and Jeremiah, son of Nebat
Date Written: 582-550 BC
Baruch was Jeremiah's scribe and is mentioned several times in the book of Jeremiah (Jer 32, 36, 43, 45). Baruch's name means "blessed." Baruch was most likely written in Hebrew, but only the Greek text survives. The date and authorship of the book are disputed and there are few pieces of external evidence to help solve the problem.
The book of Baruch is composed of three basic parts. The first part (1:1-3:8) is a preface which includes a penitential prayer by the exiles in
The first part is basically a "cover letter" for the second part. It narrates how Baruch read his prophecy aloud to the displaced king Jeconiah and the other exiles in
The second part begins with a poem about God's wisdom (3:9-4:4). His wisdom is to be preferred over gold and silver and its light is a gift from God (3:17, 27). The Lord's wisdom is the same as the Law of Moses (4:1). Then we find a poem that gives a voice to
The third part is the Letter of Jeremiah. Jeremiah's authorship of the Letter is disputed, but the prophet was known to be a letter writer (Jer 29). The Letter has many similarities to Jeremiah 10, for example, Jer 10:5 and Bar 6:69. It is a parody of Babylonian idol worship, which mocks the powerless statues of gold-plated wood. The Letter shows the practice of worshiping man-made idols to be foolish and contrary to reason. Why worship a powerless item of wood and metal that can do nothing?
While religious idol worship is not a common problem in our times, imagine all the things that our age does worship by placing human trust in them. Whether it be fame, money, power or sexual immorality, these false gods are just as incapable of giving us salvation as were the Babylonian idols.
Baruch reveals part of the Lord's relationship with his people. The exile was necessary to teach
By Mark Giszczak