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Baruch




BARUCH, son of Neriah, was the friend and amanuensis of the prophet Jeremiah. After the temple at Jerusalem had been plundered by Nebuchadnezzar, he wrote down Jeremiah's prophecies respecting the return of the Baby-lonians to destroy the state, and read them in the temple before the assembled people at the risk of his life. The roll having been burned by the king's command, Jere-miah dictated the same again. When the temple was destroyed, Baruch went to Egypt with Jeremiah, having been blamed as the prompter of the threatening prophecies uttered by the latter. Nothing certain is known as to his death,—some accounts representing him as dying in Egypt, others in Babylonia. The Talmud adopts the latter opinion, making him the instructor of Ezra, to whom he is said to have communicated the traditions he had received from Jeremiah.

The
BOOK OF BARUCH belongs to the Apocrypha, accord-ing to Protestants, and to the deutero-canonical produc-tions, according to Roman Catholics.

There is hardly sufficient cause for dividing the book, as some critics suggest, between two writers. The author of in. 9-v. 9 uses Isaiah as well as Jeremiah in two places. A new paragraph undoubtedly begins at iii. 9, which has little connection with the preceding con-text, and differs from it perceptibly both in matter and form; yet it has the same general object. From reproof the language passes to hope and Messianic happiness, and it becomes livelier and more elevated. It is purer Greek without doubt. The supposed traces of Alexandrian cul-ture are somewhat indistinct. Wisdom is not spoken of in the Alexandrian manner (iii. 24), but rather in the same way as in Sirach, which is Palestinian.

Much difference of opinion prevails regarding the original language. Some are for a Greek original, others for a Hebrew one; while Fritzsche and Ruetschi think that the first part was composed in Hebrew, the second in Greek. The original seems to have been Hebrew, though Jerome says that the Jews had not the book in that language; and Epiphanius asserts the same thing. The testimony of the former resolves itself into the fact that the original had been supplanted by the Greek; and that of the latter io not of much value, since he gives Baruch, along with Jeremiah and the Lamentations, in a second List of the canonical books. We rely on the statement that the work was meant to be publicly read in the temple (i. 14) as favourable to a Hebrew original, as well as on the number and nature of the Hebraisms, which are sometimes so peculiar that they cannot be resolved into the authorship of a Greek-speaking Jew. That the writer was a Pales-tinian appears from various passages, such as ii. 17, "For the dead that are in the graves, whose souls are taken from their bodies, will give unto the Lord neither praise nor righteousness;" "Hearken, 0 ye that dwell about Zion" (iv. 9); " Ye have forgotten the everlasting God that brought you up; and ye have grieved Jerusalem that nursed you" (iv. 8). Both the latter passages betray a Palestinian. Besides, the conception of Wisdom in iii. 12, (fee, is Palestinian rather than Alexandrian; for the words in iii. 37 do not refer to the incarna-tion of the Logos, but to personified Wisdom, as in Sirach xxiv. 10. This points to a Hebrew original. The version seems to be free, especially in the latter part.

Who was the translator 1 A comparison of the Septuagint translation of Jeremiah with that of Barach will suggest the answer. The agreement between the two is remarkable. Constructions, phrases, and words are the same in them, so that we may conjecture with Ewald and Hitzig that the same translator appears. The words /3aoY£o), airooToX^, )(apfx.ocrvvri, yavpia/xa, ScoytcoTijs, a7roiK«r/u.os, ovopa p.ov Ir-LKaXelcrOat iiri TIVI are common to both. The LXX. ver-sion of Jeremiah was not made till the 1st century B.O. or later; and Theodotion's translation or recension of it in the second. It is some confirmation of the opinion that Greek was not the original when marginal notes are found in the Hexaplar-Syriac version printed by Ceriani, in which the Hebrew is repeatedly referred to. Nothing soems to disprove the assumption that Theodotion, from whose version that of Paul of Tela was taken, had the Hebrew original before him.

Though Baruch professes to have written the book, a later writer speaks in his name. Jeremiah's faithful friend is said to have composed it at Babylon. This view is untenable on the following grounds :—

1. The work contains historical inaccuracies. Jeremiah was living in the fifth year after the destruction of Jeru-salem, yet the epistle is dated that year at Babylon. It is unlikely that Baruch left Jeremiah, since the two friends were so united. According to Baruch i. 3, Jeconiah was present in the great assembly before which the epistle was read, whereas we learn from 2 Kings xxv. 27 that he was kept a prisoner as long as Nebuchadnezzar lived. Joakim is supposed to be high priest at Jerusalem (I 7). But we learn from 1 Chron. vi. 15 that Jehozadak filled that office the fifth year after Jerusalem was destroyed. In i. 2 there is an error. The city was not burned when Jehoiachim was carried away. And if the allusion be to the destruc-tion of the city by Nebuchadnezzar, the temple and its worship are supposed still to exist in i. 8-10. The parti-culars narrated are put into the fifth year of the exile; yet we read, "Thou art waxen old in a strange country" (iii. 10).

2. Supposing Baruch himself to have been the writer, books later than his time are used in the work. Nehemiah is followed, as in ii. 11 (comp. Nehem. ix. 10). But Eichhorn's language is too strong in calling the contents " a rhapsody composed of various writings belonging to Hebrew antiquity, especially Daniel and Nehemiah."





The date of the work is given indefinitely in i. 2, " In the fifth year, and in the seventh day of the month, what time as the Chaldeans took Jerusalem, and burnt it with fire." The natural meaning of these words is, " The fifth year after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar," not " the fifth year of Jehoiachim's captivity." The day is given, not the month ; and therefore De Wette conjectures that iTti should be p-qvi; but MS. authority is against him. It is probable that the name of the month has dropped out, i.e., Sivan. The Palestinian abode of the writer is pretty clear, especially from the melancholy view of death pre-sented in ii. 17, iii. 19, resembling that in Psalms vi. 6, lxxviii. 18, ciii. 29. In Alexandria the Jews had attained to a clear idea of immortality, in Palestine not. The translation was made in Egypt, which accounts for various expressions savouring of Alexandrianism, as in iii., 23, 24, 26. There are evident points of contact between Daniel and Baruch, as appears from Baruch i. 15-18, which agrees almost verbally with Daniel ix. 7-10. So iL 1,2 coincide with Daniel ix. 12, 13; and ii. 7-17 with Daniel ix. 13-18. Hitzig thinks the two authors were identical, but this can hardly be allowed ; for the tone and atmosphere of Baruch bear no perceptible trace of the Syrian persecutions or Maccabean struggle. Daniel bor-rowed from Baruch pretty closely in some passages. We suppose that the translator was separated from the author by a considerable period, probably 200 years. Perhaps the author lived about 300-290 B.C.

According to Jerome and Epiphanius,,the Jews did not receive the book into their canon ; nor is it in the lists given by Josephus, Melito, and others. It has been thought, however, that Origen considered it canonical, because in his catalogue of sacred books he gives Lamentations and "the epistle" along with Jeremiah; and Jeremiah's epistle formed a part of Baruch. The testimony of Origen on this point is perplexing; but it is conceivable that some Jews may have thought very highly of the book in his time, though its authority was not generally admitted among their co-religionists. From the position which the book occupied in the Septuagint, i.e., either before or after Lamentations, it was often considered an appendix to Jeremiah by the early Christians, and was regarded in the same light, and of equal authority. Hence the words of it were often quoted as Jeremiah's by Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Tertullian. Cyril of Jerusalem reckons it with the canonical books, among the at Otoirvevorot. or dfiai ypa<f>ai; and the epithets so applied cannot be ex-plained away by Protestants.

The versions are the two Latin, a Syriac, and an Arabic. The Latin one in the Vulgate belongs to a time prior to Jerome, and is tolerably literal. Another, somewhat later, was first published by Jos. Maria Caro in 1688, and was reprinted by Sabatier, side by side with the ante-Hieronymian one, in his Bibliorum Sacrorum Latinos Versiones Antiques.* It is founded upon the preceding one, and is less literal. The Syriac and Arabic versions, printed in the London Polyglott, are literal. The Hexaplar-Syriac version, made by Paul, bishop of Tela, in the beginning of the 7th century, has been published by Ceriani The most convenient editions of the Greek text are Tischendorf's, in the second volume of his Septuagint, and Fritzsche's in Libri Apocryphi VeterisTestamenti Grcece,187l. (See David-son's Introduction to the Old Testament, vol. iii ; Kurzge-fasstes Exegetisches Handbuch zu den Apohryphen des alien Testaments, erste Lieferung; Ewald's Geschichte des Volkes Israel, vol. iv.; De Wette's Einleitung, §§ 321-323; Welte's Einleitung in die heiligen Schriften des A. T., zweyter Theil, dritte Abtheilung.)

Epistle of Jeremy.—An epistle of Jeremiah's is often appended to Baruch, forming the sixth chapter. Accord-ing to the inscription, it was sent by the prophet by God's command to the Jews who were to be carried captive to Babylon. The writer describes the folly and absurdity of idolatry in a declamatory style, with repetitions somewhat like refrains. Thus, in verses 16, 23, 29, 65 occurs the sentence, " Whereby they are known not to be gods ; there-fore fear them not;" " How should a man then think and say that they are gods," in 40, 44, 56, 64, 69; "How then cannot men perceive that they be no gods," in 49, 52. These and other repetitions are unlike Jeremiah's. The concluding verse is abrupt.

3 See vol. ii. p. 734, &e.

All the relation this epistle has to Jeremiah is, that the contents and form are derived from Jeremiah x. 1-16 and xxix. 4-23. Its combination with Baruch is purely accidental. It could not have been written by Jeremiah, though many Catholic theologians maintain that it was. The Hellenist betrays himself in a few instances, as when he speaks of kings, verses 51, 53, 56, 59. Though Welte tries to prove that the epistle was written in Hebrew, which is

Einleitung in die apokryphischen Schriften des A. T., p. 382.
s See Welte's note on this point in Herbst's Einleitung, erster Theil pp. 14, 15.
Monumenla Sacra et Profana, torn. i. fascic. 1.

Who was the translator 1 A comparison of the Septuagint translation of Jeremiah with that of Barach will suggest the answer. The agreement between the two is remarkable. Constructions, phrases, and words are the same in them, so that we may conjecture with Ewald and Hitzig that the same translator appears. The words /3aoY£o), airooToX^, )(apfx.ocrvvri, yavpia/xa, ScoytcoTijs, a7roiK«r/u.os, ovopa p.ov Ir-LKaXelcrOat iiri TIVI are common to both. The LXX. ver-sion of Jeremiah was not made till the 1st century B.O. or later; and Theodotion's translation or recension of it in the second. It is some confirmation of the opinion that Greek was not the original when marginal notes are found in the Hexaplar-Syriac version printed by Ceriani, in which the Hebrew is repeatedly referred to. Nothing soems to disprove the assumption that Theodotion, from whose version that of Paul of Tela was taken, had the Hebrew original before him.

Though Baruch professes to have written the book, a later writer speaks in his name. Jeremiah's faithful friend is said to have composed it at Babylon. This view is untenable on the following grounds :—

1. The work contains historical inaccuracies. Jeremiah was living in the fifth year after the destruction of Jeru-salem, yet the epistle is dated that year at Babylon. It is unlikely that Baruch left Jeremiah, since the two friends were so united. According to Baruch i. 3, Jeconiah was present in the great assembly before which the epistle was read, whereas we learn from 2 Kings xxv. 27 that he was kept a prisoner as long as Nebuchadnezzar lived. Joakim is supposed to be high priest at Jerusalem (I 7). But we learn from 1 Chron. vi. 15 that Jehozadak filled that office the fifth year after Jerusalem was destroyed. In i. 2 there is an error. The city was not burned when Jehoiachim was carried away. And if the allusion be to the destruc-tion of the city by Nebuchadnezzar, the temple and its worship are supposed still to exist in i. 8-10. The parti-culars narrated are put into the fifth year of the exile; yet we read, "Thou art waxen old in a strange country" (iii. 10).

2. Supposing Baruch himself to have been the writer, books later than his time are used in the work. Nehemiah is followed, as in ii. 11 (comp. Nehem. ix. 10). But Eichhorn's language is too strong in calling the contents " a rhapsody composed of various writings belonging to Hebrew antiquity, especially Daniel and Nehemiah."





The date of the work is given indefinitely in i. 2, " In the fifth year, and in the seventh day of the month, what time as the Chaldeans took Jerusalem, and burnt it with fire." The natural meaning of these words is, " The fifth year after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar," not " the fifth year of Jehoiachim's captivity." The day is given, not the month ; and therefore De Wette conjectures that iTti should be p-qvi; but MS. authority is against him. It is probable that the name of the month has dropped out, i.e., Sivan. The Palestinian abode of the writer is pretty clear, especially from the melancholy view of death pre-sented in ii. 17, iii. 19, resembling that in Psalms vi. 6, lxxviii. 18, ciii. 29. In Alexandria the Jews had attained to a clear idea of immortality, in Palestine not. The translation was made in Egypt, which accounts for various expressions savouring of Alexandrianism, as in iii., 23, 24, 26. There are evident points of contact between Daniel and Baruch, as appears from Baruch i. 15-18, which agrees almost verbally with Daniel ix. 7-10. So iL 1,2 coincide with Daniel ix. 12, 13; and ii. 7-17 with Daniel ix. 13-18. Hitzig thinks the two authors were identical, but this can hardly be allowed ; for the tone and atmosphere of Baruch bear no perceptible trace of the Syrian persecutions or Maccabean struggle. Daniel bor-rowed from Baruch pretty closely in some passages. We suppose that the translator was separated from the author by a considerable period, probably 200 years. Perhaps the author lived about 300-290 B.C.

According to Jerome and Epiphanius,,the Jews did not receive the book into their canon ; nor is it in the lists given by Josephus, Melito, and others. It has been thought, however, that Origen considered it canonical, because in his catalogue of sacred books he gives Lamentations and "the epistle" along with Jeremiah; and Jeremiah's epistle formed a part of Baruch. The testimony of Origen on this point is perplexing; but it is conceivable that some Jews may have thought very highly of the book in his time, though its authority was not generally admitted among their co-religionists. From the position which the book occupied in the Septuagint, i.e., either before or after Lamentations, it was often considered an appendix to Jeremiah by the early Christians, and was regarded in the same light, and of equal authority. Hence the words of it were often quoted as Jeremiah's by Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Tertullian. Cyril of Jerusalem reckons it with the canonical books, among the at Otoirvevorot. or dfiai ypa<f>ai; and the epithets so applied cannot be ex-plained away by Protestants.

The versions are the two Latin, a Syriac, and an Arabic. The Latin one in the Vulgate belongs to a time prior to Jerome, and is tolerably literal. Another, somewhat later, was first published by Jos. Maria Caro in 1688, and was reprinted by Sabatier, side by side with the ante-Hieronymian one, in his Bibliorum Sacrorum Latinos Versiones Antiques.* It is founded upon the preceding one, and is less literal. The Syriac and Arabic versions, printed in the London Polyglott, are literal. The Hexaplar-Syriac version, made by Paul, bishop of Tela, in the beginning of the 7th century, has been published by Ceriani The most convenient editions of the Greek text are Tischendorf's, in the second volume of his Septuagint, and Fritzsche's in Libri Apocryphi VeterisTestamenti Grcece,187l. (See David-son's Introduction to the Old Testament, vol. iii ; Kurzge-fasstes Exegetisches Handbuch zu den Apohryphen des alien Testaments, erste Lieferung; Ewald's Geschichte des Volkes Israel, vol. iv.; De Wette's Einleitung, §§ 321-323; Welte's Einleitung in die heiligen Schriften des A. T., zweyter Theil, dritte Abtheilung.)

Epistle of Jeremy.—An epistle of Jeremiah's is often appended to Baruch, forming the sixth chapter. Accord-ing to the inscription, it was sent by the prophet by God's command to the Jews who were to be carried captive to Babylon. The writer describes the folly and absurdity of idolatry in a declamatory style, with repetitions somewhat like refrains. Thus, in verses 16, 23, 29, 65 occurs the sentence, " Whereby they are known not to be gods ; there-fore fear them not;" " How should a man then think and say that they are gods," in 40, 44, 56, 64, 69; "How then cannot men perceive that they be no gods," in 49, 52. These and other repetitions are unlike Jeremiah's. The concluding verse is abrupt.

3 See vol. ii. p. 734, &e.

All the relation this epistle has to Jeremiah is, that the contents and form are derived from Jeremiah x. 1-16 and xxix. 4-23. Its combination with Baruch is purely accidental. It could not have been written by Jeremiah, though many Catholic theologians maintain that it was. The Hellenist betrays himself in a few instances, as when he speaks of kings, verses 51, 53, 56, 59. Though Welte tries to prove that the epistle was written in Hebrew, which is
consistent with Jeremiah's authorship, his arguments are invalid. The original is pure Hellenistic Greek. The warning against idolatry bespeaks a foreigner living out of Palestine. The place of its origin was probably Egypt; and the writer may have lived in the Maccabean period, as we infer from his making the exile last for seven generations, i.e., about 210 years. Jeremiah, on the contrary, gives the time as 70 years in round numbers. The oldest allusion to the epistle is commonly found in 2 Maccab. ii. 2, where a few words are similar to the fourth verse of our epistle. But the appropriateness of the supposed reference is doubtful

The old Latin version of the epistle, published by Sabatier, which is in the Vulgate, is literal. The Syriac is freer. The Arabic is more literal than the Latin. Both are in the London Polyglot! The Hexaplar-Syriac was published by Ceriani. (s. D.)




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