This book was written by Baruch son of Neraiah, grandson of Mahseiah, and a descendant of Zedekiah, Hasadiah, and Hilkiah. It was written in Babylon 2on the seventh day of the month1.2 the month: The month is probably the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar (see 2 Kgs 25.8; Jer 52.12). in the fifth year after the Babylonians captured Jerusalem and burnt it down. 3-4
Baruch read the book aloud to Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and to all the people who lived in Babylon by the River Sud. Everyone came to hear it read — nobles, children of royal family, elders, in fact, all the people, no matter what their status.
5When the book was read, everyone cried, fasted, and prayed to the Lord. 6Then they all gave as much money as they could, 7and the collection was sent to Jerusalem to Jehoiakim the High Priest, son of Hilkiah and grandson of Shallum, and to the other priests and to all the people who were with him in Jerusalem.
8On the tenth day of the month of Sivan, Baruch took the sacred utensils which had been carried away from the Temple and returned them to Judah. These were the silver utensils which Zedekiah son of King Josiah of Judah had ordered to be made 9after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia had deported Jehoiachin, the rulers, the skilled workers,1.9 the skilled workers; Greek prisoners. the nobles, and the common people and had taken them from Jerusalem to Babylon.
10The people wrote:
Please use the money we are sending you to buy animals for the burnt offerings and the sin offerings, to buy incense, and to provide the grain offerings. Offer them on the altar of the Lord our God, 11and pray for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia and his son Belshazzar, that they may live as long as the heavens last. 12Then the Lord will strengthen us and be our guide. Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar will protect us, and we will be loyal to them as long as we live; then they will be pleased with us. 13We ask you also to pray to the Lord God for us, because we have sinned against him, and he is still angry with us. 14Please read this book that we are sending you and make your own confession of sin in the Temple on the first day of the Festival of Shelters and on other holy days of assembly.
15This is the confession you should make: “The Lord our God is righteous, but we are still covered with shame. All of us — the people of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, 16our kings, our rulers, our priests, our prophets, and our ancestors have been put to shame, 17because we have sinned against the Lord our God 18and have disobeyed him. We did not listen to him or live according to his commandments. 19From the day the Lord brought our ancestors out of Egypt until the present day, we have continued to be unfaithful to him, and we have not hesitated to disobey him. 20
Long ago, when the Lord led our ancestors out of Egypt, so that he could give us a rich and fertile land, he pronounced curses against us through his servant Moses. And today we are suffering because of those curses. 21We refused to obey the word of the Lord our God which he spoke to us through the prophets. Instead, we all did as we pleased and went on our own evil way. We turned to other gods and did things the Lord hates.
21“So the Lord carried out the threat he had made against us and against our judges, our kings, our rulers, and the people of Israel and Judah. 2Nowhere else on earth have such things happened as happened in Jerusalem when the Lord carried out the threats written in the Law of Moses. 3Things were so bad that we even ate the flesh of our own sons and daughters. 4The Lord scattered our people, handing us over to the control of all the nations around us, and they looked on us with reproach and horror. 5We sinned against the Lord our God and refused to obey him. Therefore our nation was conquered, instead of being victorious.
6“The Lord our God is always righteous, but we and our ancestors are still burdened with our guilt. 7Even though the Lord punished us as he had threatened, 8we still did not turn to him and pray that we might abandon our evil thoughts. 9-10We did not obey him or live by his just commands, so the Lord brought on us all the punishments he had kept ready for us.
11“You, O Lord, are the God of Israel who brought your people out of Egypt with great power and with signs, miracles, and wonders. You showed your mighty strength and gained a glorious reputation, which is still recognized today. 12O Lord our God, we have sinned; we have been unfaithful; we have disobeyed all your commands. 13But do not be angry with us any longer. Here among the nations where you have scattered us, only a few of us are left. 14Listen to our prayer of petition, Lord, and rescue us for the sake of your own honour. Let those who have taken us into exile be pleased with us. 15Then the whole world will know that you are the Lord our God and that you have chosen the nation of Israel to be your own people.
16“O Lord, look down from heaven and see our misery. Listen to our prayer. 17Open your eyes and look upon us. Those in the world of the dead with no breath left in their bodies cannot offer praises to you or proclaim how just you are. 18Only the living, O Lord, can offer you praise and acknowledge your justice, even though they may be suffering greatly, bent and weak, hungry and with failing eyesight.
19“O Lord our God, we pray to you for mercy, but not because of any good things done by our ancestors and our kings. 20You turned your anger and wrath against us, just as you had threatened to do when your servants the prophets spoke your word to us and said, 21
‘Bend your backs and serve the king of Babylonia, and you can remain in the land that I gave to your ancestors. 22But if you refuse to obey my command to serve him, 23I will bring to an end every sound of joy and celebration in the towns of Judah and in Jerusalem. Even the happy sounds of wedding feasts will no longer be heard. The whole land will be desolate and uninhabited.’
“But we did not obey your command to serve the king of Babylonia, so you carried out the threat that you had made when you spoke through your servants the prophets, when you said that the bones of our kings and of our ancestors would be taken from their tombs and scattered. 25And now here they lie exposed to the heat of the day and to the frost of the night. They died in torment from famine, war, and disease. 26And because of the sin of the people of Israel and Judah, you have reduced your own Temple to ruins, even as it is today.
27“But, Lord, you have been patient with us and have shown us great mercy, 28
as you promised through your servant Moses on the day you commanded him to write your Law in the presence of the Israelites. 29‘If you do not obey me,’ you said, ‘you will be reduced to a handful among the nations where I will scatter you. 30I know that you will not obey me, because you are a stubborn people. But when you are taken into exile in another land, you will come to your senses. 31Then you will realize that I am the Lord your God, and I will give you a desire to know and a mind with which to understand. 32There in the land of your exile you will praise me and remember me. 33You will stop being so stubborn and wicked, for you will remember what happened to your ancestors when they sinned against the Lord. 34Then I will bring you back to the land that I solemnly promised to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and it will be yours again. I will increase your population, and you will never again be reduced to a small number. 35
I will make an everlasting covenant with you; I will be your God and you will be my people. I will never again remove you, the people of Israel, from the land that I gave you.’
31“O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, from the depth of our troubled, weary souls we cry out to you. 2Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy on us, because we have sinned against you. 3You reign as king for ever, but we die and are gone for ever. 4O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, hear our prayer. We are no better than the dead. Our ancestors sinned against you, the Lord their God. They refused to obey you, and we are suffering the consequences of their sin. 5Forget the sinful things that our ancestors did in the past; at a time like this, think only of your power and reputation, 6for you are the Lord our God, and we will praise you. 7You have made us fear you, so that we might pray to you. Here in exile we will praise you because we have turned away from the sins of our ancestors. 8You have scattered us among the nations, and you have made them despise and curse us. You are punishing us for the sins of our ancestors when they rebelled against you, the Lord our God.”
Listen, Israel, to the commands that promise life; pay attention, and you will become wise. 10Why is it, Israel, that you find yourself in an enemy land? Why have you grown old in a foreign country? You are ritually unclean, like the dead; 11you are already counted among the dead. But why? 12It is because you have left the source of Wisdom! 13If you had walked in God's ways, you would have lived in peace for ever. 14Learn where understanding, strength, and insight are to be found. Then you will know where to find a long and full life, light to guide you, and peace.
No one has ever found where Wisdom lives or has entered her treasure house, 16-17and those who have tried have vanished: the rulers of the nations, those who hunted wild animals and birds for sport, those who accumulated vast fortunes of silver and gold, which everyone trusts and will do anything to get, 18and those who worried and schemed to make money, but who left no trace of their work behind. 19They have all disappeared and gone down to the world of the dead. Others have come along to take their place. 20A later generation was born and lived in the land, but they too did not discover the way to knowledge. They did not find the path to Wisdom or ever reach her. 21Their children also failed. 22Wisdom was not found by the Canaanites. It has not been discovered by the Edomites 23although they search after knowledge. The way to Wisdom has not been found by the merchants of Merran and Tema or by those who relate fables or by any others who seek understanding.
24O Israel, how great is the universe in which God dwells! How vast is all that he possesses! 25There is no end to it; there is no way to measure how wide or how high it is. 26
Here in early times the famous giants were born, a mighty race skilled in war. 27But God did not choose them to be his people or show them the way of knowledge. 28They died out because they had neither understanding nor insight.
29No one has ever gone up into heaven to get Wisdom and bring her down out of the clouds. 30No one has sailed across the seas to find Wisdom, or bought her with precious gold. 31No one knows how to get to her or how to discover the path that leads to her.
32The only one who knows Wisdom is God, and he knows all things. With his understanding he found her. He established the earth for all time and filled it with all kinds of animals. 33The light trembled and obeyed when he called. He sent it out, and it appeared. 34He called the stars, and they promptly answered; they took their places and gladly shone to please the one who made them. 35He is our God, and there is none like him. 36He discovered the entire path leading to understanding and gave Wisdom to his servant Israel, whom he loved. 37From that time on, Wisdom appeared on earth and lived among us.