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AND these are the words of the book, which Baruch the son of Nerias, the son of Maasias, the son of Sedecias, the son of Sedei, the son of Helcias, wrote in Babylonia.

Ver. 1.  Babylonia.  Sept. "Babylon," where Jechonias was in prison, (H.) now the 5th year.  v. 2.  Baruch accompanied his brother Saraias.  Jer. li. 59.  C.

 

--- Capel. supposes that the author confounded them together, which is not probable.  Houb.


THE PROPHECY OF BARUCH.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

Baruch was a man of noble extraction, and learned in the law, secretary and disciple of the prophet Jeremias, and a sharer in his labours and persecutions; which is the reason why the ancient Fathers have considered this book as a part of the prophecy of Jeremias, and have usually quoted it under his name.  Ch.

 

--- The frequent Heb. idioms shew it to have been originally in that language.  Baruch wrote by inspiration of the Holy Ghost the letter comprising the five first chapters, which he carried to the Jews from their brethren at Babylon.  The martyrologies place his death, Dec. 28.  The sixth chapter contains a letter of Jeremias, to which allusion is clearly made 2 Mac. ii. 2.  The Church still recites the works of Baruch under the name of Jeremias.  Sab. Pent. proph. 6.  C.

 

--- Many Fathers did so formerly, though they doubted not but Baruch was the author.  See S. Iræn. v. 35.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xviii. 33. &c.  Others, with Origen (Prin. ii. 3.) specify the writer; and the Councils of Laodicea, Florence, and Trent, decide that it is canonical.  S. Jerom alleged it not against the Jews, as they denied its authority.  W.

 

--- See Jer. xxxii. 44.  H.

 

--- In his preface on Jeremias he testifies that "it contains many things relating to Christ and the latter times."  W.

 

--- Grotius in vain attempts to represent some parts as interpolated (C. iii. 38. &c.  C.) and L. Cappellus has left some posthumous notes, which would represent the author as a stupid impostor, though he acknowledges his great learning.  Houbigant.




2 In the fifth year, in the seventh day of the month, at the time that the Chaldeans took Jerusalem, and burnt it with fire.

Ver. 2.  Month, in which the king was taken.  C.

 

--- This was the fifth anniversary.  H.

 

--- Fire: but soon extinguished.  Usher

 

--- The taking of the city was effected at intervals, (H.) during eleven years, in the fifth of which this book was written.  Jerusalem was at last reduced to ashes.  As yet there were priests, a temple, &c.  v. 7, 14.  W.  C.




3 And Baruch read the words of this book in the hearing of Jechonias the son of Joakim king of Juda, and in the hearing of all the people that came to hear the book.

Ver. 3.  Jechonias.  He was in prison, where the Jews met to hear the words of Jeremias; (li. 59. &c.  C.) or the king might hear the letter in private.  Houbig.




4 And in the hearing of the nobles, the sons of the kings, and in the hearing of the ancients, and in the hearing of the people, from the least even to the greatest of them that dwelt in Babylonia, by the river Sedi.

Ver. 4.  Sodi.  Heb. zud, (H.) means "pride," and probably denotes the great river Euphrates.  C.

 

--- Bochart reads Sur, (Houb.) or Sori.  The city Sura was there.  C.




5 And when they heard it they wept, and fasted, and prayed before the Lord. 6 And they made a collection of money, according to every man's power. 7 And they sent it to Jerusalem to Joakim the priest, the son of Helcias, the son of Salom, and to the priests, and to all the people, that were found with him in Jerusalem:

Ver. 7.  Joakim, or Eliacim, high priest under Manasses, &c.  Is. xxii. 20.  C.

 

--- The text only says that he was priest, and Capellus asserts there was no pontiff then.  Houbigant.




8 At the time when he received the vessels of the temple of the Lord, which had been taken away out of the temple, to return them into the land of Juda the tenth day of the month Sivan, the silver vessels, which Sedecias the son of Josias king of Juda had made,

Ver. 8.  Siven; a Syriac  month, corresponding with our May.  M.

 

--- Vessels; or, "the vessels were of silver."  H.

 

--- By retrenching a, which, it would seem that they asked for the golden vessels.  Sedecias had made silver ones to supply their place.  These also might have been taken away.  C.

 

--- Baltassar had still those of gold, (Dan. v. 2.  M.) or at least some of them.  H.

 

--- Sedecias, now in favour, only asked for what he had made while a private man.  Houbig.




9 After that Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon had carried away Jechonias, and the princes, and all the powerful men, and the people of the land from Jerusalem, and brought them bound to Babylon.

Ver. 9.  All.  Cunctos should be vinclos, according to the Gr. "prisoners."  C.




10 And they said: Behold we have sent you money, buy with it holocausts, and frankincense, and make meat offerings, and offerings for sin at the altar of the Lord our God:

Ver. 10.  Meat.  Lit. "manna," as Sept. express Heb. monée; (H.) or as it is pointed, mincha; which properly means an "oblation" (Jer. xvii. 26.  M.) of bread, wine, &c.  C.

 

--- And offerings.  Lit. "offer."

 

--- Gr. "has for sin before frankincense.  H.


11 And pray ye for the life of Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon, and for the life of Balthasar his son, that their days may be upon earth as the days of heaven:

Ver. 11.  King.  Gratitude and duty prompted them.  Jer. xxix. 7. and 1 Tim. ii. 2.

 

--- Baltassar.  Evilmerodac, his elder brother, was in disgrace.  Lyran.  Jer. lii. 31.  C.

 

--- Heaven, as long and prosperous as possible.  H.

 

--- It was a customary salutation to say, O king, live for ever.  Dan. ii. 4.  Ps. lxxxviii. 30.  C.

 

--- Cappel. says Baltassar was not yet born.  But how does he know this?  It might be the title of the heir apparent, (H.) or of the king's sons.  We need not decide in a point of such antiquity.  Houbig.




12 And that the Lord may give us strength, and enlighten our eyes, that we may live under the shadow of Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon, and under the shadow of Balthasar his son, and may serve them many days, and may find favour in their sight.

Ver. 12.  Eyes, putting an end to our captivity, (Badwell) or causing us to detest our sins.  C.

 

--- Days.  This they knew was God's decree, and they submit.  H.

 

--- They prefer serving the Chaldees before other foreign nations.  W.




13 And pray ye for us to the Lord our God: for we have sinned against the Lord our God, and his wrath is not turned away from us even to this day. 14 And read ye this book, which we have sent to you to be read in the temple of the Lord, on feasts, and proper days.

Ver. 14.  Proper festival days.  C.

 

--- Heb. mohed, or muád.  They were still observed (H.) in the temple.


15 And you shall say: To the Lord our God belongeth justice, but to us confusion of our face: as it is come to pass at this day to all Juda, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,

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16 To our kings, and to our princes, and to our priests, and to our prophets, and to our fathers. 17 We have sinned before the Lord our God, and have not believed him, nor put our trust in him:

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18 And we were not obedient to him, and we have not harkened to the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his commandments, which he hath given us. 19 From the day that he brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, we were disobedient to the Lord our God: and going astray we turned away from hearing his voice.


20 And many evils have cleaved to us, and the curses which the Lord foretold by Moses his servant: who brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt, to give us a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.

Ver. 20.  Curses against transgressors.  Lev. xxvi.  Dan. ix. 11.  C.

 

--- Day.  We feel the effects of sin.  The land of Juda was not flourishing, though not yet laid waste.  H.



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21 And we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God according to all the words of the prophets whom he sent to us: 22 And we have gone away every man after the inclinations of his own wicked heart, to serve strange gods, and to do evil in the sight of the Lord our God.

Ver. 22.  Serve, or sacrifice unto: (Sanct.) operata Deo: (Tibul.) or to worship.  C. ii. 21.  C.


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