Meeting in Babylon. 1Now these are the words of the scroll which Baruch, son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, son of Zedekiah, son of Hasadiah, son of Hilkiah, wrote in Babylon, a Jer 32, 12; 36, 4; 45, 1–5 . 2in the fifth year [on the seventh day of the month,* at the time when the Chaldeans took Jerusalem and burnt it with fire]. b 2 Kgs 25, 8ff . 3 c 2 Kgs 24, 8–17; Jer 22, 24–30; 51, 59–64 . And Baruch read the words of this scroll for Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to hear it, as well as all the people who came to the reading: d 3–4; 2 Kgs 23, 1–2 . 4the nobles, the kings' sons, the elders, and the whole people, small and great alike—all who lived in Babylon by the river Sud.*
5They wept and fasted and prayed before the LORD, 6and collected such funds as each could furnish. e Dt 16, 17 . 7These they sent to Jerusalem, to Jehoiakim, son of Hilkiah, son of Shallum, the priest, and to the priests and the whole people who were with him in Jerusalem. 8[This was when he* received the vessels of the house of the LORD that had been removed from the temple, to restore them to the land of Judah, on the tenth of Sivan. These silver vessels Zedekiah, son of Josiah, king of Judah, had had made 9after Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, carried off Jeconiah, and the princes, and the skilled workers, and the nobles, and the people of the land from Jerusalem, as captives, and brought them to Babylon.]
10Their message was: “We send you funds, with which you are to procure holocausts, sin offerings, and frankincense, and to prepare cereal offerings; offer these on the altar of the LORD our God, f Jer 17, 26 . 11and pray for the life of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and that of Belshazzar, his son,* that their lifetimes may equal the duration of the heavens above the earth; g Dt 11, 21; Jer 29, 7; Dn 5, 1–2; 1 Tm 2, 1f . 12and that the LORD may give us strength, and light to our eyes, that we may live under the protective shadow of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and that of Belshazzar, his son, and serve them long, finding favor in their sight.
Confession of Guilt. 13“Pray for us also to the LORD, our God; for we have sinned against the LORD, our God, and the wrath and anger of the LORD have not yet been withdrawn from us at the present day. 14And read out publicly this scroll which we send you, in the house of the LORD, on the feast day and during the days of assembly: h Ex 23, 14ff; Lv 23, 35f; Hos 9, 5; Sir 50, 6 .
15“Justice is with the LORD, our God; and we today are flushed with shame, we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem, i Bar 2, 6; 3, 8; Neh 9, 6–37; Ezr 9, 6–15; Dn 9, 4–19 . 16that we, with our kings and rulers and priests and prophets, and with our fathers, 17have sinned in the LORD's sight 18and disobeyed him. We have neither heeded the voice of the LORD, our God, nor followed the precepts which the LORD set before us. 19From the time the LORDled our fathers out of the land of Egypt until the present day, we have been disobedient to the LORD, our God, and only too ready to disregard his voice. 20And the evils and the curse which the LORD enjoined upon Moses, his servant, at the time he led our fathers forth from the land of Egypt to give us the land flowing with milk and honey, cling to us even today. j Lv 26, 14–39; Dt 28, 15–68 . 21For we did not heed the voice of the LORD, our God, in all the words of the prophets whom he sent us, 22but each one of us went off after the devices of our own wicked hearts, served other gods, and did evil in the sight of the LORD, our God.