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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Baruch - Introduction

This book carries the name of Baruch, Jeremiah's close friend and secretary (Jer. chs. 32 and 45 ). If that Baruch were indeed the author, the book would have come from the sixth century B.C.E., but a later date and different authorship seem involved. The book was probably written in Hebrew, but the original writing has not survived. It shows little or no unity respecting authorship, style, age, and even Greek translator or translators. The divergent viewpoints (compare 1.11 and 2.22 with 4.15, 25 ) and the book's dependence on later writings (i.e. 1.15–3.8 on Neh. ch. 9 and Dan. 9.4–19 ) suggest a date between 200 and 150 B.C.E., although a date as late as the first century B.C.E. is possible.

This anthology of prayers and hymns provides a rare glimpse of religion in the synagogues outside the land of Israel, reflecting devotion to the temple and the religious authority at Jerusalem, resistance to foreign idolatry, and continuous meditation on the Law and other sacred writings like Jeremiah, Isaiah (chs. 40–55, chs. 60–62 ), Daniel, Proverbs, and Job.

After a narrative introduction ( 1.1–14 ), there follow a group confession of sins and lamentation in prose ( 1.15–3.8 ), then in poetic meter a hymnic praise of wisdom ( 3.9–4.4 ) and a medley of prophetic poems of hope or tender lament about Jerusalem ( 4.5–5.9 ).

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