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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on Baruch

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

3.9–4.4 : Wisdom, found by God, was given to Israel as the Torah.

3.9–14 :

Introduction to the poem.

9 :

The commandments of life, see Deut 30.15–20 .

10 :

This verse links the otherwise unrelated poem on wisdom to the confession. Israel's punishment ( 1.15–3.8 ) resulted from her abandonment of wisdom, to be praised now without further reference to the exile. Growing old, the exile has been long (contrast 1.2 ).

11 :

Ps 28.1; 88.4 . Hades, see 2.17n .

12 :

Prov 18.4; Jer 2.13 .

14 :

Prov 3.16; 8.14 .

15–28 :

The Gentile rulers of the world and the mighty have not found wisdom.

15 :

Job 28.12 .

16b–17a :

Jer 27.6; Dan 2.38; Jdt 11.7 .

19 :

The transience of human effort and accomplishment is contrasted with wisdom that brings life ( 4.1 ).

22 :

Canaan, wisdom is attributed to the Phoenician (Canaanite) cities of Tyre and Sidon (Ezek 28.3–5; Zech 9.2 ). Teman, in Edom, was reputed for its wisdom (Jer 49.7; Ob 8–9 ).

23 :

Descendants of Hagar, see Gen 25.12–15 . Merran, perhaps a corruption that arose in the Hebrew text for “Midian,” in northern Arabia; see Gen 37.28; Isa 60.6 .

24 :

House of God, the created world.

26 :

Giants, ancient demigods whose origin is described in Gen 6.1–4; see Wis 14.6 ; 1 Enoch 7.

28 :

Sir 16.7 .

29–37 :

God found Wisdom and gave her to Israel (Sir 24.1–12 ).

29–30 :

Deut 30.12–13; cf. Job 28.13–14; Prov 30.3–4 .

32–34 :

Job 28.23–26; Prov 8.22–31 .

33 :

Light, Gen 1.3; Job 38.35 .

34 :

Stars … were glad, Job 38.7 .

36 :

Sir 24.8 .

37 :

The notion of Wisdom living among humankind is attested in Prov 8.1–4,31; Wis 9.10; Sir 24.11–12 ; later, early Christian commentators took this as an allusion to the incarnation.

4.1–3 :

The identification of Wisdom with the law (Torah), as in Sir 24.23 , softens the implicit mythological character of Wisdom in 3.37 and in Job 28; Prov 8; Sir 24.1–22 .

1 :

Sir 24.23 .

2 :

Isa 60.3 .

1.1–14 : Historical introduction.

1–2 :

Authorship and date

1 :

Baruch, Jeremiah's secretary (Jer 32.12 ).

2 :

Fifth year, after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE (2 Kings 25.8–12 ).

3–4 :

The book is read before the king and the other exiles (cf. Jer 36.10 )

3 :

Jeconiah, also called Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24.15; Jer 24.1 ).

4 :

Sud, unknown.

5–14 :

A gift of money, the temple vessels, and the book are sent to Jerusalem.

5 :

The word Lord occurs only in the first part of the book ( 1.1–3.8 ).

6 :

They collected, see Ezra 1 .

7 :

The high priest Jehoiakim, otherwise unknown.

8 :

Sivan, the third month (May‐June), presumably ten months after the events recorded in vv. 1–4 . For a more reliable account of the return of the gold and silver vessels under the Persian king Cyrus, see Ezra 1.7–11 .

9 :

Jer 24.1; 2 Kings 24.10–16 .

10–14 :

The cover letter sent along with the “book” that begins in v. 15 . For the continuation of offerings in the ruins of the Temple, see Jer 41.5

11 :

Jer 29.7 . Belshazzar was actually the son of Nabonidus. The same error is made in Dan 5 . Like the days of heaven, without end (Deut 11.21 ).

1.15–3.8 : Confession of sin,

first for the Jerusalem community ( 1.15–2.5 ), and then for the exiles ( 2.6–3.8 ); compare 1.15–16 and 2.6 . This section is based largely on Dan 9.4–15 with supplementation from Lev 26, Deut 28 , and portions of the book of Jeremiah.

1.15–2.5 :

Disobedience brought the judgment of exile.

15–18 :

A refrain based on Dan 9.7–10 and echoed in 2.6–10 marking the division between the two halves of this confession.

15 :

Ezra 9.7 and, especially, Dan 9.7 , repeated in 2.6 .

18 :

Dan 9.10 , repeated in 2.10 .

20 :

Deut 28; Jer 11.3–5 .

21 :

Jer 7.25–26; Dan 9.5 .

2.1–2 :

Dan 9.12–13 .

3 :

Lev 26.29; Deut 28.53; Jer 19.9; Lam 4.10 .

5 :

Deut 28.13 .

6–10 :

Confession of guilt.

7–9 :

Dan 9.12–14 .

11–26 :

Supplication and confession.

11–14 :

Dan 9.15–17 .

12 :

Cf. Ps 106.6 and 1 Kings 8.47 .

13 :

Deut 4.27; Jer 42.2 .

16 :

Deut 26.15 .

17 :

Ps 6.5; 30.9; Isa 38.18; Sir 17.27–28 . Hades, Sheol, the underworld where all the dead go.

18 :

Deut 28.65–66 .

21 :

Jer 27.11–12 .

23 :

Jer 7.34 .

25 :

Jer 36.30 .

26 :

Jer 7.14 .

27–35 :

Repentance and restoration under an everlasting covenant. No passage in the Hebrew Bible corresponds exactly to the words attributed to Moses. The speech is a pastiche of phrases largely from Jeremiah and Deuteronomy.

28–29 :

Deut 28.58,62 .

30 :

1 Kings 8.47 .

31 :

Jer 24.7 .

33 :

Deut 9.6 .

34 :

Lev 26.42; Deut 6.10; Jer 32.37 .

35 :

Jer 32.38–40; Ezek 36.26–29; Am 9.15 .

3.1–8 :

Impassioned plea of repentant exiles.

4 :

The Greek dead (see textual note a) probably represents the translator's confusion of two very similar Hebrew roots, one meaning “dead” and the other “men.” As it stands, the Greek must be understood as implying that the Israelites in exile were as though “dead” (vv. 10–11; Isa 59.10b; Lam 3.6 ).

7 :

Jer 32.4 .

8 :

The ancestors’ sins ( 2.33; 3.4–5 ) are visited on later generations (Ex 34.7; Lam 5.7; cf. Jer 31.29 and Ezek 18.2–32 ).

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