Son of Neriah (Jer. 36: 4); the names have been discovered on a clay seal of the 7th cent. BCE. Baruch was a friend and secretary of Jeremiah who, in spite of possibly being an employee of King Jehoiakim, had the courage to read Jeremiah's subversive prophecies publicly in the Temple (winter, 604 BCE). The king burnt the scroll which contained advice to submit to the Babylonians. But the words were written out again (Jer. 36: 28). When Jeremiah was imprisoned, Baruch was entrusted with the legal deeds of property in Jeremiah's home town, Anathoth, a short distance NE of Jerusalem (Jer. 32: 12–16). This transaction was arranged by Jeremiah as a prophecy that after the Chaldeans (Babylonians) had gone, fields would again be bought and sold (Jer. 32: 44). However, it was not to be. After the siege and the Babylonian victory, Jeremiah and Baruch were taken by a group of anti-Babylonian conspirators to Egypt (586 BCE).
It has been argued that those sections in the book of Jeremiah which are biographical are the work of Baruch, though they have been edited in the interests of Deuteronomic history (Jer. 39: 11–12; 40: 1–6) with its characteristic refrain (40: 3) that evils had come upon the people ‘because they have sinned against the Lord’.