Baruch

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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

the son of Neriah, and grandson of Maaseiah, was of illustrious birth, and of the tribe of Judah. He had a brother of the name of Seraiah, who occupied an important station in the court of King Zedekiah; but he himself adhered to the person of the Prophet Jeremiah, and was his most steady friend, though his attachment to him drew on himself several persecutions and much ill treatment. He appears to have acted as his secretary during a great part of his life, and never left him till they were parted by death. In the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, A.M. 3398, Jeremiah having been thrown into prison, the Lord commanded him to commit to writing all the prophecies that he had delivered until that time.

He accordingly sent for Baruch, and dictated them to him by word of mouth. Some time afterward he instructed the latter to go and read them to the people, who were then assembled in the temple; on which Michaiah, who happened to be present, and heard them, instantly gave notice of them to the king's counsellors. The latter immediately sent for Baruch, and commanded him to repeat to them what he had been reading to the people in the temple; which he accordingly did, to their great astonishment: and, finding that they contained some very unwelcome tidings respecting the fate of the kingdom, they inquired how he came into possession of them; intimating that their duty to the king required that they should make him acquainted therewith. Baruch was at the same time advised to consult his own safety, and to let no man know where he was to be found; after which they took from him the roll of his prophecies, and deposited it in the chamber of Elishama, the scribe. They next waited on the king, and told him what had passed. The latter sent Jehudi to fetch the book; which being brought, Jehoiakim commanded it to be read in his presence, and in the presence of his nobles who surrounded him. But Jehudi had not proceeded far before the king took the book, cut it with his secretary's penknife, and threw it into the fire, where it was consumed before their faces. He at the same time gave orders to have both Baruch and Jeremiah seized; but the hand of Providence concealed them from his fury.

Jeremiah was instructed a second time to commit his prophecies to writing; and Baruch wrote them as before, with the addition of several others which were not contained in the former book. In the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah, Baruch went to Babylon, carrying with him a long letter from Jeremiah, in which the Prophet foretold the judgments that should come upon Babylon, and promised the Jews, who were then captives in that country, that they should again be restored to their own land. The latter were exceedingly affected at hearing Jeremiah's letter read to them, and returned an answer to their brethren at Jerusalem. After his return to Jerusalem, Baruch continued his constant attendance on Jeremiah; and when Jerusalem was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, and Jeremiah thrown into prison, Baruch also was confined with him: but when the city had surrendered, Nebuzaraddan showed him much kindness, granted him his liberty, and permitted him to go with Jeremiah wherever he chose.

The remnant of the people who had been left in Judea under the care of Gedaliah, having adopted the resolution of going into Egypt, and finding that Jeremiah opposed their taking that journey, threw the blame upon Baruch; insinuating that the latter had influenced the Prophet to declare against it. They were, however, both of them at last compelled to follow the people into Egypt, where Jeremiah soon afterward died; on which Baruch retired to Babylon, where the rabbins say he also died in the twelfth year of the captivity, Jeremiah 36-43. The book of Baruch is justly placed among the apocryphal writings. Grotius thinks it a fiction written by some Hellenistic Jew; and St. Jerome gives as the reason why he did not write a commentary upon it, that the Jews themselves did not deem it canonical.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

("blessed, Benedict".) Neriah's son, Jeremiah's ( Jeremiah 32:12;  Jeremiah 36:4-32) steadfast attendant and amanuensis; brother to Seraiah, of princely family ( Jeremiah 51:59) and position. He was the friend to whom Jeremiah in prison entrusted the papers of the purchase of his uncle's field at Anathoth, the year before Jerusalem's destruction, to assure the Jews of the certainty of their return from Babylon. He wrote out Jeremiah's prophecies against the Jews and other nations, and, while the prophet was shut up, i.e. prevented coming forward, read them before the people; in consequence of which king Jehoiakim sought to kill him and Jeremiah, but the Lord hid them. Jehoiakim having destroyed the first roll, Baruch wrote again the same words with many additions. Azariah and Johanan after the capture of the city, when Jeremiah warned them against going to Egypt, said: "Baruch setteth thee on against us for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans."

On, the former occasion Baruch yielded to despondency; and as Paul subjoins epistles to individuals after epistles to churches, so Jeremiah subjoins a prophecy concerning Baruch after the prophecies and histories concerning the Jews and their kings: "Thus saith the Lord the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch. Thou didst say, Woe is me now, for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow, I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest." When a "whole land," the people of My "planting," are being plucked up; "seekest thou great things for thyself?" i.e., dost thou expect to be exempt from trial?

A promise is added to the reproof: "thy life will I give unto thee for a prey." How striking, that Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 12:1-5;  Jeremiah 15:10-18;  Jeremiah 15:45), who once was so desponding himself, is enabled to minister counsel to Baruch falling into the same error. God allows His servants to be tempted, in order to fit them for succoring others who are tempted. Baruch was carried with Jeremiah by Johanan into Egypt ( Jeremiah 43:6). The apocryphal book of Baruch is evidently one of later composition.

2. Son of Zabbai ( Nehemiah 3:20).

3. Son of Colhozeh ( Nehemiah 11:5).

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

BARUCH (‘blessed’). 1 . Son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah and brother of Seraiah (  Jeremiah 51:59 ); known from   Jeremiah 36:1-32;   Jeremiah 45:1-5;   Jeremiah 32:12-16;   Jeremiah 43:3;   Jeremiah 43:8; by Jeremiah’s side in the conflict with Jehoiakim (b.c. 604), again during the last siege of Jerusalem (587 6), and again amongst the Judæans left behind after the Second Captivity. ‘Baruch’ the scribe, named in   Jeremiah 36:26 along with ‘Jeremiah the prophet,’ is already the recognized attendant and amanuensis of the latter; he seems to have rendered the prophet over twenty years of devoted service. He belonged to the order of ‘princes,’ among whom Jeremiah had influential friends (  Jeremiah 26:16;   Jeremiah 36:25 ); Baruch’s rank probably secured for Jeremiah’s objectionable ‘roll’ (ch. 36) the hearing that was refused to his spoken words. When he cast in his lot with Jeremiah, Baruch made a heavy sacrifice; he might have ‘sought great things’ for himself, and is warned against his natural ambition (  Jeremiah 45:3-5 ). The promise that Baruch’s ‘life shall be given’ him ‘for a prey’ wherever he goes, placed where it is (  Jeremiah 45:5 ), suggests that he survived his master, to act as his literary executor. The Book of Jeremiah (see art.) owes much to this loyal secretary, though the final arrangement of the materials is far from satisfactory. Tradition adds nothing of any certainty to the references of Scripture; see, however, Jos. [Note: Josephus.] Ant . X. ix. 1, 7. For the Apocryphal writings attached to his name, see Apocrypha and Apocalyptic Literature. 2 . One of the wall-builders (  Nehemiah 3:20 ). 3 . A signatory to the covenant (  Nehemiah 10:5 ). 4 . A Judahite (  Nehemiah 11:5 ).

G. G. Findlay.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

Ba'ruch. (Blessed).

1. Son of Neriah, the friend  Jeremiah 32:12, amanuensis [A person whose employment is to write what another dictates.],  Jeremiah 26:4-32, and faithful attendant of Jeremiah.  Jeremiah 36:10 ff. (B.C. 603).

He was of a noble family, compare  Jeremiah 51:59;  Baruch 1:1, and of distinguished acquirements. His enemies accused him of influencing Jeremiah in favor of the Chaldaeans,  Jeremiah 43:3, comapre  Jeremiah 27:13, and he was imprisoned until the capture of Jerusalem, B.C. 586.

By the permission of Nebuchadnezzar, he remained with Jeremiah, at Mizpeh, Jos. Ant. X.9, 1, but was, afterwards, forced to go down to Egypt.  Jeremiah 43:6 Nothing is known certainly of the close of his life.

2. The son of Zabbai, who assisted Nehemiah in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  Nehemiah 3:20. (B.C. 446).

3. A priest, or family of priests, who signed the covenant with Nehemiah.  Nehemiah 10:6. (B.C. 410).

4. The son of Col-hozeh, a descendant of Perez or Pharez, the son of Judah.  Nehemiah 11:5. (B.C. 536).

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

1. Son of Zabbai: he helped to build the wall of Jerusalem.  Nehemiah 3:20 .

2. A priest who sealed the covenant.  Nehemiah 10:6 .

3. Father of Maaseiah who returned from exile.  Nehemiah 11:5 .

4. Son of Neriah, and faithful secretary to Jeremiah. He was eventually carried with Jeremiah into Egypt.  Jeremiah 32:12-16;  Jeremiah 36:4-32;  Jeremiah 43:3,6;  Jeremiah 45:1,2 .

Baruch, Book Of This forms part of the O.T. Apocrypha, though its professed author is Baruch, the friend and secretary of Jeremiah. It relates that the Jews in Babylon sent a deputation to Jerusalem with money for sacrifices, and requested that prayers might be offered for Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar. It confesses that their sufferings were in consequence of their sins. It points to the sin ofneglectingthe source of wisdom, and exhorts to a return. It laments over Jerusalem; but exults in its future blessing. It ends with an Epistle of Jeremiah to those who were to be led captive into Babylon, warning them against the idols they would find there. It is generally agreed that the book was not written by its assumed author, but there is great diversity of opinion as to its probable date: some placing it B.C. 160, and others not till B.C. 79-69.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [6]

Baruch ( Bâ'Rook ), Blessed. 1. The secretary of the prophet Jeremiah, and who was of a distinguished Jewish family.  Jeremiah 32:12. His friendship for Jeremiah was strong and constant. At his dictation Baruch wrote Jeremiah's prophecies. These he read before the princes, who rehearsed them to Jehoiakim, the king, having previously placed the writing in one of the offices of the temple. The king ordered the writing to be read in his presence, and he became so angry that he destroyed the manuscripts and gave orders to arrest both the prophet and his secretary, but they had concealed themselves. Jehovah, however, repeated the prophecies to Jeremiah, with some additions, and Baruch wrote them a second time. Baruch was falsely accused of influencing Jeremiah in favor of the Chaldæans, and they were both imprisoned until the capture of Jerusalem, b.c. 586. They were afterward forced to go down to Egypt.  Jeremiah 43:6;  Jeremiah 7:2. The name of three other persons, otherwise unknown.  Nehemiah 3:20;  Nehemiah 10:6;  Nehemiah 11:5.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [7]

1. The son of Neriah, of a distinguished family in the tribe of Judah. He was the faithful friend of Jeremiah. About 605 B. C. he wrote down, from the lips of Jeremiah, all the divine messages to that prophet, and subsequently read them to the people, and again to certain princes. These last took the book, and soon made known its contents to king Jehoiakim, who impiously destroyed it. Baruch wrote it down a second time as before, with some additions,  Jeremiah 36:1 -  32 .

He is supposed by some to have accompanied his brother Seraiah to Babylon, with the predictions of Jeremiah respecting that city,  Jeremiah 51:59-64 . He afterwards shared the persecution of the prophet, was imprisoned with him, and forced to go to Egypt with the rebellious Jews,  Jeremiah 43:1-13 . After the death of Jeremiah, the rabbins say, he returned to Babylon. An apocryphal book is ascribed to him.

2. Another Baruch is mentioned among the friends of Nehemiah,  Nehemiah 3:20   10:6   11:5 .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [8]

  •  Nehemiah 3:20;  10:6;  11:5 .

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Baruch'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/b/baruch.html. 1897.

  • Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [9]

    Son of Neriah, An interesting character, as related to us in the prophecy of Jeremiah. ( Jeremiah 32:1-44;  Jeremiah 36:1-32;  Jeremiah 43:1-13;  Jeremiah 45:1-5) His name is derived from Barach, to bless.

    Holman Bible Dictionary [10]

     Jeremiah 32:12 Jeremiah 36:1 Jeremiah 43:3 Jeremiah 45:1Jeremiah

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

    (Heb. Baruk', בָּרוּךְ , Blessed; Sept. Βαρούχ , Josephus Βαροῦχος ) , the name of three men.

    1. The faithful friend of the prophet Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 32:12;  Jeremiah 36:4 sq.) was of a noble family of the tribe of Judah ( Jeremiah 51:59;  Baruch 1:1; Joseph. Ant. 10:6, 2; 9, 1), and generally considered to be the brother of the prophet Seraiah, both being represented as sons of Neriah; and to Baruch the prophet Jeremiah dictated all his oracles. (See Jeremiah).

    In the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiachim, king of Judah (B.C. 605), Baruch was directed to write all the prophecies delivered by Jeremiah up to that period, and to read them to the people, which he did from a window in the Temple upon two solemn occasions (Jeremiah 36). He afterward read them before the counsellors of the king at a private interview, when Baruch, being asked to give an account of the manner in which the prophecy had been composed, gave an exact description of the mode in which he had taken it down from the prophet's dictation. Upon this they ordered him to leave the roll, advising that he and Jeremiah should conceal themselves. They then informed the king of what had taken place, upon which he had the roll read to him; but, after hearing a part of it, he cut it with a penknife, and, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his counsellors, threw it into the fire of his winter parlor, where he was sitting. He then ordered Jeremiah and Baruch to be seized, but they could not be found. The Jews to this day commemorate the burning of this roll by an annual fast. (See Calendar (Jewish).)

    Another roll was now written by Baruch from the prophet's dictation, containing all that was in the former, with some additions, the most remarkable of which is the prophecy respecting the ruin of Jehoiachim and his house as the punishment of his impious act. This roll is the prophecy of Jeremiah which we now possess. Baruch, being himself terrified at the threats contained in the prophetic roll, received the comforting assurance that he would himself be delivered from the calamities which should befall Judah and Jerusalem (Jeremiah 45). During the siege of Jerusalem Baruch was selected as the depositary of the deed of purchase which Jeremiah had made of the territory of Hanameel, to which deed he had been a witness ( Jeremiah 32:12 sq.). B.C. 589. His enemies accused him of influencing Jeremiah in favor of the Chaldaeans ( Jeremiah 43:3; comp. 37:13); and he was thrown into prison with that prophet, where he remained till the capture of Jerusalem, B.C. 588

    (Joseph. Ant. 10:9, 1). By the permission of Nebuchadnezzar he remained with Jeremiah at Masphatha (Joseph. 1. c.); but in the fourth year of Zedekiah (B.C. 595) Baruch is supposed by some to have accompanied Seraiah to Babylon, when the latter attended Zedekiah with the prophecies contained in Jeremiah, ch. 1 and 51, which he was commanded by Jeremiah to read on the banks of the Euphrates, and then to cast the prophetic roll into the river, with a stone attached to it, to signify the everlasting ruin of. Babylon ( Jeremiah 51:61). At least Baruch, in the book which bears his name (in the Apocrypha ) , is said to have read these prophecies at Babylon, in the hearing of King Jehoiachim and the captive Jews, in the fifth year of the taking of Jerusalem by the Chaldaeans (see below), which must have been the same taking of it in which Jehoiachim was made prisoner; for after the other taking of Jerusalem, in the eleventh year of the reign of King Zedekiah, when the Jews, after their return from Babylon, obstinately persisted in their determination to migrate to Egypt against the remonstrances of the prophet, both Baruch and Jeremiah accompanied them to that country ( Jeremiah 43:6; Joseph. Ant. 10:9, 6), from whence there is no account in Scripture of Baruch's return. The rabbins, however, allege that he died in Babylon in the twelfth year of the exile (see Calmet's Preface ) . Jerome, on the other hand, states, "on the authority of the Jews" ( Hebraei Tradunt ) , that Jeremiah and Baruch died in Egypt "before the desolation of the country by Nabuchodonosor" ( Comm. In  Isaiah 30:6-7, p. 405). Josephus asserts that he was well skilled in the Hebrew language; and that, after the taking of Jerusalem, Nebuzaradan treated Baruch with consideration from respect to Jeremiah, whose misfortunes he had shared, and whom he had accompanied to prison and exile ( Ant. 10:9, 1 and 2).

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

    bā´ruk , bâr´uk ( בּרוּך , bārūk  ; Βαρούχ , Baroúch , "blessed"):

    (1) Son of Neriah and brother of Seraiah, King Zedekiah's chamberlain ( Jeremiah 51:59 ). He was the devoted friend ( Jeremiah 32:12 ), the amanuensis ( Jeremiah 36:4 ,  Jeremiah 36:32 ) and faithful attendant ( Jeremiah 36:10; Josephus, Ant , X, vi, 2) of the prophet Jeremiah. He seems to have been of noble family (see Ant , X, ix, 1; compare  Jeremiah 51:59; Baruch 1:1). He was also according to Josephus a man of unusual acquirements ( Ant. , X, ix, 1). He might have risen to a high position and seemed conscious of this, but under Jeremiah's influence (see  Jeremiah 45:5 ) he repressed his ambition, being content to throw in his lot with the great prophet whose secretary and companion he became. Jeremiah dictated his prophecies to Baruch, who read them to the people (Jer 36). The king (Jehoiakim) was greatly angered at these prophecies and had Baruch arrested and the roll burnt. Baruch however rewrote the prophet's oracles. In the final siege of Jerusalem Baruch stood by his master, witnessing the purchase by the latter of his ancestral estate in Anathoth (Jer 32). According to Josephus ( Ant. , X, ix, 1) he continued to reside with Jeremiah at Mizpah after the fall of Jerusalem. Subsequent to the murder of Gedaliah, he was accused of having unduly influenced Jeremiah when the latter urged the people to remain in Judah - a fact which shows how great was the influence which Baruch was believed to have had over his master ( Jeremiah 43:3 ). He was carried with Jeremiah to Egypt ( Jeremiah 43:6; Ant , X, ix, 6), and thereafter our knowledge of him is merely legendary. According to a tradition preserved by Jerome (on  Isaiah 30:6 f) he died in Egypt soon after reaching that country. Two other traditions say that he went, or by Nebuchadnezzar was carried, to Babylon after this king conquered Egypt. The high character of Baruch and the important part he played in the life and work of Jeremiah induced later generations still further to enhance his reputation, and a large number of spurious writings passed under his name, among them the following: ( a ) The Apocalypse Of Baruch (which see); ( b ) The Book of Baruch; ( c ) The Rest of the Words of Baruch; ( d ) The Gnostic Book of Baruch; ( e ) The Latin Book of Baruch, composed originally in Latin; ( f ) a Greek Apocalypse of Baruch belonging to the 2nd century of our era; ( g ) another Book of Baruch belonging to the 4th or 5th century.

    (2) A son of Zabbai who aided Nehemiah in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem ( Nehemiah 3:20 ).

    (3) One of the priests who signed the covenant with Nehemiah ( Nehemiah 10:6 ).

    (4) The son of Colhozeh, a descendant of Perez, the son of Judah ( Nehemiah 11:5 ).

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

    Ba´ruch, blessed; the faithful friend and amanuensis of the prophet Jeremiah, was of a noble family of the tribe of Judah, and generally considered to be the brother of the prophet Seraiah, both being represented as sons of Neriah; and to Baruch the prophet Jeremiah dictated all his oracles. During the siege of Jerusalem, Baruch was selected as the depositary of the deed of purchase which Jeremiah had made of the territory of Hanameel, to which deed he had been a witness. In the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiachim, king of Judah (B.C. 605), Baruch was directed to write all the prophecies delivered by Jeremiah up to that period, and to read them to the people, which he did from a window in the Temple upon two solemn occasions. He afterwards read them before the counselors of the king at a private interview, when Baruch being asked to give an account of the manner in which the prophecy had been composed, gave an exact description of the mode in which he had taken it down from the prophet's dictation. Upon this they ordered him to leave the roll, advising that he and Jeremiah should conceal themselves. They then informed the king of what had taken place, upon which he had the roll read to him; but, after hearing a part of it, he cut it with a penknife, and, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his counselors, threw it into the fire of his winter parlor, where he was sitting. He then ordered Jeremiah and Baruch to be seized, but they could not be found. The Jews to this day commemorate the burning of this roll by an annual fast. Another roll was now written by Baruch from the prophet's dictation, containing all that was in the former, with some additions, the most remarkable of which is the prophecy respecting the ruin of Jehoiachim and his house, as the punishment of his impious act. This roll is the prophecy of Jeremiah which we now possess. Baruch, being himself terrified at the threats contained in the prophetic roll, received the comforting assurance that he would himself be delivered from the calamities which should befall Judah and Jerusalem. After the capture of Jerusalem, in the eleventh year of the reign of King Zedekiah, when the Jews, after their return from Babylon, obstinately persisted in their determination to migrate to Egypt, against the remonstrances of the prophet, both Baruch and Jeremiah accompanied them to that country, where they remained until the death of Jeremiah. There is no account in Scripture of Baruch's return from Egypt, but the Rabbins allege that he died in Babylon, in the twelfth year of the exile, Josephus asserts that, he was well skilled in the Hebrew language; and that, after the taking of Jerusalem, Nebuzaradan treated Baruch with consideration, from respect to Jeremiah, whose misfortunes he had shared, and whom he had accompanied to prison and exile (Antiq. x. 9, 1-2).

    The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

    The friend of the prophet Jeremiah, and his scribe, who was cast with him into prison, and accompanied him into Egypt; a book in the Apocrypha, instinct with the spirit of Hebrew prophecy, ascribed to him; also a book entitled the Apocalypse of Baruch, affecting to predict the fall of Jerusalem, but obviously written after the event.

    References