Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Babylonia. Septuagint, “Babylon,” where Jechonias was in prison, (Haydock) now the 5th year, ver. 2. Baruch accompanied his brother Saraias, Jeremias li. 59. (Calmet) — Cappellus supposes that the author confounded them together, which is not probable. (Houbigant)
Ver. 2. Month, in which the king was taken. (Calmet) — This was the fifth anniversary. (Haydock) — Fire: but soon extinguished. (Usher) — The taking of the city was effected at intervals, (Haydock) during eleven years, in the fifth of which this book was written. Jerusalem was at last reduced to ashes. As yet there were priests, a temple, &c., ver. 7, 14. (Worthington) (Calmet)
Ver. 3. Jechonias. He was in prison, where the Jews met to hear the words of Jeremias; (li. 59., &c.; Calmet) or the king might hear the letter in private. (Houbigant)
Ver. 4. Sodi. Hebrew zud, (Haydock) means “pride,” and probably denotes the great river Euphrates. (Calmet) — Bochart reads Sur, (Houbigant) or Sori. The city Sura was there. (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Joakim, or Eliacim, high priest under Manasses, &c., Isaias xxii. 20. (Calmet) — The text only says that he was priest, and Cappellus asserts there was no pontiff then. (Houbigant)
Ver. 8. Siven; a Syriac month, corresponding with our May. (Menochius) — Vessels; or, “the vessels were of silver.” (Haydock) — By retrenching a, which, it would seem that they asked for the golden vessels. Sedecias had made silver ones to supply their place. These also might have been taken away. (Calmet) — Baltassar had still those of gold, (Daniel v. 2.; Menochius) or at least some of them. (Haydock) — Sedecias, now in favour, only asked for what he had made while a private man. (Houbigant)
Ver. 9. All. Cunctos should be vinclos, according to the Greek, “prisoners.” (Calmet)
Ver. 10. Meat. Literally, “manna,” as Septuagint express Hebrew monee; (Haydock) or as it is pointed, mincha; which properly means an “oblation” (Jeremias xvii. 26.; Menochius) of bread, wine, &c. (Calmet) — And offerings. Literally, “offer.” — Greek has for sin before frankincense. (Haydock)
Ver. 11. King. Gratitude and duty prompted them, Jeremias xxix. 7., and 1 Timothy ii. 2. — Baltassar. Evilmerodac, his elder brother, was in disgrace. (Lyranus) (Jeremias lii. 31.) (Calmet) — Heaven, as long and prosperous as possible. (Haydock) — It was a customary salutation to say, O king, live for ever, Daniel ii. 4., and Psalm lxxxviii. 30. (Calmet) — Cappellus says Baltassar was not yet born. But how does he know this? It might be the title of the heir apparent, (Haydock) or of the king’s sons. We need not decide in a point of such antiquity. (Houbigant)
Ver. 12. Eyes, putting an end to our captivity, (Badwell) or causing us to detest our sins. (Calmet) — Days. This they knew was God’s decree, and they submit. (Haydock) — They prefer serving the Chaldeans before other foreign nations. (Worthington)
Ver. 14. Proper festival days. (Calmet) — Hebrew mohed, or muad. They were still observed (Haydock) in the temple.
Ver. 20. Curses against transgressors, Leviticus xxvi., and Daniel ix. 11. (Calmet) — Day. We feel the effects of sin. The land of Juda was not flourishing, though not yet laid waste. (Haydock)
Ver. 22. Serve, or sacrifice unto: (Sanctius) operata Deo: (Tibul.) or to worship, chap. ii. 21. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:The Jews of Babylon send the book of Baruch, with money, to Jerusalem, requesting their brethren there to offer sacrifice, and to pray for the king and for them, acknowledging their manifold sins.
1 And *these are the words of the book, which Baruch, the son of Nerias, the son of Maasias, the son of Sedecias, the son of Sedei, the son of Helcias, wrote in Babylonia.
2 In the fifth year, in the seventh day of the month, at the time that the Chaldeans took Jerusalem, and burnt it with fire.
3 And Baruch read the words of this book in the hearing of Jechonias, the son of Joakim, king of Juda, and in the hearing of all the people that came to hear the book.
4 And in the hearing of the nobles, the sons of the kings, and in the hearing of the ancients, and in the hearing of the people, from the least even to the greatest of them, that dwelt in Babylonia, by the river Sodi.
5 And when they heard it they wept, and fasted, and prayed before the Lord.
6 And they made a collection of money, according to every man’s power.
7 And they sent it to Jerusalem, to Joakim, the priest, the son of Helcias, the son of Salom, and to the priests, and to all the people, that were found with him in Jerusalem:
8 At the time when he received the vessels of the temple of the Lord, which had been taken away out of the temple, to return them into the land of Juda, the tenth day of the month Sivan, the silver vessels, which Sedecias, the son of Josias, king of Juda, had made.
9 After that, Nabuchodonosor, the king of Babylon, had carried away Jechonias, and the princes, and all the powerful men, and the people of the land from Jerusalem, and brought them bound to Babylon.
10 And they said: Behold we have sent you money, buy with it holocausts, and frankincense, and make meat-offerings, and offerings for sin at the altar of the Lord our God:
11 And pray ye for the life of Nabuchodonosor, the king of Babylon, and for the life of Baltasaar, his son, that their days may be upon earth as the days of heaven:
12 And that the Lord may give us strength, and enlighten our eyes, that we may live under the shadow of Nabuchodonosor, the king of Babylon, and under the shadow of Baltasaar, his son, and may serve them many days, and may find favour in their sight.
13 And pray ye for us to the Lord our God: for we have sinned against the Lord our God, and his wrath is not turned away from us even to this day.
14 And read ye this book, which we have sent to you to be read in the temple of the Lord, on feasts, and proper days.
15 *And you shall say: To the Lord our God belongeth justice, but to us confusion of our face: as it is come to pass at this day to all Juda, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
16 To our kings, and to our princes, and to our priests, and to our prophets, and to our fathers.
17 *We have sinned before the Lord our God, and have not believed him, nor put our trust in him:
18 And we were not obedient to him, and we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his commandments which he hath given us.
19 From the day that he brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, we were disobedient to the Lord our God: and going astray we turned away from hearing his voice.
20 *And many evils have cleaved to us, and the curses which the Lord foretold by Moses, his servant: who brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt, to give us a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.
21 And we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God, according to all the words of the prophets whom he sent to us:
22 And we have gone away every man after the inclinations of his own wicked heart, to serve strange gods, and to do evil in the sight of the Lord our God.
1: Year of the World about 3404, Year before Christ 600.
15: Baruch ii. 6.
17: Daniel ix. 5.
20: Deuteronomy xxviii. 15.