Baruch (book of the Bible)

The Book of Baruch: (also called Baruk or Baruch) is a Biblical book of the Old Testament , belonging to the group of the prophetic Books and within them the so-called “major prophets” based on the limited length of the text. In Catholic Bibles it is located between Lamentations and Ezekiel.

Summary

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  • 1 Canonicality
  • 2 Origin
  • 3 Epoch
  • 4 Structure
  • 5 In culture
  • 6 Sources

Canonicity

Since we lack the original Hebrew text of Baruch, it has been considered deuterocanonical and has been excluded from the Protestant and Jewish Bibles. For Catholics and Orthodox, however, Baruch is inspired and therefore canonical. Indeed, this book only appears in the Latin Vulgate and in the Greek version of the LXX. In these two Bibles, he forms with Lamentations a conceptual appendix to the Book of Jeremiah.

Origin

Baruch’s book first existed as three separate and independent parts that were later put together and resulted in the current book.

The oldest piece (two poems, Bar. 3: 9-5: 9) belong to the 3rd century BC. Already in the times of the Maccabees, a last editor added the prologue and the final part and attributed the whole to the prophet Baruch, secretary and scribe of Jeremiah, which shows the influence of the latter in that time and place.

The Septuagint shows Baruch chapter 6 separately, which is called the “Letter of Jeremiah” and is found in the bibles of certain religions as a separate book. The Vulgate, on the other hand, brings it together with the book of Baruch and numbers it as one more chapter. The Jeremiah Letter is an apologetic discourse against idolatry, and further develops the concepts studied by Jeremiah and Isaiah.

Despite being adopted by the Catholic Church , Baruch makes a strong statement against clothing, worship, and faith in images made of wood and clad in gold, silver, and other materials. This custom was acquired from the people of Babylon who represented deities with images made by the hands of men (Baruch chapter 6 or Letter of Jeremiah)

Epoch

The text was written in the Maccabee period , but no further details can be established. The letters were gathered in a single book in 100 a. C.

Structure

Baruc’s book is made up of the following parts:

  • [Inscription]
  • [Narrative introduction (1: 3-14)]
  • [Prayers (1: 15-3: 8)]
  • [First poem (3: 9-4: 4)]
  • [Second poem (4: 5-5: 9)]

The prayers, of a cultural nature, constitute the song of the exiles. In them, the people recognize the dreadful way in which they have sinned and ask God for deliverance from their sufferings. The first poem is didactic in nature: Israel must return to Yahveh to be happy or succumb to damage and lamentation. The second is composed of songs of consolation and lamentation.

In the culture

The Costa Rican writer Axel Aarón Abarca de la Hera, relied on the name to baptize the main character of the Baruk trilogy, The Son of the Dragon.

 

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