It is felt by scholars that this book was written between 200 – 70 B.C.E., with a
setting taking place in the Babylonian Exile, which took place in the early sixth Century
B.C.E.. The writer declares himself to be Baruch, the secretary of Jeremiah. Cf. Jeremiah
43:1 – 7. The writing claims to have been written in Babylon and then transported to
Egypt in 582 B.C.E. This, however, is based on tradition. If that were the case, Baruch
Would have been 150 years old. This is based on the writing of the book of Daniel, since
Baruch 1:15 – 2:14 is, to a large part, a copy of Daniel 9”4 – 19, and rewritten in the book of Baruch.
The book appears in three almost totally different recensions. Two of these were written in Hebrew: Hebrew A, and Hebrew B. The third recension is written in Greek.
Laying tradition aside, scholars feel that it was originally written in Hebrew, based an all the Hebrew-isims found in the writing. For many years the manuscripts in Hebrew were not available and tradition felt it was originally written in Greek but Hebrew manuscripts were found. Scholars are divided, with three different recensions available, to agree which manuscript might be closest to the original.
The book divides into two parts.
In praise of wisdom
Scholars feel that four different writers contributed to what we now call Baruch,one for each of the segments of the book. There was perhaps a redactor who then assembled these writings into their final form. There are many errors in the introduction which seem to say that the writer(s) was much later in history and did not know correctly the relationships of the people mentioned.
The translation is an attempt to merge the several manuscripts into a unit.
There are two other writings attributed to Baruch which are, classed as Pseudo-epigrapha . The Apocrypha of Baruch and Second Baruch. The latter was written some time after the year 70 C.E. and only uses the name Baruch
1 These are the words of the book that Baruch son of Neriah son of Mahseiah son of Zedekiah son of Hasadiah son of Hilkiah wrote in Babylon, 2 in the fifth year, on the seventh day of the month, at the time when the Chaldeans captured and burned Jerusalem.
3 Baruch read the words of this book to Jeconiah son of Jehoikim, king of Judah, and to all the people who came to hear the book, 4 and to the nobles and the princes, and to the elders, and to all the people, regardless of their status, all who lived in Babylon by the river Sud.
5 With tears forming, they prayed before the Lord; 6 and they gathered as much money as each one could give, 7 and sent it to Jerusalem to the high  priest Jehoiakim son of Hilkiah son of Shallum, and to the other priests, and to all the people who were with him in Jerusalem. 8 At the same time, on the tenth day of Sivan,  Baruch  took the vessels of the house of the Lord, which had been looted from the temple, to return them to the land of Judah – silver vessels that Zedekiah son of Josiah, king of Judah had made, 9 after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away from Jerusalem along with Jeconiah, the princes the craftsmen  and the nobles and the people of Israel bringing them to Babylon.
A Letter to Jerusalem
10 They said, “We are sending you money, so buy burnt offerings, sin offerings, incense, and to prOvide grain offerings and offer them to the altar of the Lord our God; 11 and with prayer for the life of King Neuchadnezzar of Babylon, and for the life of his son Belshazzar, so that their days on the earth may be as pleasant as the days of heaven.12 The Lord strengthen us, and bring light in our eyes; and we will live under the protection of King Nebuchadnezzar, and we will serve them many days and find favor in their sight. 13 Pray also to the Lord our God for us, for we have sinned against the Lour God, and to this day the anger of the Lord and his wrath have not turned away from us. 14 And you will read aloud this scroll that we are sending you, to make your confession in the house of the Lord on the days of the festivals and at appointed seasons.
A Confession of Sin 
15 You are to say: The Lord our God is in the right, but there is open shame on us
today, on the people of Judah, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 16 and on our kings, our rulers, priests, prophets, and ancestors, 17 because we have sinned before the Lord. 18 We have disobeyed him, and have not heeded the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in the statutes of the Lord that he set before us. 19 From the time when the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt until today, we have been disgraceful and disobedient to the Lord our God and we have been negligent, in not heeding his voice. 20 To this day we have been clinging to the calamities and the curse that the Lord declared through his servant Moses at the time when he brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt to give us a land flowing with milk and honey, 21 We have refused to listen to the voice of the Lord our God in all the words spoken to us by the prophets whom he sent to us, 22 but all of us followed the intent of our own wicked hearts by serving other gods and doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God.
1 So the Lord warmed is with his admonition when he spoke against us; against our judges who ruled Israel and against our kings and our rulers, and the people of Israel and Judah. 2 Under the whole heaven the like of what he has done in Jerusalem has not taken place elsewhere; in accordance with the threats that were  written in the law of Moses. 3 Some of us ate our own sons’ flesh and others the flesh of their own daughters. 4 He made them subject to all the kingdoms around us, to be an object of scorn and a desolation among all the surrounding nations, where the Lord has scattered them. 5 They were brought down and not raised up, because our nation  sinned against the Lord our God, in not heeding his voice.
6 The Lord our God is in the right, but there is open shame on us and our ancestors this very day. 7 All those disasters with which the Lord threatened us have come upon us. 8 Yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord by turning away, each of us, from the thoughts of our wicked hearts. 9 The Lord has kept a strict watch and brought disasters upon us. 10 Yet we have not obeyed his voice, to walk in the statutes of the Lord that he set before us.
A Prayer of Deliverance
11 Now, O Lord God of Israel, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a strong hand an with signs and wonders with great power and outstretched arm, and
made yourself a name that continues to this day, 12 we have sinned, we have been ungodly, we have done wrong, O Lord our God, against your ordinances. 13 Let your anger turn away from you, for we are left , few in number, among the nations where you have scattered us. 14 Hear our prayer and our supplication, O Lord, and for your own sake deliver us, and grant us favor in the sight of those who have been carried into exile’15 so that all the earth may know that you are the Lord our God, for Israel and his descendants are called by your name. 
16 O Lord, look down from your holy dwelling, and please consider us. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; 17 open your eyes O Lord, and see, for the dead who are in the grave, whose spirit has been taken away from their bodies, will not ascribe glory or justice to the Lord; 18 but the person who is deeply grieved, who walks bowed and feeble, with failing eyes and a famished soul, will declare your glory and righteousness, O Lord.
19 For it is not because of any righteous deeds of our ancestors or our kings that we bring before you our plea for mercy, O Lord our God. 20 You have vented your anger and your wrath upon us, as you warned us through your servants the prophets saying; 21 Thus says the Lord; Bend your shoulders and serve the king of Babylon, and you will remain in the land that I gave to your ancestors. 22 But if you will not ignore the commands of the Lord and will not serve the king of Babylon, 23 I will make to banish you from all the towns of Judah and from the region around Jerusalem, for the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, and the entire land will be a desolations without inhabitants.
24 But we will not obey your voice, to serve the king of Babylon, and you have carried out your threats, which you spoke by your servants the prophets, that the bones of
the kings and the bones of our ancestors would be brought out of their resting place, 25 and indeed they have been exposed to the suffering heat of day and the frost of night. They perished in great misery, by famine and sword and pestilence. 26 The house that is called by your name you have made as it is today, because of the wickedness of the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
27 Yet you have dealt with us, O Lord our God, in all your kindness and in all your great mercy,. 28 as you spoke through your servant Moses on the day when you commanded him to write your law in the presence of the people of Israel, saying, 29 “If you will not obey my voice, this very great multitude will surely turn into a small number among the nations, where I will scatter them. 30 I know that they will not obey me, for they are a stubborn nation. But in the land of their exile they will come to themselves 31 and know that I am the Lord their God. I will give them a heart that obeys and ears that hear; 32 they will praise me in the land of their exile, and will remember my name 33 and turn from their stubbornness and their wicked deeds, for they will remember the ways of their ancestors, who sinned before the Lord. 34 I will bring them again into the land that I swore to give to their ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and they will rule over it; and I will increase them, and they will not be diminished. 35 I will make an everlasting covenant with them to be their God and they will be my people; and I will never again remove my people Israel from the land that I have given them.”
1 O Lord, Almighty, God of Israel, the soul in anguish and the wearied spirit cry out to you. 2 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against you. 3 You are enthroned forever, and mighty, 4 O God of Israel, hear now the prayer of the people  of Israel, the children of those who sinned before you, who did not heed the voice of the Lord their God, so that evils have clung to us. 5 Do not remember the iniquities [and failures] of our ancestors, but in this crisis remember your power and your name. 6 You are the Lord our God, and it is you, O Lord, whom we will praise. 7 You have put the reverence of you in our hearts so that we would call upon your name, and we will praise you in our exile, for we have put away from our hearts all the corruption of our ancestors who sinned against you. 8 See, today we are in where you have scattered us in exile, to be a byword, cursed, and punished [reproached, derided and condemned] for all the iniquities of our ancestors, who forsook the Lord our God.
In Praise of Wisdom
9 Hear the commandments of life, O Israel;
listen, and learn wisdom!
10 Why is it, O Israel, why is it that you are in the country of your enemies,
that you are growing old in a foreign country,
that you are polluted with the dead, 
11 that you are numbered among those who are in Hades
(or, the abode of the dead?
12 You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom. 
13 If only you had walked in the way of God,
you would be living in peace forever.
14 Learn where wisdom is where there is strength,
where there is understanding,
so that you may at the same time discern
where there is happiness,  and peace.
15 Who has found her dwelling place?
Who has entered her storehouses?
16 Where are the rulers of the nations now,
and those who had lordship over the animals on earth;
17 those who have their sport of the birds of the air,
and who hoarded up silver and gold
in which people trust,
and there is no limit to their greed;
18 those who schemed to get silver, and were anxious,
[and those who were skilled silversmiths,]
but there is no trace of their works?
19 They have vanished and gone down to Hades (or, the grave),
and others have arisen to take their place.
20 More recent generations have seen the light of day,
and have lived upon exotic land,’
but they have not learned the way to knowledge,
nor understood [or discovered] her paths,
nor laid hold of her.
21 Their descendants have strayed far from her (or, their) way.
22 She has not been head out of Canaan, or seen in Teman. 
23 The descendants of Hagar, who seek for understanding on the earth,
the merchants of Merran and Teman,
the story-tellers and the seekers for understanding,
have not learned the way to wisdom,
or given thought to her paths.
24 O Israel, how great is the house of God,
how vast the domain that he possesses!
25 It is great and has no bounds,
it is high and immeasurable.
26 The giants were born there, who were famous of old,
great in structure, skilled in war.
27 God did not choose them,
or give them the way to knowledge,
28 so they perished because they had no wisdom (or insight,
they perished through their folly.
29 Who has gone up into heaven, and gained wisdom,
bringing her down from the clouds?
30 Who has crossed the sea, and found her,
and will buy her for pure gold?
31 No one knows the way to her,
or is concerned about leading her.
32 But the one who knows all things knows her,
he found her by his understandings.
The one who established the earth for all time,
filled it with four-footed creatures,
33 the one who sends forth the light and it goes on its way;
he called it, and it obeyed him, trembling (or, in and earthquake),
34 the stars shone in their designated places and were glad,
he summoned them, and they said, “We are ready.” 
They shone with gladness for him who made them.
35 This is our God; no other can be compared to him.
36 He found the entire way to knowledge,
and gave her to his servant Jacob
and to Israel, whom he loved.
37 Afterward wisdom appeared on earth
and lived with humanity.
1 She is the book of the commandments of God,
the law that endures forever.
All who hold fast will live,
and those who forsake her will die.
2 Return, O Jacob, and take her,
walk toward the shining of her light.
3 Do not give your glory to another,
or your privileges to an alien people.
4 Happy are we, O Israel,
for we know what is pleasing to God.
Comfort for Jerusalem
5 Take courage [or, Be comforted], my people
who perpetuate Israel’s name!
6 It was not for destruction that you were sold to the nations,
but you were handed over to your adversaries,
because you excited God’s wrath.
7 You provoked the one who made you,
by sacrificing, not to God, but to demons..
8 You forgot the eternal God who nurtured you,
and you grieved Jerusalem, who reared you.
9 She saw the wrath of God that came upon you,
and she said,
Listen, you neighbors of Zion,
God has brought a great sorrow upon me;
10 for I have witnessed the exile of my sons and daughters,
which the Everlasting inflicted upon them.
11 With joy I nurtured them ,
but I sent them away with weeping and sorrow.
12 Let no one rejoice over me, a widow [like me],
and bereaved of many,
I was left desolate because of the sins of my children,
because they turned away from the law of God.
13 They had no regard for his statutes,
they did not walk in the ways of God’s commandments.
or travel the paths his righteousness had shown them.
14 Let the neighbors of Zion come;
remember the captives,: my sons and daughters,
whose captivity was inflicted on them by the Everlasting.
15 He brought a distant nation against them,
a nation ruthless and of a strange language,
which had no regard for the aged and no pity for a child.
16 They led away the widow’s beloved sons,
and bereaved the lonely woman taking her daughters.
17 But I, how can I help you?
18 Only the who brought these calamities upon you
can deliver you from the hand of your enemies.
19 Go, my children, go, for I have been left desolate.
20 I have stripped off the robe of peace and put on sackcloth for my supplication,
I will cry to the Everlasting all my days.
21 Take courage, my children, cry to God,
and he will rescue you from the tyranny, and hand of the enemy.
22 I have put my hope in the Everlasting that you will be delivered,
and joy has come to me from the Holy One,
because of the mercy that will soon come to you
from our everlasting savior (or, from the Everlasting, your savior).
23 I sent you out with sorrow and weeping,
but God will give you back to me with joy and gladness forever.
24 As the neighbors of Zion, they have seen your capture,
so they soon will see your deliverance by God,
which will come to you with great glory
and with the splendor of the Everlasting.
25 My children, endure with patience the wrath
that has come upon you from God.
Your enemy has hunted you down,
but you will see the destruction of your enemies,
and will tread upon their necks. 
26 My pampered children have traveled rough roads;
they were taken away like a flock carried off by the enemy.
27 Take courage, my children, and cry to God,
for you will be remembered by the one who brought this upon you.
28 Just as you were disposed to go astray from God,
return with tenfold zeal to seek him.
29 The one who brought these calamities upon you
will bring you everlasting joy with your salvation.
Jerusalem is Assured of Help
30 Take courage, O Jerusalem,
for the one who named you will comfort you.
31 Wretched will be those who mistreated you
and who rejoiced at your fall.
32 Wretched will be the cities that our children served as slaves,
wretched will be the cry that received your offspring.
33 Just as she rejoiced at your fall and was glad for your ruin,
so she will be grieved at her own desolation.
34 I will take away her pride in her great population,
and her insolence will be turned to grief.
35 Fire will come upon her from the Everlasting for many days,
and for a long time she will be inhabited by demons.
36 :Look toward the east, O Jerusalem,
and see the joy that is coming to you from God.
37 Look, your children are coming, whom you sent away;
they are coming, gathered from east and west,
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing in the glory of God.
1 Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,
and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God.
2 Wrap the robe of the righteousness [or, peace] around you that comes from God;
put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting,
3 for God wil show your splendor everywhere under heaven.
4 for God will give you evermore the name,
“Righteous Peace, Godly Glory forever.”
5 Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height,
look toward the east,
and see your children gathered from west and east
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing that God has remembered them.
6 They went out from you on foot,
led away by their enemies,
But God will bring them back to you,
carried in glory, as on a royal throne
7 God has ordered that every high mountain,
and the everlasting hills be made low
and the valleys filled up, to make level ground,
so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God.
8 The wood and every fragrant tree have shaded Israel at God’s command.
9 God will lead Israel with joy
in the light of his glory,
with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.
 Omitted in Greek.
 The month probably was the fifth month on the Hebrew calendar.
 Greek: “he.”
 Some manuscripts say: “prisoners.”
 Greek: “shadow.”
 Beginning here and continuing to chapter 2 verse 14 this is virtually a copy of Daniel 9:4 - 19
 Greek: “in accordance with what is.”
 Greek: “we.”
 This ends the portion that appears to have been taken from Deniel.
 Greek: “dead.”
 Verse 10 is omitted by some scholars. Syriac recensions read: “Wherefore it is known that you have grown up in your enemy’s land, you have put yourself in a strange land,. You are counted with the dead who go down to the grave, for you have forsaken wisdom.
 Wisdom is peaceful and is referred to as “her” or “it” in the remainder of this book.
 Literally: “light for the eyes.”
 Teman is located in Edom.
 The Hebrew inserts: “This is God and there is no other beside him, and no other can be reckoned above him.”
 The Syriac reads: “Turn and incline O Jacob, laying hold, and go in its path, toward the brightness of its light.”
 Literally: “put your foot on the neck.”
 Syriac: “They have been scattered on different ways, they have been scattered like a flock that is carried off by enemies.