The exiles continue to recall God’s promises to them. They find wisdom in Sacred Scripture.
The Book of Baruch is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
VERSE 1. O Lord Almighty, you God of Israel, the soul in anguish, the troubled spirit, cries to you.
the soul in anguish. In the midst of their exile, they have a clear sense of their own troubles.
VERSE 2. Hear, O Lord, and have mercy; for you are a merciful God: yes, have mercy upon us, because we have sinned before you.
VERSE 3. For you sit as king forever, and we perish evermore.
VERSE 4. O Lord Almighty, you God of Israel, hear now the prayer of the dead Israelites, and of the children of them which were sinners before you, that didn’t listen to the voice of you their God: for the which cause these plagues clave to us.
didn’t listen to the voice of you their God. This was the cause of all their troubles.
VERSE 5. Remember not the iniquities of our fathers: but remember your power and your name now at this time.
DRA translation. Remember at this time not the misdeeds of our fathers, but your own hand and name.
your own hand and name. Baruch reminds the LORD God of his own mercy and beneficence.
Often, when godly people pray, they focus on the greatness of God rather than their own plight. They remind God of his own attributes such as mercy and justice, love and kindness.
VERSE 6. For you are the Lord our God, and you, O Lord, will we praise.
VERSE 7. For for this cause you have put your fear in our hearts, to the intent that we should call upon your name: and we will praise you in our captivity, for we have called to mind all the iniquity of our fathers, that sinned before you.
VERSE 8. Behold, we are yet this day in our captivity, where you have scattered us, for a reproach and a curse, and to be subject to penalty, according to all the iniquities of our fathers, which departed from the Lord our God.
the commandments of life. That is, the Holy Scriptures.
VERSE 10. How is it, O Israel, that you are in your enemies’ land, that you have become old in a strange country, that you are defiled with the dead,
VERSE 11. that you are counted with those who go down into the grave?
VERSE 12. You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.
VERSE 13. For if you had walked in the way of God, you should have dwelled in peace forever.
VERSE 14. Learn where is wisdom, where is strength, where is understanding; that you may know also where is length of days, and life, where is the light of the eyes, and peace.
VERSE 15. Who has found out her place? and who has come into her treasuries?
VERSE 16. Where are the princes of the heathen, and such as ruled the beasts that are upon the earth;
VERSE 17. those who had their pastime with the fowls of the air, and those who hoarded up silver and gold, wherein men trust; and of whose getting there is no end?
VERSE 18. For those who made in silver, and were so careful, and whose works are past finding out,
VERSE 19. they are vanished and gone down to the grave, and others are come up in their steads.
VERSE 20. Younger men have seen the light, and lived upon the earth: but the way of knowledge have they not known,
the way of knowledge have they not known. They did not know the path of understanding.
Romans 1:21. Because knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, and didn’t give thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.
VERSE 21. neither understood they the paths thereof: neither have their children embraced it: they are far off from their way.
VERSE 22. It has not been heard of in Canaan, neither has it been seen in Teman.
VERSE 23. The sons also of Agar that seek understanding, which are in the land, the merchants of Merran and Teman, and the authors of fables, and the searchers out of understanding; none of these have known the way of wisdom, or remembered her paths.
the authors of fables. That is, “phrasemakers” (NAB translation).
VERSE 24. O Israel, how great is the house of God! and how large is the place of his possession!
VERSE 25. great, and has none end; high, and unmeasurable.
the giants born that were famous of old. They were known as the Nephilim:
Genesis 6:4. The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God’s sons came in to men’s daughters and had children with them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Numbers 13:33. There we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim. We were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
VERSE 27. God didn’t choose these, nor did he give the way of knowledge to them;
VERSE 28. so they perished, because they had no wisdom, they perished through their own foolishness.
VERSE 29. Who has gone up into heaven, and taken her, and brought her down from the clouds?
VERSE 30. Who has gone over the sea, and found her, and will bring her for choice gold?
VERSE 31. There is none that knows her way, nor any that comprehends her path.
VERSE 32. But he that knows all things knows her, he found her out with his understanding: he that prepared the earth for evermore has filled it with four-footed beasts:
VERSE 33. he that sends forth the light, and it goes; he called it, and it obeyed him with fear:
VERSE 34. and the stars shined in their watches, and were glad: when he called them, they said, Here we be; they shined with gladness to him that made them.
they shined with gladness to him that made them. That is, “When he calls them, they answer, “Here we are!” shining with joy for their Maker” (NAB translation)
VERSE 35. This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of him.
VERSE 36. He has found out all the way of knowledge, and has given it to Jacob his servant, and to Israel that is beloved of him.
she did appear. Understanding itself is one of God’s attributes. It is portrayed as a female.
conversant with men. That is, “moved among men” (NAB translation). Understanding is portrayed as a sentient being. She moves around on the earth.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.