Historical Introduction (Bar 1:1-1:2)

“These are the words

Of the book

That Baruch,

The son of Neriah,

The son of Mahseiah,

The son of Zedekiah,

The son of Hasadiah,

The son of Hilkiah,

Wrote in Babylon.

This was

In the fifth year,

On the seventh day

Of the month,

At the time

When the Chaldeans

Took Jerusalem.

They burned it

With fire.”

This is a historical introduction to this book that gives a name and specific date with a reference to a book, not merely a scroll. The author is Baruch, the same Baruch that was mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah, chapters 32, 36, 43, and 45. This Baruch was a scribe, friend, and follower of Jeremiah. He was clearly identified with a long genealogy. His father was Neriah. His brother Seraiah worked with King Zedekiah. He traced his family back to Hilkiah. Mahseiah, his grandfather was mentioned in Jeremiah also. There were many people with the name of Zedekiah, including the king so that it is hard to pinpoint one. Hasadiah was another common name, while over 30 biblical people have the name Hilkiah. Baruch was in Babylon. However, the last time he was mentioned in Jeremiah, he was with Jeremiah in Egypt. Perhaps, he may have left Jeremiah there. This book is placed 5 years after the fall of Jerusalem and the burning of Jerusalem, around 582 BCE on the 7th day of the month that Jerusalem was destroyed.

Jeremiah and Baruch write a new scroll (Jer 36:32-36:32)

“Then Jeremiah

Took another scroll.

He gave it

To his secretary Baruch,

The son of Neriah.

He wrote on it,

At Jeremiah’s dictation,

All the words of the scroll

That King Jehoiakim

Of Judah

Had burned in the fire.

Many similar words

Were added to them.”

Jeremiah took a new scroll and gave it to his secretary Baruch. While Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on this scroll all the things that were in the first scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah had burned. However, they also added more similar words. Many believe that this is the scroll that comes down to us as the first 25 chapters of the current Book of Jeremiah.