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BARUCH

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Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 454 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BARUCH, the name (meaning " Blessed " in Hebrew) of a character in the Old Testament (Jer. xxxvi., xxxvii., xliii.), associated with the prophet Jeremiah, and described as his secretary and spokesman. BooK OF BARUCH. This deutero-canonical book of the Old Testament is placed by the LXX. between Jeremiah and Lamentations, and in the Vulgate after Lamentations. It consists of several parts, which cohere so badly that we are obliged to assume plurality of authorship. Contents.—The book consists of the following parts: i. 1-14. The historical preface with a description of the origin and purpose of the book. i. 15-ii. 5. A confession of sin used by the Palestinian Remnant. This confession was according to i. 14 sent from Babylon (i. 4, 7) to Jerusalem to be read " on the day of the feast and on the days of the solemn assembly." The confession is restricted to the use of the remnant at home (see next paragraph). In this confession there is a national acknowledgment of sin and a recognition of the Exile as a.righteous judgment. ii. 6-iii. 8. A confession of the captives in Babylon and a prayer for restoration. This confession opens as the former(in i. 15) with the words found also in Daniel ix. 7, " To the .Lord our God belongeth righteousness, &c." The confession is of the Exiles and not of the remnant in Palestine, as Marshall has pointed out. Thus it is the Exiles clearly who are speaking in ii. 13, " We are but a few left among the heathen where thou hast scattered us "; ii. 14, " Give us favour in the sight of them which have led us away captive "; iii. 7, " We will praise thee in our captivity "; iii. 8, " We are yet this day in our captivity where thou hast scattered us." On the other hand the speakers in the confession in i.5 are clearly the remnant in Jerusalem. i. 15, " To the Lord our God belongeth righteousness, but unto us confusion of face . . . to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem." The Exiles are mentioned by way of contrast to the speakers; ii. 4, 5, " He hath given them to be in subjection to all the kingdoms that are round about us to be a reproach among all the people round about where the Lord hath scattered them.. Thus were they cast down . . . because we sinned against the Lord our God." 1 iii. 9-iv. 4. The glorification of wisdom, that is, of the Law. Israel is bidden to walk in the light of it; it is the glory of Israel and is not to be given to another. iv. 5-v. 9. Consolation of Israel with the promise of deliverance and lasting happiness and blessing to Jerusalem. Integrity.—From the foregoing description it seems clear that the book is derived from a plurality of authors. Most scholars, such as Fritzsche, Hitzig, Kneucker, Hilgenfeld, Reuss, agree in assuming that i.-iii. 8 and iii. 9-v. 9 are from distinct writers. But some critics have gone farther. Thus Rothstein (Kautzsch, Apok. and Pseud. i. 213-215) holds that there is no unity in iii. 9-v. 9, but that it is composed of two independent writings iii. 9-iv. 4 and iv. 5-v. 9. Marshall (Hastings' Bible Dictionary, 1. 251-254) gives a still more complex analysis. He finds in it the work of four distinct writers: i. 1-14, i. 15-iii. 8, iii. 9-iv. 4, iv. 5-v. 9. The evidence for a fourfold authorship is strong though not convincing. In any case i.-iii. 8 and iii. 9-v. 9 must be ascribed to different authors. Original Language.—(1) Some scholars, as Ewald, Kneucker, Davidson, Rothstein and Konig, believe that the whole book was originally written in Hebrew; (2) Fritzsche, Hilgenfeld, Reuss, Gifford, Schurer, and Toy advocate a Hebrew original of i.-iii. 8 and a Greek original of the rest; (3) Marshall argues that i.-iii. 8 is translated from a Hebrew original, iii. 9-iv. 4 from an Aramaic, and the rest from the Greek; (4) and lastly, Bertholdt, Havernick and Noldeke regard the Greek as the primitive text. The last view must be put aside as unworkable. For the third no convincing evidence has been adduced, nor does it seem likely that any can be. We have therefore to decide between the two remaining theories. In any case we can hardly err in admitting a Hebrew original of i.-iii. 8. For (I) we have such Hebraisms as ob. . . . Ear' avrw = r5y . . . -we (ii. 26) ; ob. . . . &a.=oe . . . 1178 (ii. 4, 13, 29; ill. 8); 'Wv . . TO arvevµa aurwv= ems . . nmx (ii. 7). (2) We have meaningless expressions which are really mistranslations of the Hebrew. It is noteworthy that these mistranslations are for the most part found in Jeremiah—a fact which has rightly drawn scholars to the conclusion that we owe the LXX of Baruch i.-iii. 8, and of Jeremiah to the same translator. Thus in i. 9 we have bevµcvrr-s, "prisoner," where the text had .129p and the Greek should have been rendered " locksmith." The same mistranslation is found in Jer. xxiv. 1, xxxvi. (xxix.) 2. Next in ii. 4 we have a f3arov, " wilderness," where the text had e s and the translation should have EKOVac nv. The same misrendering is found several times in Jeremiah. Again ipy4o'Oat is used in i. 22, U. 21, 22, 24 as a translation of 12y in the sense of " serving," where bovXeieu, ought to have been the rendering. So also in Jer. xxxiv. (xxvii.) i1, xxxvii. (xxx.) 8, &c. Again in arOXewv 'Io0a Kai E w@ev 'IepovoaMu the ceOev is a misrendering of mums as in Jer. xi. 6, xl. Toy (Jewish Enc. ii. 556) thinks that the " them" in ii. 4, 5 may be a scribal slip and that we have here not the confession of the Palestinian remnant and that of the Exiles, but simply .a juxtaposition of two forms of confession. (xxxiii.) 10, &c., where the translator should have given YXareu v.l For Sbµl3rlois (ii. 29) pan we should have it?ileos. (3) Finally there are passages where by re-translation we discover that the translator either misread his text or had a corrupt text before him. Thus µavva in i. to is a corrupt translation of ma as elsewhere in a dozen passages of the LXX. In iii. 4 reOP116TWv='c -which the translator should have read as 'so= avOpwnwv. From the above instances, which could be multiplied, we have no hesitation in postulating a Hebrew original of i.-iii. 8. As regards iii. 9-v. 9 the case is different. This section is free from such notable Hebraisins as we have just dealt with, and no convincing grounds have been advanced to prove that it is a translation from a Semitic original. Date.—The dates of the various constituents of the book are quite uncertain.. Ewald, followed by Gifford and Marshall, assigns i.-iii. 8 to the period after the conquest of Jerusalem by Ptolemy I. in 320 B.C.; Reuss to some decades later; and Fritzsche, Schrade, Kell and Toy to the time of the Maccabees. Hitzig, Kneucker and Scharer assume. that it was written after A.D. 70t Ryle and James (Pss. of Solomon, pp. lxxii.-lxxvii.) hold that iv. 31-V. 9 is dependent on the Greek version of Ps. xi., and that, accordingly, Baruch was reduced to its present form after A.D. 70. The most probable of the above dates appears to be that maintained by Fritzsche, that is, if we understand by the Maccabean times the early decades of the 2nd cent. B.C. For during the palmy days of the Maccabean dynasty the Twelve tribes were supposed to be in Palestine. The idea that the Jewish Kingdom embraced once again the entire nation easily arose when the Maccabees extended their dominion northwards over Samaria and Galilee and eastwards beyond the Jordan. This belief displaced the older one that the nine and a half tribes were still in captivity. With the downfall of the Maccabean dynasty, however, the older idea revived in the 1st cent. A.O. To the beginnings of the 2nd cent. A.D. the view of the dead given in ii. 17 would point, where it is said that those whose spirits had been taken from their bodies would not give glory unto the Lord. The statement as to the desolate condition of the Temple in ii. 264 is with Kneucker to be rejected as an interpolation. Canonicity.—The Book of Baruch was never accepted as canonical by the Palestinian Jews (Baba Batra 14b), though the Apostolic Constitutions, v. so, state that it was read in public worship on the loth day of the month Gorpiaeus, but this statement can hardly be correct. It was in general use in the church till its canonicity was rejected by the Protestant churches and accepted by the Roman church at the council of Trent. Literature. Versions and Editions.—The versions are the two Latin, a Syriac, and an Arabic. The Latin one in the Vulgate belongs to a time prior to Jerome, and is tolerably literal. Another, somewhat later, was first published by Jos. Maria Caro in 1688, and was reprinted by Sabatier, side by side with the ante-Hieronymian one, in his Bibliorum Sacrorum Latinae Versiones Antiquae. It is founded upon the preceding one, and is less literal. The Syriac and Arabic versions, printed in the London Polyglot, are literal. The 'Hexaplar-Syriac version made by Paul, bishop of Tella, in the beginning of the 7th century has been published by Ceriani. The most convenient editions of the Greek text are Tischendorf's in the second volume of his Septuagint, and Swete's in vol. iii.; Fritzsche's in Libri Apocryphi Veteris Testamenti Graece (1871). The best editions of the book are Kneucker's Das Buck Baruch (1879) ; Gifford's in the Speaker's Apoc. ii. See also the articles in the Encyc. Biblica, Hastings' Bible Dictionary; Scharer, History of Jewish People.
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