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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter VI

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Text Commentary

1After this Abimelech went outside the city and prayed to the Lord. And lo, an angel of the Lord came and led him back to where Baruch was; and he found him sitting on a tomb. 2And when they saw each other, they both wept and kissed each other. And Baruch looked up and saw the figs covered up in the basket; and he lifted his eyes up to heaven and prayed, saying, It is God who rewards his saints. 3Prepare yourself, my heart, and make merry, and rejoice while you are in your body 1 Lit. ‘tent, tabernacle’. Cp. 2 Cor. v. 1, 4 . – that is, in your house of flesh; for your sorrow has been turned into joy. For the Almighty is coming, and he will take you out of your body, for there is no sin in you. 4Revive, my virgin faith, and believe that you will live. 5Look at this basket of figs; for lo, they are sixty-six years old and they have not gone mouldy, nor do they smell at all, but they are oozing sap. 6So will it be with you, my flesh, if you do what you are commanded by the angel of righteousness. 7He who has preserved the basket of figs, he will preserve you again by his power. 8And then Baruch said to Abimelech, Get up, and let us pray to the Lord and ask him to show us how we can send word to Jeremiah in Babylon and tell him about how you have been protected. 9And Baruch prayed, saying, O Lord our God, our Strength, the chosen Light which came forth from his mouth, I beg thee and beseech thee by thy goodness, the 10great Name no man can know, hear the voice of thy servant, and let there be knowledge in my heart. What wouldest thou that we should do? 11How can I send word to Jeremiah in Babylon? While Baruch was still praying, behold, an angel of the Lord came and 12said to Baruch, Baruch, counsellor of light, have no anxiety about how you are to send word to Jeremiah; for to-morrow, at dawn, an eagle will come to you, and you can send him as a messenger to Jeremiah. 13And write a letter, saying, Speak to the Israelites and say to them, The stranger that is among you, let him be separated from you, and let this continue for fifteen days; and after this I will bring you to your city, says the Lord. 14Whoever does not separate himself from Babylon, Jeremiah, shall not enter the city; and I will punish them, so that they are not received back again by the Babylonians, says the Lord. 15,16And after saying this, the angel left Baruch. And Baruch sent to the Gentiles’ Market 2 So c: ab ‘to the Diaspora of the Gentiles’; Eth. ‘to the street (or ‘market’)’. and got some paper and ink, and wrote a letter as follows,

17Baruch, servant of God, to Jeremiah, who is of the captivity that is in Babylon, greeting. Rejoice that God has not allowed us to leave this body in mourning for the city's desolation and humiliation. 18 Rejoice because the Lord has had compassion on our tears and remembered the covenant he made with our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 19For he sent me his angel and spoke these words to me that now I send to you. 20These, then, are the words the Lord God of Israel has spoken, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, out of the mighty furnace. 21Because you did not keep my precepts, but were arrogant and obstinate, I was furious and delivered you in anger to the furnace in Babylon. 22If, then, you will listen to me, says the Lord, and do as my servant Jeremiah tells you, 3 Lit. ‘… Lord, by the mouth of my servant Jeremiah’. – whoever listens I will bring back from Babylon, but whoever will not listen shall become a stranger both to Jerusalem and to Babylon. 23You shall test them by the water of Jordan, and whoever will not listen will be obvious enough: this is the sign of the great seal.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘tent, tabernacle’. Cp. 2 Cor. v. 1, 4 .

2 So c: ab ‘to the Diaspora of the Gentiles’; Eth. ‘to the street (or ‘market’)’.

3 Lit. ‘… Lord, by the mouth of my servant Jeremiah’.

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