Baruch, early Jewish book included in the Septuagint, but not included in the Hebrew Bible and placed in the Apocrypha in the Authorized Version. It is named for a Jewish prince Baruch (fl. 600 B.C.), friend and editor of Jeremiah the prophet (see Jeremiah, book of the Bible). Baruch comprises: a message from the exiled Jews to the Jews still at home, including a prayer for Palestinian Jews to use, confessing sin and asking divine mercy; a hymn in praise of wisdom, including a reference to the incarnation of Wisdom in the form of the Torah, i.e., the law of God, understood in the early Church as an allusion to the incarnation of Jesus; a consolation of Jerusalem containing a lament; finally chapter 6, which is a letter of Jeremiah warning the exiles against idolatry. While there exist versions of Baruch in Syriac, Ethiopic, Latin and other ancient languages, these are based on the Greek, which in turn probably derives from a Hebrew original. Critics disagree greatly over the dates of Baruch; some see it as a collection of works by several authors. For the Apocalypse of Baruch, or Syriac Baruch, see Pseudepigrapha. For further bibliography, see Apocrypha.
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