In this apocalypse, God instructs Baruch to leave Jerusalem to avoid the impending destruction and to encourage the exiled Jews. In a vision, Baruch sees angels taking the sacred furnishings from the Temple to prevent their capture or destruction. God saves these things for the future restored Temple. Baruch questions God about the devastating event of the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple..
Baruch learns that the destruction is a result of the Jews' disobedience to the Law. They are responsible for their own torment. God reassures Baruch that if they obey the Law, good times will return. Baruch sees a vision of a cloud with six dark waters mixed with six bright water, representing evil and godly events in Israel's history. The last dark water is the evil they currently endure. The apocalypse holds out the hope that the final bright water yet to come will bring the Messiah and the destruction of the Israel's enemies. Baruch takes this message of reassurance to the captives in Babylon.
Sources: Possibly borrows from 4 Ezra, although 2 Baruch is more optimistic.
Canonical Status: Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
Author:Written under the pseudonym of Baruch, scribe of the prophet Jeremiah Actual Jewish author unknown The Rabbis Akiba and Joshua ben Hananiah have been proposed
Date:Written soon after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, using the fictional setting of soon after the first destruction in 587 BC Between AD 100 and 120
Original Language:Uncertain; Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic have been proposed Surviving manuscripts include two Greek fragments from Oxyrhynchus of the 4th / 5th century, a 6th / 7th century Syriac manuscript, and a 10th or 11th century Arabic manuscript
Notes prepared by David Arnold (Senior Religion Major)
for the Wesley Center for Applied Theology at Northwest Nazarene University
Copyright 2000 by the Wesley Center for Applied Theology
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