In this apocalypse Baruch laments the destruction of Jerusalem until an angel of the Lord leads him through five heavens and reveals to him divine mysteries. He struggles with questions raised by the termination of Temple sacrifices. Among the unique features of the book are: its identification of the "tree" that occasioned the sin of Adam and Eve as the grape vine, which made drunkenness possible; the fall's meaning as the loss of "the glory of God;" Satan's name as Satanel / Samael; the legend of the Phoenix; and the angel Michael's intercession in the heavenly Temple, where he offered the prayers, virtues, and righteous deeds of believers as sacrifices to God.
Sources: Closely related to 2 and 4 Baruch
Canonical Status: Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Author:Written under the pseudonym of Baruch, the prophet Jeremiah's scribe, in the fictional setting of the events surrounding the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians in 586 bc An unknown Jew after the Roman destruction of the Temple Later Christian redactions / interpolations (not in the Slavonic)
Date:After the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 Before the earliest possible citation by Origen in AD 231 Probably around late 1st / early 2nd century AD (in Egypt)
Original Language:Survives in two Slavonic versions Probably derived from Greek, although the Greek manuscript is later, and may have Christian interpolations added
Notes prepared by George Lyons (Professor of Biblical Literature)
for the Wesley Center for Applied Theology at Northwest Nazarene University
Copyright 2000 by the Wesley Center for Applied Theology
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