1 This book was written by Baruch son of Neraiah, grandson of Mahseiah, and a descendant of Zedekiah, Hasadiah, and Hilkiah. It was written in Babylon 2 on the seventh day of the month in the fifth year after the Babylonians captured Jerusalem and burned it down. 3 Baruch read the book aloud to Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and to all the people who lived in Babylon by the Sud River. Everyone came to hear it read - nobles, children of royal families, elders, in fact, all the people, no matter what their status. 5 When the book was read, everyone cried, fasted, and prayed to the Lord. 6 Then they all gave as much money as they could, 7 and the collection was sent to Jerusalem to Jehoiakim the High Priest, son of Hilkiah and grandson of Shallum, and to the other priests and to all the people who were with him in Jerusalem. 8 On the tenth day of the month of Sivan, Baruch took the sacred utensils which had been carried away from the Temple and returned them to Judah. These were the silver utensils which Zedekiah son of King Josiah of Judah had ordered made 9 after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia had deported Jehoiachin, the rulers, the skilled workers, the nobles, and the common people and had taken them from Jerusalem to Babylon. 10 The people wrote: Please use the money we are sending you to buy animals for the burnt offerings and the sin offerings, to buy incense, and to provide the grain offerings. Offer them on the altar of the Lord our God, 11 and pray for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia and his son Belshazzar, that they may live as long as the heavens last. 12 Then the Lord will strengthen us and be our guide. Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar will protect us, and we will be loyal to them as long as we live; then they will be pleased with us. 13 We ask you also to pray to the Lord God for us, because we have sinned against him, and he is still angry with us. 14 Please read this book that we are sending you and make your own confession of sin in the Temple on the first day of the Festival of Shelters and on other holy days of assembly. 15 This is the confession you should make: "The Lord our God is righteous, but we are still covered with shame. All of us - the people of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, 16 our kings, our rulers, our priests, our prophets, and our ancestors have been put to shame, 17 because we have sinned against the Lord our God 18 and have disobeyed him. We did not listen to him or live according to his commandments. 19 From the day the Lord brought our ancestors out of Egypt until the present day, we have continued to be unfaithful to him, and we have not hesitated to disobey him. 20 Long ago, when the Lord led our ancestors out of Egypt, so that he could give us a rich and fertile land, he pronounced curses against us through his servant Moses. And today we are suffering because of those curses. 21 We refused to obey the word of the Lord our God which he spoke to us through the prophets. Instead, we all did as we pleased and went on our own evil way. We turned to other gods and did things the Lord hates. 


1 "So the Lord carried out the threat he had made against us and against our judges, our kings, our rulers, and the people of Israel and Judah. 2 Nowhere else on earth have such things happened as happened in Jerusalem when the Lord carried out the threats written in the Law of Moses. 3 Things were so bad that we even ate the flesh of our own sons and daughters. 4 The Lord scattered our people, handing us over to the control of all the nations around us, and they looked on us with reproach and horror. 5 We sinned against the Lord our God and refused to obey him. Therefore, our nation was conquered, instead of being victorious. 6 "The Lord our God is always righteous, but we and our ancestors are still burdened with our guilt. 7 Even though the Lord punished us as he had threatened, 8 we still did not turn to him and pray that we would abandon our evil thoughts. 9 We did not obey him or live by his just commands, so the Lord brought on us all the punishments he had kept ready for us. 11 "You, O Lord, are the God of Israel who brought your people out of Egypt with great power and with signs, miracles, and wonders. You showed your mighty strength and gained a glorious reputation, which is still recognized today. 12 O Lord our God, we have sinned; we have been unfaithful; we have disobeyed all your commands. 13 But do not be angry with us any longer. Here among the nations where you have scattered us, only a few of us are left. 14 Listen to our prayer of petition, Lord, and rescue us for the sake of your own honor. Let those who have taken us into exile be pleased with us. 15 Then the whole world will know that you are the Lord our God and that you have chosen the nation of Israel to be your own people. 16 "O Lord, look down from heaven and see our misery. Listen to our prayer. 17 Open your eyes and look upon us. Those in the world of the dead with no breath left in their bodies cannot offer praises to you or proclaim how just you are. 18 Only the living, O Lord, can offer you praise and acknowledge your justice, even though they may be suffering greatly, bent and weak, hungry and with failing eyesight. 19 "O Lord our God, we pray to you for mercy, but not because of any good things done by our ancestors and our kings. 20 You turned your anger and wrath against us, just as you had threatened to do when your servants the prophets spoke your word to us and said, 21 "Bend your backs and serve the king of Babylonia, and you can remain in the land that I gave to your ancestors. 22 But if you refuse to obey my command to serve him, 23 I will bring to an end every sound of joy and celebration in the towns of Judah and in Jerusalem. Even the happy sounds of wedding feasts will no longer be heard. The whole land will be desolate and uninhabited.' 24 "But we did not obey your command to serve the king of Babylonia, so you carried out the threat that you had made when you spoke through your servants the prophets, when you said that the bones of our kings and of our ancestors would be taken from their tombs and scattered. 25 And now here they lie exposed to the heat of the day and to the frost of the night. They died in torment from famine, war, and disease. 26 And because of the sin of the people of Israel and Judah, you have reduced your own Temple to ruins, even as it is today. 27 "But, Lord, you have been patient with us and have shown us great mercy, 28 as you promised through your servant Moses on the day you commanded him to write your Law in the presence of the Israelites. 29 "If you do not obey me,' you said, "you will be reduced to a handful among the nations where I will scatter you. 30 I know that you will not obey me, because you are a stubborn people. But when you are taken into exile in another land, you will come to your senses. 31 Then you will realize that I am the Lord your God, and I will give you a desire to know and a mind with which to understand. 32 There in the land of your exile you will praise me and remember me. 33 You will stop being so stubborn and wicked, for you will remember what happened to your ancestors when they sinned against the Lord. 34 Then I will bring you back to the land that I solemnly promised to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and it will be yours again. I will increase your population, and you will never again be reduced to a small number. 35 I will make an everlasting covenant with you; I will be your God and you will be my people. I will never again remove you, the people of Israel, from the land that I gave you.' 


1 "O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, from the depth of our troubled, weary souls we cry out to you. 2 Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy on us, because we have sinned against you. 3 You reign as king forever, but we die and are gone forever. 4 O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, hear our prayer. We are no better off than the dead. Our ancestors sinned against you, the Lord their God. They refused to obey you, and we are suffering the consequences of their sin. 5 Forget the sinful things that our ancestors did in the past; at a time like this, think only of your power and reputation, 6 for you are the Lord our God, and we will praise you. 7 You have made us fear you, so that we might pray to you. Here in exile we will praise you because we have turned away from the sins of our ancestors. 8 You have scattered us among the nations, and you have made them despise and curse us. You are punishing us for the sins of our ancestors when they rebelled against you, the Lord our God." 9 Listen, Israel, to the commands that promise life; pay attention, and you will become wise. 10 Why is it, Israel, that you find yourself in an enemy land? Why have you grown old in a foreign country? You are ritually unclean, like the dead; 11 you are already counted among the dead. But why? 12 It is because you have left the source of Wisdom! 13 If you had walked in God's ways, you would have lived in peace forever. 14 Learn where understanding, strength, and insight are to be found. Then you will know where to find a long and full life, light to guide you, and peace. 15 No one has ever found where Wisdom lives or has entered her treasure house, 16 and those who have tried have vanished: the rulers of the nations, those who hunted wild animals and birds for sport, those who accumulated vast fortunes of silver and gold, which everyone trusts and will do anything to get, 18 and those who worried and schemed to make money, but who left no trace of their work behind. 19 They have all disappeared and gone down to the world of the dead. Others have come along to take their place. 20 A later generation was born and lived in the land, but they too did not discover the way to knowledge. They did not find the path to Wisdom or ever reach her. 21 Their children also failed. 22 Wisdom was not found by the Canaanites. It has not been discovered by the Edomites 23 although they search after knowledge. The way to Wisdom has not been found by the merchants of Merran and Tema or by those who relate fables or by any others who seek understanding. 24 O Israel, how great is the universe in which God dwells! How vast is all that he possesses! 25 There is no end to it; there is no way to measure how wide or how high it is. 26 Here in early times the famous giants were born, a mighty race skilled in war. 27 But God did not choose them to be his people or show them the way of knowledge. 28 They died out because they had neither understanding nor insight. 29 No one has ever gone up into heaven to get Wisdom and bring her down out of the clouds. 30 No one has sailed across the seas to find Wisdom or bought her with precious gold. 31 No one knows how to get to her or how to discover the path that leads to her. 32 The only one who knows Wisdom is God, and he knows all things. With his understanding he found her. He established the earth for all time and filled it with all kinds of animals. 33 The light trembled and obeyed when he called. He sent it forth, and it appeared. 34 He called the stars, and they promptly answered; they took their places and gladly shone to please the one who made them. 35 He is our God, and there is none like him. 36 He discovered the entire path leading to understanding and gave Wisdom to his servant Israel, whom he loved. 37 From that time on, Wisdom appeared on earth and lived among us. 


1 Wisdom is the book of God's commandments, the Law that will last forever. All who hold onto her will live, but those who abandon her will die. 2 Turn to Wisdom, people of Israel, and take hold of her. Make your way toward the splendor of her light. 3 Do not surrender our glorious privileges to any other people. 4 How happy we are, people of Israel; we have the advantage of knowing what is pleasing to God! 5 Take courage, my people, you are the ones who keep Israel's name alive. 6 You were sold to Gentile nations, but not to be destroyed. Because you made God angry, he handed you over to your enemies. 7 When you offered sacrifices to demons instead of to God, you angered the one who made you. 8 You forgot the Eternal God, who had nourished you as a child, and so you brought grief to Jerusalem, who had been like a mother to you. 9 Jerusalem saw that God was punishing you because he was angry, and she said to all the neighboring cities, "Look at the great misery that God has brought on me. 10 I saw my sons and daughters taken into captivity, a captivity brought on them by the Eternal God. 11 I brought up my children with great delight, but I cried and mourned when they were taken from me. 12 Let no one take pleasure in my suffering now that I am a widow and so many of my children have been taken from me. They turned away from God's Law, and their sins have made me a deserted city. 13 They had no respect for his commandments and would not live by them; they refused to let him guide them in the way of righteousness. 14 "All you neighboring cities, come and consider how the Eternal God has sent my children into exile. 15 He brought against them a nation from far away, a shameless nation that speaks a foreign language and has no respect for the elderly and no pity for children. 16 These people carried off my beloved sons and took away my daughters, and I was left a widow, completely alone. 17 "My children in exile, I can do nothing to help you. 18 Only the one who brought this punishment upon you can rescue you from your enemies. 19 Go your own way, my children; live your own life! I am all alone. 20 I have taken off the robes I wore during days of peace, and I have dressed myself like a person in mourning. I will cry out to the Eternal God for help as long as I live. 21 "Take courage, my children, and cry out to God for help. He will rescue you from oppression, from the power of your enemies. 22 I am confident that the Eternal God will soon set you free. The Holy One, your eternal savior, will make me happy when he shows you mercy. 23 I cried and wailed when you were taken away, but God will bring you back and will make me happy forever. 24 Just as the neighboring cities watched as you were taken captive, so they will soon see the Eternal God coming in glorious splendor to rescue you. 25 My children, endure God's punishment with patience. Your enemies have persecuted you, but you will soon see them destroyed and at your mercy. 26 My children, I spoiled you with love, but you have had to follow rugged paths; you were carried off like sheep caught in an enemy raid. 27 "Take courage, my children, and cry out to God for help. He punished you, but he will not forget you. 28 Just as you were once determined to turn away from God, now turn back and serve him with ten times more determination. 29 The one who brought these calamities upon you will rescue you and bring you everlasting joy." 30 Take courage, Jerusalem. God, who gave you your name, will now bring comfort to you. 31 Misery will come to those who mistreated you and then rejoiced when you fell. 32 Misery will come to those cities that made your children slaves. Misery will be the fate of Babylon, that city which swallowed up your children. 33 Just as that city rejoiced when you fell and took delight in your ruin, so now she will mourn when she herself is deserted. 34 I will turn her proud boastings into mourning and take away her large population in which she took pride. 35 I, the Eternal God, will send down fire on her, and it will burn for many days. Her ruins will be haunted by demons for a long time to come. 36 Look to the east, Jerusalem, and see the joy that God is bringing to you. 37 Look, your children are coming home, the children that were taken from you. They have been gathered together from the east and from the west by the command of God, the Holy One. And now they are coming home, rejoicing in the glory of God. 


1 Jerusalem, take off the clothes you have worn in your mourning and distress, and put on the eternal splendor of God's glory. 2 Put around you the cloak of God's righteousness. Place on your head the crown of the glory of the Eternal God. 3 God will show your splendor to every nation on earth. 4 Forever he will say to you: "Your security comes from your righteousness, and your splendor from your devotion to me." 5 Get up, Jerusalem, stand on the mountaintop; see where God, the Holy One, is bringing your children together from the east and from the west. They are rejoicing that God has remembered them. 6 Jerusalem, your children were led away by their enemies; they left you on foot, but God is bringing them back to you, carried in royal splendor. 7 God has commanded that every high mountain and the everlasting hills shall be made low; he has commanded that the valleys shall be filled and the ground leveled, so that the people of Israel may come safely home in the glory of God. 8 At the command of God, forests of fragrant trees will spring up to provide shade for the people of Israel. 9 God will lead Israel home. They will return with great joy, guided by his mercy and righteousness, surrounded by the light of his glorious presence.