4
1 This#tn A number of English translations render this feminine demonstrative pronoun as “she” (e.g., RSV, NRSV, NAB, NJB). TEV supplies the word “wisdom,” as in Bar 3:37. is the book#tn Or “scroll.” of the commandments of God
and the law that endures forever.
All those who hold fast to it shall live,#tn Grk “unto life.”
but those who forsake it will die.
2 Turn back, O Jacob, and take hold of it;
travel in the direction of its illumination toward the light.#tn Or “shining” or “light.” The Greek word lampsis is found only here in the Septuagint.
3 Don’t give your glory to another,
and don’t forfeit#tn The words “don’t forfeit” are not in the Greek text but have been added in the translation for clarity. your advantages#tn Grk “the things that are advantageous [or, profitable] for you.” to another nation.
4 We are blessed, O Israel,
because we know what is pleasing to God.#tn Grk “the things pleasing to God are known to us.”
A Poem of Comfort
5 Be courageous, my people!
You are the ones who preserve the name of Israel!#tn Grk “the memorial of Israel.” Some versions translate the phrase literally (so KJV, Douay, NJB, RSV). Others offer interpretive translations: “who perpetrate Israel’s name” (NRSV); “all that is left of Israel’s muster-roll” (Knox); “you are the ones who keep Israel’s name alive” (TEV). NAB seems to emend the noun to a verb: “Remember, Israel!”
6 It was not for your destruction
that you were sold to the nations.
You were delivered over to your adversaries
because you had stirred God to anger.
7 For you provoked your creator#tn Grk “the one who made you.”
by offering sacrifices to demons#sn In the theology of Baruch offering sacrifices to pagan idols really amounts to worship of demonic spirits. The statement in v. 7 probably has for its scriptural basis Deut 32:16-17. Cf. Ps 96:5; 106:37-38. rather than to God.
8 You forgot the eternal God who nourished you;
you grieved Jerusalem which reared you.
9 For when she saw the wrath of God
that was about to befall you, she said,
“Listen, neighbors of Zion,
God has brought great mourning upon me.
10 For I witnessed the captivity of my sons and daughters,
which the Eternal One#sn “Eternal One” is a common designation for God is this section of Baruch. See 4:10, 14, 20, 22, 24, 35; 5:2. has brought upon them.
11 For I nourished them with gladness,
and I sent them out with tears and mourning.
12 Let no one malignantly rejoice#tn Or “gloat” (NAB) or “take pleasure” (TEV). over me,
the widow who is bereft of so many.
I was left desolate because of the sins of my children,
for they have turned away from God’s law.
13 They have not acknowledged#tn Grk “known.” his ordinances,
nor have they gone in the ways of God’s commandments,
nor have they walked in the correct paths determined by#tn Grk “in.” his righteousness.
14 Let the neighbors of Zion come
and remember the captivity of my sons and daughters,
which the Eternal One has brought upon them.
15 For he has brought against them a nation from afar,
a shameless nation speaking a foreign language,#tn This word is found in the Septuagint only here and in Ezra 3:6.
who show no respect for old age
nor mercy#tn Or “pity” or “tenderness.” for childhood.
16 They have led away those beloved by#tn Grk “of.” This is a subjective genitive. this widow;
they have left me bereft of my daughters.
17 But for my part, how can I help you?
18 For it is the one who has brought these misfortunes
who must rescue you out of the hand of your enemies.
19 Go on, my children, go on your way!
For I am left desolate.
20 I have taken off the robe of peace,
and I have put on sackcloth for my petition.
I will cry out to the Eternal One for the rest of my days.#tn Grk “in my days.”
21 Be courageous, my children.
Cry out to God,
and he will rescue you from domination
at the hand of your enemies.
22 For I have placed my hope in the Eternal One for your salvation.
Joy has come to me from the Holy One
for the mercy that will quickly come to you
from your eternal Savior.
23 For I sent you out with mourning and weeping,
and God will return you to me
with delight and gladness forever.
24 For just as at the present time the neighbors of Zion have seen your captivity,
so they will soon see your deliverance#tn Or “salvation.” So also in v. 29. from God,
which will come to you with great glory and with the splendor of the Eternal One.
25 My children, patiently endure the wrath
that has come upon you from God.
Your enemy has persecuted you,
but you will soon see their destruction,
and you will place your foot on#tn Or “tread” (KJV, RSV, NRSV) or “trample” (NAB). their necks.
26 My spoiled#tn Or “pampered” (so NRSV, NAB). children have traveled rough roads.
They have been carried away like sheep snatched up by enemies.
27 Be courageous, children, and call out to God.
For the one who brought this upon you will remember you.#tn Grk “for there will be remembrance of you by the one who brought [this upon you].”
28 For just as your minds were given to wandering away from God,
turn now#tn The word “now” is not in the Greek text but has been added in the translation for clarity. with tenfold sincerity#tn The Greek verb dekaplasiazo (“to multiply by ten”) is found only here in the Septuagint. A cognate adverb appears only in Dan 1:20 (LXX), and a cognate adjective appears only in Dan 1:20 (Theodotion). In v. 28 the verb could also be rendered “ten times harder” (NJB), or “with ten times more determination” (TEV), or “ten times the more” (NAB), or “with tenfold zeal” (RSV, NRSV), or “ten times more eagerly” (Knox). to seek him.
29 For the one who has brought these misfortunes upon you
will bring you everlasting gladness along with your deliverance.
30 Be courageous, O Jerusalem.
The one who named you will comfort you.
31 Those who have treated you badly
and rejoiced at your downfall#tn Or “calamity.” So also in v. 33. are fearful.#tn Or “wretched” or “miserable.”
32 The cities that enslaved your children are fearful;
she who took your sons is fearful.
33 For just as she rejoiced over your downfall
and was glad over your disaster,#tn Or “misfortune.”
so she will be grieved over her own desolation.
34 I will remove from her the rejoicing of the crowds,
and her insolence#tn Or “pride.” will be reduced to mourning.
35 For fire will come upon her from the Eternal One,
lasting for a long time;
she will be inhabited by demons for a long time.#sn Cf. Isa 13:19-22.
36 Look to the east, O Jerusalem!
See the gladness coming to you from God.
37 Look! Your sons whom you sent away are coming back,
being gathered from east to west
by the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing in the glory of God.
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