Writing from Babylon
1These are the words of the scroll that Baruch—son of Neriah son of Mahseiah son of Zedekiah son of Hasadiah son of Hilkiah—wrote in Babylon 2in the fifth year on the seventh day of the month at the time when the Chaldeans took Jerusalem and burned it down.
3Baruch read the words of this scroll aloud to Judah’s King Jeconiah, Jehoiakim’s son, and to all the people who came to hear the reading of the scroll, 4and to the powerful ones, the rulers’ sons, the elders, and all the people, from the least important to the greatest, and to all the ones who lived in Babylon by the Sud River. 5They wept, fasted, and prayed before the Lord. 6They collected silver from everyone able to give, and 7they sent it to Jerusalem to the priest Jehoiakim, Hilkiah’s son, Shallum’s grandson, and to the other priests, and to all the people who were with Jehoiakim in Jerusalem. 8During the same time, on the tenth day of Sivan,#May–June Baruch took the equipment from the Lord’s house that had been removed from the temple—the silver equipment that Judah’s King Zedekiah, Josiah’s son, had made—to return it to Judah. (9This occurred after Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar removed Jeconiah, the leading officials, the prisoners, the powerful ones, and the land’s people from Jerusalem, and brought them#Or him to Babylon.)
Response to Jerusalem
10And the people in exile said:
We have sent you silver. Buy what is needed for entirely burned offerings and sin offerings. Buy incense and prepare grain as well, and offer them on the Lord our God’s altar.
11Pray for the lives of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his son Belshazzar that their days on earth may be like the days of heaven. 12The Lord will give us strength and clear vision. We’ll live under the protection of King Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar, and we’ll serve them many days and find favor with them.
13Pray for us to the Lord our God because we have sinned against the Lord our God. Even now, the Lord’s wrath and anger haven’t turned away from us. 14Read aloud this scroll that we sent to you to make it public in the Lord’s house on every festival day and appointed time.
Sins of the community
15You will say:
Justice is on the side of the Lord God, but public shame is upon us today, upon everyone in Judah, upon those living in Jerusalem, 16and upon our rulers, leading officials, priests, prophets, and ancestors, 17upon all of us who have sinned against the Lord.
18We have disobeyed the Lord. We have not listened to the Lord God’s voice so as to keep the commandments that he gave to us. 19From the day when the Lord brought our ancestors from the land of Egypt until today, we have been disobedient to the Lord our God and have acted carelessly by not listening to his voice. 20Therefore, to this day horrible things have come upon us, even the curse that the Lord ordered through Moses his servant in the day when he brought our ancestors out of Egypt to give us a prosperous land full of milk and honey. 21But we didn’t listen to the Lord God’s voice through the prophets whom he sent to us. 22All of us went off in the direction of our own evil hearts, serving other gods and doing horrible things in the presence of our Lord God.
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