The silence of the Lamb- Friday, 26th week in ordinary time- Baruch 1: 15-22

Baruch is known by many titles, all of them in relation to the Prophet Jeremiah. He is known as a disciple, an assistant or a colleague of Jeremiah. He was the son of Nerias and writes the book in 582 BC, five years after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.  

The original language of the book may have been Hebrew, but only the Greek and other versions have been preserved. Stuck to the end of Baruch’s letter is another letter, this one from the prophet Jeremiah to the Israelites in exile.

The setting of the book is Babylon where Baruch reads his scroll to King Jechoniah (Jehoiachin) and the exiles.  In response, the Jews of Babylon send the book of Baruch to their countrymen who had remained back in what now was a ruined city of Jerusalem, for the Babylonians had burnt it down to the ground on 25 August 587 ( 2 Kings 25:8)

Along with the book of Baruch the Jews in exile make a collection and send money to Jerusalem. The obligation to contribute to the support of the Temple was incumbent on all Jews even the Diaspora (those living outside Jerusalem). They request their brethren there to offer sacrifice, and to pray for the king and for them; acknowledging their manifold sins.

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