I am telling on myself in the writing of Jeremiah and Baruch. I wanted to paint the picture that Baruch son of Mahseiah was “family” to Jeremiah but not through parents or DNA. Baruch worked with Jeremiah for over eighteen of Jeremiah’s forty years of ministry. They went through some hard times together. My problem is simple, they did share DNA through Abraham and possibly Levi. The majority of the people in Jerusalem at that time belonged to the tribe of Judah, Benjamin, or Levi/Aaron.
The Wiki article listed below has some interesting legends and facts about Baruch. I do find it creditable that Baruch and Ezra were responsible for Kings and Chronicles. I will try and point out information that is in the Book of Jeremiah.
Baruch and Jeremiah worked together for at least eighteen years. Jeremiah 36: 4 – 32, 45: 1+2 are the first “time” they are mentioned together. This is part of Jeremiah’s story where he has been told by God to write down the words he has been given. The timestamp for these verses is the fourth year of Jehoiakim. 45: 1+2 is really out of sequence because it is the promise from God that Baruch will be kept safe. It is put with the time when he and Jeremiah are being taken to Egypt against their will. Baruch also has the Lord “read his mail” about wanting “great things for himself”. The hard part of this story is Baruch faithfully reads the scroll of Jeremiah to the people, Temple officials, and then to a hostile Jehoiakim. And watch it burn at the hands of Jehoiakim.
Jeremiah 51:59 does not mention Baruch but his brother (or cousin) Seraiah son of Mahseiah. Seraiah was given a scroll to take to the exiles in Babylon. This took place in the fourth year of Zedekiah. Seraiah is a name used at least eighteen times for various people in several books of the Bible. It is the name of priests, learned men, and court officials. Reusing a name in a family was not uncommon at this time, and this is why I tried to make Baruch a close relative of Jeremiah. Mahseiah is used only in the Book of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 32:12 tells of Jeremiah buying a field and Baruch being given the deeds to the property and instruction on how to treat them.
Jeremiah 43: 3+6 are the last two times (chronology) Baruch is mentioned. He is accused of swaying Jeremiah about going to Egypt. According to legend he left Egypt alive and did other works for God.
Notes – the fast in Jeremiah 36 must have been called because of Nebuchadnezzar. The usual fasting times are in Zechariah 8:16, there is no mention of a ninth month fast. Zechariah 7 may reference this time period as the fourth day and the ninth month is an unusual time to be asking about fasting.
Homework – 1. Find Jeremiah’s other friends and allies (yes, he had some in his later years).
2. Find all of the other priest and what they did in the Book of Jeremiah.
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