Baruch ben Neriah (c. 6th century BC) was the scribe, disciple, secretary, and devoted friend of the Biblical prophet Jeremiah. According to Josephus, he was a Jewish aristocrat, a son of Neriah and brother of Seraiah ben Neriah, chamberlain of King Zedekiah of Judah.
Baruch wrote down the first and second editions of Jeremiah's prophecies as they were dictated to him by the prophet. Baruch remained true to the teachings and ideals of the great prophet, although like his master he was at times almost overwhelmed with despondency. While Jeremiah was in hiding to avoid the wrath of King Jehoakim, he commanded Baruch to read his prophecies of warning to the people gathered in the Temple in Jerusalem on a day of fasting. The task was both difficult and dangerous, but Baruch performed it without flinching and it was probably on this occasion that the prophet gave him the personal message.
Both Baruch and Jeremiah witnessed the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem of 587–586 BC. In the middle of the siege of Jerusalem, Jeremiah purchased estate in Anathoth on which the Babylonian armies had encamped (as a symbol of faith in the eventual restoration of Jerusalem), and, according to Josephus, Baruch continued to reside with him at Mizpah. Reportedly, Baruch had influence on Jeremiah; on his advice Jeremiah urged the Israelites to remain in Judah after the murder of Gedaliah.
He was carried with Jeremiah to Egypt, where, according to a tradition preserved by Jerome, he soon died. Two other traditions state that he later went, or was carried, to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar II after the latter's conquest of Egypt.
Baruch's prominence, by reason of his intimate association with Jeremiah, led later generations to exalt his reputation still further. To him were attributed the Book of Baruch and two other Jewish books.
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... NOTE In Judaism and Islam the classification of some people as prophets includes those who are not explicitly called so in the Hebrew Bible or Quran ... Judaism also uses religious texts other than the Hebrew Bible to define prophets ...
... In 1975, a clay bulla purportedly containing Baruch's seal and name appeared on the antiquities market ... others, speculated that, while it was impossible to prove, the fingerprint might be that of Baruch himself however doubts have been raised about the authenticity of these bullae.ibid ...
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