The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

My Notes on Baruch 1:15-22

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2011

The book of Baruch is attributed to Baruch, son of Neriah, the scribe who served Jeremiah the Prophet (Jer 32:12) and who wrote down his words (Jer 36:4).  Most scholar date it to the late second to mid-first century BC (see the introduction in the NAB). The book opens with a description of the historical situation (Bar 1:1-14), followed  by a prayer from which today’s reading is taken. Specifically, chapter 1:15 through 2:10  serve as a confession, followed by a prayer for deliverance, (2:11-3:8). The confession (1:15-2:10) is similar to the prayers found in Daniel 9:4-19; in Ezra 9:6-15; and in Nehemiah 1:5-11 (see Neh 9:6-37 also).

Bar 1:15  And you shall say: To the Lord our God belongeth justice, but to us confusion of our face: as it is come to pass at this day to all Juda, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Bar 1:16  To our kings, and to our princes, and to our priests, and to our prophets, and to our fathers.
Bar 1:17  We have sinned before the Lord our God, and have not believed him, nor put our trust in him:
Bar 1:18  And we were not obedient to him, and we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his commandments which he hath given us.
Bar 1:19  From the day that he brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, we were disobedient to the Lord our God: and going astray we turned away from hearing his voice.
Bar 1:20  And many evils have cleaved to us, and the curses which the Lord foretold by Moses his servant: who brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt, to give us a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.
Bar 1:21  And we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God according to all the words of the prophets whom he sent to us:
Bar 1:22  And we have gone away every man after the inclinations of his own wicked heart, to serve strange gods, and to do evil in the sight of the Lord our God.

verse 15. To the Lord our God belongeth justice, but to us, confusion of our face &c. These words are repeated in Baruch 2:6. The Lord is just and in light of this fact the people acknowledge their embarrassed guilt (confusion of our face, see NAB translation) which extends to all classes: our kings, and to our princes, and to our priests, and to our prophets, and to our fathers (verse 16). Their guilt and the shame it has brought is attributed to the fact that We have sinned before the Lord our God, and have not believed him, nor put our trust in him: And we were not obedient to him, and we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his commandments which he hath given us (verses 17-18). This condition has been with the people since the time of the Exodus: From the day that he brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, we were disobedient to the Lord our God: and going astray we turned away from hearing his voice (verse 19). It explains why many evils have cleaved to them. These evils are nothing more than the covenant curses the people knew would come upon them for the Lord had foretold  them by Moses his servant (verse 20. See the curses of Deut 28:15-69). The people acknowledge that they have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God according to all the words of the prophets whom he sent to us (verse 21. See 2 Chron 36:15-21)). Because they have gone away every man after the inclinations of his own wicked heart they have suffered exile. The strange gods they once served in the homeland God had given them, they now serve in exile (verse 22. See Deut 28:64).

One Response to “My Notes on Baruch 1:15-22”

  1. […] My Notes on Today’s First Reading (Baruch 1:15-22). […]

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