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4 Baruch

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Title: 4 Baruch  
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Subject: Books of the Bible, Baruch, Book of Baruch, Beta Israel, List of Old Testament pseudepigrapha, Letter of Jeremiah, 2 Baruch, 3 Baruch, Rest of the Words of Baruch, Biblical apocrypha
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4 Baruch

For other uses, see Paralipomena.

Fourth Baruch is a [1]. It is part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Amharic Bible.

Description of 4 Baruch

Fourth Baruch is regarded as pseudepigraphical by all Christian churches, except in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (see Rest of the Words of Baruch).

The text is known in both full-length and reduced versions. The full-length versions came down to us in Greek (older manuscripts dated 10th-11th centuries [1] and 15th century [2]), in Ethiopic Ge'ez (titled Rest of the Words of Baruch, the older manuscript dated 15th century), in Armenian[3] and in Slavic. The shorted versions have come down to us in Greek (named Meneo), Romanian and Slavic.[4]

4 Baruch is usually dated in the first half of 2nd century AD. Abimelech's sleep of 66 years, instead of the usual 70 years of Babylonian captivity, makes think to the year AD 136, that is 66 years after the fall of the Second Temple in AD 70. This dating is coherent with the message of the text.[1]

4 Baruch uses a simple and fable-like style with speech-making animals, fruit that never rot, and an eagle sent by the Lord that revives the dead.

Some parts of 4 Baruch appear to have been added in the Christian era, such as the last chapter: due to these insertions some scholars consider 4 Baruch to have Christian origins.[1] Like the greater prophets, it advocates the divorce of foreign wives and exile of those who will not. According to 4 Baruch, the Samaritans are the descendants of such mixed marriages.


The Lord reveals to Jeremiah that Jerusalem will be destroyed because of the impiety of the Israelites. Jeremiah informs Baruch and at night they see angels that open the door to the city. In that night Jeremiah is instructed by the Lord to hide miraculously in the earth the vestments of the high-priest of the Temple. The Chaldeans enter Jerusalem and Jeremiah follows the Israelites to be exiled, while Baruch remains in Jerusalem and Abimelech (= Ebedmelech the Ethiopian of Jeremiah 38:7) falls asleep for 66 years and awakens with the basket of figs preserved perfectly fresh. When he awakens, Abimelech understands that he slept miraculously for years because the figs are fresh out-of-season. After the re-union with Baruch, they want to communicate with Jeremiah, who is still in Babylon. Baruch prays to the Lord and the Lord sends him an eagle that brings a letter and some of the figs to Jeremiah. The eagle finds Jeremiah officiating at a funeral and alights on the corpse, bringing it back to life, and announcing the end of the exile. The Israelites return to Jerusalem, but only those men who have no foreign wives are allowed to pass the Jordan.

History of the Babylonian Captivity

Main article: History of the Captivity in Babylon

This Jewish pseudepigraphical text belongs to the cycle of Baruch and is related to 4 Baruch. It is longer and probably older than 4 Baruch.[5][6] It has very few and circumscribed Christian insertions and it hasn't the fable-like style of 4 Baruch. Abimelech's sleep is here of 70 years, the usual duration of the Babylonian captivity.

The original Greek is lost, but we have Sahidic Coptic manuscripts [7] and, even if less ancient, Arabic Garshuni manuscripts [8]

See also


External links

  • English translation
  • Greek text
  • At Early Jewish Writings
  • Notes on 4 Baruch
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