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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

- Sirach

by George Haydock

THE PROPHECY OF BARUCH.

INTRODUCTION.

Baruch was a man of noble extraction, and learned in the law, secretary and disciple of the prophet Jeremias, and a sharer in his labours and persecutions; which is the reason why the ancient Fathers have considered this book as a part of the prophecy of Jeremias, and have usually quoted it under his name. (Challoner) --- The frequent Hebrew idioms shew it to have been originally in that language. Baruch wrote by inspiration of the Holy Ghost the letter comprising the five first chapters, which he carried to the Jews from their brethren at Babylon. The martyrologies place his death, December 28. The sixth chapter contains a letter of Jeremias, to which allusion is clearly made [in] 2 Machabees ii. 2. The Church still recites the works of Baruch under the name of Jeremias. (Sab. Pent. proph. 6.) (Calmet) --- Many Fathers did so formerly, though they doubted not but Baruch was the author. See St. Iren'e6us, [Against Heresies] v. 35.; St. Augustine, City of God xviii. 33., &c. Others, with Origen (Prin. ii. 3.) specify the writer; and the Councils of Laodicea, Florence, and Trent, decide that it is canonical. St. Jerome alleged it not against the Jews, as they denied its authority. (Worthington) --- See Jeremias xxxii. 44. (Haydock) --- In his preface on Jeremias he testifies that "it contains many things relating to Christ and the latter times." (Worthington) --- Grotius in vain attempts to represent some parts as interpolated (chap. iii. 38., &c.; Calmet) and L. Cappellus has left some posthumous notes, which would represent the author as a stupid impostor, though he acknowledges his great learning. (Houbigant)