1 This book was written by Baruch son of Neraiah, grandson of Mahseiah, and a descendant of Zedekiah, Hasadiah, and Hilkiah. It was written in Babylon2 on the seventh day of the month[a] in the fifth year after the Babylonians captured Jerusalem and burned it down.3-4 Baruch read the book aloud to Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and to all the people who lived in Babylon by the Sud River. Everyone came to hear it read—nobles, children of royal families, elders, in fact, all the people, no matter what their status.
5 When the book was read, everyone cried, fasted, and prayed to the Lord.6 Then they all gave as much money as they could,7 and the collection was sent to Jerusalem to Jehoiakim the High Priest, son of Hilkiah and grandson of Shallum, and to the other priests and to all the people who were with him in Jerusalem.
8 On the tenth day of the month of Sivan, Baruch took the sacred utensils which had been carried away from the Temple and returned them to Judah. These were the silver utensils which Zedekiah son of King Josiah of Judah had ordered made9 after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia had deported Jehoiachin, the rulers, the skilled workers,[b] the nobles, and the common people and had taken them from Jerusalem to Babylon.
A Letter to Jerusalem
10 The people wrote:
Please use the money we are sending you to buy animals for the burnt offerings and the sin offerings, to buy incense, and to provide the grain offerings. Offer them on the altar of the Lord our God,11 and pray for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia and his son Belshazzar, that they may live as long as the heavens last.12 Then the Lord will strengthen us and be our guide. Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar will protect us, and we will be loyal to them as long as we live; then they will be pleased with us.13 We ask you also to pray to the Lord God for us, because we have sinned against him, and he is still angry with us.14 Please read this book that we are sending you and make your own confession of sin in the Temple on the first day of the Festival of Shelters and on other holy days of assembly.
A Confession of Sin
15 This is the confession you should make:
The Lord our God is righteous, but we are still covered with shame. All of us—the people of Judah, the people of Jerusalem,16 our kings, our rulers, our priests, our prophets, and our ancestors have been put to shame,17 because we have sinned against the Lord our God18 and have disobeyed him. We did not listen to him or live according to his commandments.19 From the day the Lord brought our ancestors out of Egypt until the present day, we have continued to be unfaithful to him, and we have not hesitated to disobey him.20 Long ago, when the Lord led our ancestors out of Egypt, so that he could give us a rich and fertile land, he pronounced curses against us through his servant Moses. And today we are suffering because of those curses.21 We refused to obey the word of the Lord our God which he spoke to us through the prophets. Instead, we all did as we pleased and went on our own evil way. We turned to other gods and did things the Lord hates.
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