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Chapter 4

[a]She is the book of the precepts of God,
    the law that endures forever;
All who cling to her will live,
    but those will die who forsake her.(A)
Turn, O Jacob, and receive her:
    walk by her light toward splendor.(B)
Do not give your glory to another,
    your privileges to an alien nation.
Blessed are we, O Israel;
    for what pleases God is known to us!(C)

III. Baruch’s Poem of Consolation[b]

A. Baruch Addresses Diaspora

Take courage, my people!
    Remember, O Israel,
You were sold to the nations
    not for destruction;
It was because you angered God
    that you were handed over to your foes.(D)
For you provoked your Maker(E)
    with sacrifices to demons and not to God;
You forgot the eternal God who nourished you,
    and you grieved Jerusalem who nurtured you.
She indeed saw coming upon you
    the wrath of God; and she said:

B. Jerusalem Addresses Neighbors

“Hear, you neighbors of Zion!
    God has brought great mourning upon me,
10 For I have seen the captivity
    that the Eternal One has brought
    upon my sons and daughters.
11 With joy I nurtured them;
    but with mourning and lament I sent them away.
12 Let no one gloat over me,
    a widow, bereft of many;
For the sins of my children I am left desolate,
    because they turned from the law of God,(F)
13     and did not acknowledge his statutes;
In the ways of God’s commandments they did not walk,
    nor did they tread the disciplined paths of his justice.

14 “Let Zion’s neighbors come—
    Remember the captivity of my sons and daughters,
    brought upon them by the Eternal One.
15 He has brought against them a nation from afar,
    a nation ruthless and of alien speech,
That has neither reverence for old age
    nor pity for the child;(G)
16 They have led away this widow’s beloved sons,
    have left me solitary, without daughters.

C. Jerusalem Addresses Diaspora

17 What can I do to help you?
18     The one who has brought this evil upon you
    must himself deliver you from your enemies’ hands.(H)
19 Farewell, my children, farewell;
    I am left desolate.
20 I have taken off the garment of peace,
    have put on sackcloth for my prayer of supplication;
    while I live I will cry out to the Eternal One.(I)

21 “Take courage, my children; call upon God;
    he will deliver you from oppression, from enemy hands.(J)
22 I have put my hope for your deliverance in the Eternal One,
    and joy has come to me from the Holy One
Because of the mercy that will swiftly reach you
    from your eternal Savior.
23 With mourning and lament I sent you away,
    but God will give you back to me
    with gladness and joy forever.(K)
24 As Zion’s neighbors lately saw you taken captive,
    so shall they soon see God’s salvation come to you,
    with great glory and the splendor of the Eternal One.(L)

25 “My children, bear patiently the wrath(M)
    that has come upon you from God;
Your enemies have persecuted you,
    but you will soon see their destruction
    and trample upon their necks.[c]
26 My pampered children have trodden rough roads,
    carried off by their enemies like sheep in a raid.(N)
27 Take courage, my children; call out to God!
    The one who brought this upon you will remember you.(O)
28 As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God,
    so turn now ten times the more to seek him;
29 For the one who has brought disaster upon you
    will, in saving you, bring you eternal joy.”(P)

D. Baruch Addresses Jerusalem

30 Take courage, Jerusalem!
    The one who gave you your name will console you.(Q)
31 Wretched shall be those who harmed you,
    who rejoiced at your downfall;
32 Wretched shall be the cities where your children were enslaved,
    wretched the city that received your children.(R)
33 As that city rejoiced at your collapse,(S)
    and made merry at your downfall,
    so shall she grieve over her own desolation.
34 I will take from her the rejoicing crowds,
    and her exultation shall be turned to mourning:
35 For fire shall come upon her(T)
    from the Eternal One, for many a day,
    to be inhabited by demons for a long time.[d]
36 Look to the east, Jerusalem;
    see the joy that comes to you from God!(U)
37 Here come your children whom you sent away,
    gathered in from east to west
By the word of the Holy One,
    rejoicing in the glory of God.


  1. 4:1–4 The poem ends with the identification of Wisdom and Torah, as in Sir 24:22–23; cf. also Dt 4:5–8.
  2. 4:5–5:9 The poet addresses the exiles (vv. 5–9a), and then Zion personified is introduced, speaking to the nations and mourning the loss of her children (vv. 9b–16). She then addresses the exiles (vv. 17–29). Finally (4:30–5:9) the poet issues three calls to Jerusalem (4:30, 36; 5:5): she will see her children returning (4:22, 36–37; 5:5).
  3. 4:25 Trample upon their necks: a sign of victory over the enemy (cf. Ps 44:6; Is 14:25). The Israelites considered their enemies to be God’s enemies as well.
  4. 4:35 Deserts and desolate places were looked upon as the habitation of demons; cf. Tb 8:3; Lk 11:24.