By Martin H. Manser, David Barratt, Pieter J. Lalleman, Julius Steinberg

ISBN-10: 0816070652

ISBN-13: 9780816070657

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Extra resources for Critical Companion to the Bible: A Literary Reference

Sample text

Paul also steps into the footsteps of Jesus as a servant of God (Isaiah 49:1–7), and the persecutor becomes persecuted (9:23–24, 29). A key word in the story about Peter and Cornelius (chapters 10–11) is send. Peter’s role as an apostle (“one sent”) is on the line when in Joppa (cf. Jonah 1:3) he has to decide whether he will heed the Lord’s command and let himself be sent to preach to Gentiles. The fact that he is staying in the home of a tanner (9:43, repeated 10:6) is no insignificant detail.

But references to Belshazzar (1:12), the last king of Babylon, suggest a later date. The time covered by the book is the exile, as in the books of Daniel and Esther. Parts of Baruch are very similar to parts of Daniel, in fact. It could have been written either later in the exile or some time thereafter. The other reason to remove Baruch 33 it from the time of the fall of Jerusalem becomes obvious if we compare it to Jeremiah or Lamentations. The ordered calm and emotional distance, the theological maturity and vision of Baruch are light-years away from the chaotic distress occasioned by the last days of Jerusalem as recorded by Jeremiah.

The first part purports to be a letter to those left in Jerusalem. In fact, it turns out to be a rather magnificent prayer of confession of the sins that led the Israelites into exile. The second part can be divided further into two separate poems. The first (3:9–4:4) is a hymn of praise to Wisdom (see wisdom literature). The second poem (4:5–5:9) is prophetic, looking forward to the return to Jerusalem and full reconciliation with God. Commentary The prose part appears to be a letter (1:10) from the exiles to be sent back to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, together with gifts of money and some of the temple equipment taken by Nebuchadnezzar.

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Critical Companion to the Bible: A Literary Reference by Martin H. Manser, David Barratt, Pieter J. Lalleman, Julius Steinberg


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