By Debbonnaire Kovacs, Dec. 2, 2015

The book of Baruch, though not in the Hebrew Bible and not included in Protestant Bibles, is found in the Septuagint of the 3rd century BCE. It includes some astonishingly New Testament-sounding readings, such as 3:38, which says “Afterwards he was seen upon the earth, and conversed with men,” and which Thomas Aquinas quoted as support for the incarnation of Christ.

Several NT passages could be quoting from Baruch: Luke 13:29, John 3:13, 1 Cor. 10:20, and John 1:14.

For this second week of Advent, with the theme of peace, I share with you a lovely passage from this book, named after Jeremiah’s scribe.

Baruch 5:1-9

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,

and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God.

Put on the robe of the righteousness that comes from God;

put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting;

for God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven.

For God will give you evermore the name,

“Righteous Peace, Godly Glory.”

Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height;

look toward the east,

and see your children gathered from west and east

at the word of the Holy One,

rejoicing that God has remembered them.

For they went out from you on foot,

led away by their enemies;

but God will bring them back to you,

carried in glory, as on a royal throne.

For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low

and the valleys filled up, to make level ground,

so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God.

The woods and every fragrant tree

have shaded Israel at God’s command.

For God will lead Israel with joy,

in the light of his glory,

with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.