PSEUDEPIGRAPHIC AUTHOR OF
“In ii. 26 the Temple is said to be in ruins—a statement which accords with two periods only, those of the Chaldean and the Roman conquests. As the former period is out of the question, certain scholars, such as Kneucker, for example, assign this part of the book to a time later than the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.” (Baruch)
|Jerome Biblical Commentary
“Some older exegetes tended to see in Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar pseudonyms for Vespasian and Titus, and they regarded the destruction of Jerusalem described in 1:2 as the destruction of AD 70. On this basis, they variously dated Bar sometime after that date.” (pp. 614-615)
We have overthrown the wall of Zion and we have burnt the place of the mighty God (7.1).
4:2-7. The heavenly Jerusalem
2 [Dost you think that this is that city of which I said: “On the palms of My hands have I graven you”? 3 This building now built in your midst is not that which is revealed with Me, that which prepared beforehand here from the time when I took counsel to make Paradise, and showed Adam before he sinned, but when he transgressed the commandment it was removed from him, as also Paradise. 4 And after these things I showed it to My servant Abraham by night among the portions of the victims. 5 And again also I showed it to Moses on Mount Sinai when I showed to the likeness of the tabernacle and all its vessels. 6 And now, behold, it is preserved with Me, as Paradise. 7 Go, therefore, and do as I command you.’]
78—86. THE EPISTLE OF BARUCH THE SON OF NERIAH WHICH HE WROTE TO THE NINE AND A HALF TRIBES
1 And now, my brethren, I make known unto you that when the enemy had surrounded the city, the angels of the Most High were sent, and they overthrew the fortifications of the strong wall, and they destroyed the firm iron corners, which could not be rooted out. 2 Nevertheless, they hid all the vessels of the sanctuary, lest the enemy should get possession of them. 3 And when they had done these things, they delivered thereupon to the enemy the overthrown wall, and the plundered house, and the burnt temple, and the people who were overcome because they were delivered up, lest the enemy should boast and say: ‘Thus by force have we been able to lay waste even the house of the Most High in war.’ Your brethren also have they bound and led away to Babylon, and have caused them to dwell there. 5 But we have been left here, being very few. 6 This is the tribulation about which I wrote to you. 7 For assuredly I know that (the consolation of) the inhabitants of Zion consoles you : so far as you knew that it was prospered (your consolation) was greater than the tribulation which you endured in having to depart from it.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
John A.T. Robinson
“Moreover, if Matt. 2 2.7 did reflect the happenings of 70 one might expect that it would make a distinction that features in other post eventum ‘visions’, namely, that while the walls of the city were thrown down, it was the temple that perished by fire. Thus the Jewish apocalypse II Baruch clearly reflects the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans, though it purports to be the announcement to the prophet Baruch of a coming Chaldean invasion. It recognizes that the city and the temple suffered separate fates:
We have overthrown the wall of Zion and we have burnt the place of the mighty God (7.1). [I.e. the temple. For this sense, cf. II Mace. 5.17-20; John 11.48; Acts 6.14; 21.28; etc.]
They delivered … to the enemy the overthrown wall, and plundered the house, and burnt the temple (80.3).
If one really wants to see what ex eventu prophecy looks like, one should turn to the so-called Sibylline Oracles (4.125-7):
And a Roman leader shall come to Syria, who shall burn down Solyma’s [Jerusalem’s] temple with fire, and therewith slay many men, and shall waste the great land of the Jews with its broad way. [Tr. R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament II, Oxford 1913,395.] (Redating New Testament (1976) Chapter Two: The Significance of 70)
Written shortly after AD 70?
“A pseudepigraphal work (not in any canon of scripture), whose primary theme is whether or not God’s relationship with man is just. The book is also called The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch because it was preserved only in the 6th-century Syriac Vulgate. It was originally composed in Hebrew and ascribed to Baruch, a popular legendary figure among Hellenistic Jews”
yrhynchus Papyrus Discovered (chapters 12–14; 4th or 5th century; number 403)
“The work appears to have been written after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, like 4 Ezra, an apocalypse with which it has a number of points in common, and the Paraleipomena Jeremiou in which Baruch also is an important figure. The work tries to give an answer to the burning question why God allowed his temple to be destroyed. The answer is that God himself sent his angels to destroy his sanctuary and that the time of this tribulation will be short. In other words, the destruction of the temple is God’s final act before the day of judgment on which the enemies of Israel will be punished and God’s people will be vindicated.” (A. F. J. Klijn, Outside the Old Testament, p. 194)
“Kneucker, Marshall, and several other recent critics, however, place its composition after the capture of Jerusalem by Titus, holding that the “strange nation” of iv. 3 (“give not thine honor . . . to a strange nation”) refers to the Christians, and relates to a time when the antagonism between Judaism and Christianity had become pronounced.” (Baruch)