In the fourth year of King Jehoiakim, 625 B.C.E., Baruch began writing in a scroll the prophetic message of Jerusalem’s doom, dictated by Jeremiah. In the late fall of the following year, 624, Baruch read the scroll aloud “in the ears of all the people” at the entrance of Jehovah’s house. He was then summoned to read it to an assembly of the princes, who, moved by what they heard and fearing the consequences when the word got to the king’s ears, urged Baruch and Jeremiah to hide. Jehoiakim, upon hearing the denunciation, burned the scroll piece by piece, and commanded that Baruch and Jeremiah be brought before him, “but Jehovah kept them concealed.” At Jeremiah’s dictation, Baruch then wrote another scroll like the first, but containing “many more words” from the mouth of Jehovah.—Jer. 36:1-32.
Sixteen years later, in the tenth year of Zedekiah, only months before Jerusalem was sacked, Baruch took the deeds for the property Jeremiah purchased from a cousin and put them in an earthenware vessel for preservation and safekeeping.—Jer. 32:9-16.
At one point during the writing of the first scroll, when Baruch complained of his weariness, Jehovah warned him: ‘Do not keep on seeking great things for yourself.’ Nevertheless, because of his faithfulness he was promised preservation and safety “in all the places to which you may go,” not only during the terrible siege of Jerusalem, but afterwards when the rebellious populace compelled him and Jeremiah to go down to Egypt with them.—Jer. 45:1-5; 43:4-7.
There is a large amount of contradictory tradition concerning Baruch’s later life, and his name has been erroneously attached to apocryphal writings, all of which are of little or no account. (See APOCRYPHA.) However, it is quite certain that Baruch was a man of ability and a very capable assistant to Jeremiah. This conclusion is supported by the fact that on one occasion Azariah and others accused him of being the real instigator that engineered Jeremiah’s warning messages from behind the scenes.—Jer. 43:1-3.
2. Son of Zabbai; Baruch “worked with fervor” assisting Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. (Neh. 3:20) Possibly the same as No. 3 below.
3. A priest whose descendant, if not himself, attested to Nehemiah’s “trustworthy arrangement.” (Neh. 9:38; 10:1, 6, 8) If Baruch himself was the one sealing this agreement, he may have been the same as No. 2 above.
4. Father or forefather of Maaseiah, who lived in Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s time. A descendant of Judah.—Neh. 11:4-6.