About Baruch the Scribe

aruch the Scribe sat astride the gate of two warring cultures: his own (Judea) and the Babylonian (the enemy). Baruch quilled controversy for Jeremiah, controversy because Jeremiah advocated surrender to the enemy, Nebuchadnezzar. Zedekiah, the Judean king preferred rebellion. He had not paid his promissory notes and rewarded Jeremiah for his political acuity by consigning him to prison—for treason. Here Baruch took his dictation, transcribing with the novel method of using pen and ink. However, neither Jeremiah’s words nor Baruch’s ink impressed the Judean politicians; therefore, Nebuchadnezzar left his hanging gardens in Babylon to lasso Zedekiah’s hanging valuables in the Jerusalem temple as recompense—and he had not picked any olive branches on the way.

Nebuchadnezzar captured Zedekiah and took him to Babylon but not to see the hanging gardens for he had blinded him. Conversely, Nebuchadnezzar freed Jeremiah because he could see, rewarded him monetarily and gave him safe conduct to a location of his choice. Turbulent Judea was not, however, considered prime real estate even though the olive branches wept to be political symbols. In the ensuing social chaos, Jeremiah and Baruch reluctantly joined the refugees escaping to Egypt. They set off with Zedekiah’s daughters and a small allied military escort, protected from further assault perhaps by the safe conduct parchment (Jeremiah 36-43).

Was there though an escape from the escape? Although contrary to the Midrash, legend, enhanced by some concrete evidence (a tomb) and, of course, considerable controversy—extends the story. In early Irish history, ancients claim a venerable gentleman, accompanied by a king’s daughter, his amanuensis (Brug), an Ethiopian hero (Ebed-Melech), a great chest and a “stone of destiny” arrived by sea in 583 B.C. The Milesian High King of all Ireland was impressed—both by Jeremiah’s words and Baruch’s ink. He assigned Jeremiah to institute law, schools and congresses, designated the princess to marry his son, and granted Baruch “freedom of the press.”

It is further suggested that after these modest accomplishments, Baruch emigrated again—this time to the 21st century. Here he retired his quill, looked about for a new career and was captured by the Internet. Now he offers a historical, whimsical and controversial repertoire for interested, contemporary Jeremiahs. You may enter his cipherspace library but it must be before the final parchment is edited and approved which is when, as Isaiah says, “the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll.


PO Box 602; Friday Harbor, WA 98250

Back to the main gate