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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: June 2014

19 - Between Zedekiah and Jeremiah


The following letters was found in a single papyrus sheet unearthed in Egypt, in the ruins of a house now thought to have been that of Baruch, scribe to the prophet Jeremiah. Despite the loss of some lines at the end of letter 5 and the beginning of letter 6, the correspondence is well preserved. The manuscript obviously represents an archival copy, probably made by Baruch himself and possibly intended for inclusion in his collection of Jeremiah papers, though they are not in fact to be found in any of the extant editions.

Letter 1

Zedekiah, the king, son of David, who rules in Jerusalem, to Jeremiah, the priest. May the King of Heaven and his Asherah take care of you from now unto eternity! Your king is well! And now, a rumour has come to me, saying Jeremiah has raised his voice in the holy temple of my eternal city. The temple that my father Solomon had built. The temple in which the eternal god dwells. The temple in which my people pay for their sins. And now we have been living in dangerous times. The strong king from the north whose name I would not speak out loud, is far away. And the weak king from the south has promised to help my people. I have strengthened my army.