Chapter 45

1The word which the Navi Yirmiyahu spoke to Baruch son of Nerya, when he was writing these words in a scroll at Yirmiyahu's dictation, in the fourth year of King Yehoyakim son of Yoshiyahu of Yehuda:

אהַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא אֶל־בָּרוּךְ בֶּן־נֵרִיָּה בְּכָתְבוֹ אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה עַל־סֵפֶר מִפִּי יִרְמְיָהוּ בַּשָּׁנָה הָרְבִעִית לִיהוֹיָקִים בֶּן־יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹר׃

2Thus said Hashem, the God of Yisrael, concerning you, Baruch:

בכֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עָלֶיךָ בָּרוּךְ׃

3You say, “Woe is me! Hashem has added grief to my pain. I am worn out with groaning, and I have found no rest.”

גאָמַרְתָּ אוֹי־נָא לִי כִּי־יָסַף יְהֹוָה יָגוֹן עַל־מַכְאֹבִי יָגַעְתִּי בְּאַנְחָתִי וּמְנוּחָה לֹא מָצָאתִי׃

4Thus shall you speak to him: “Thus said Hashem: I am going to overthrow what I have built, and uproot what I have planted—this applies to the whole land.

דכֹּה תֹּאמַר אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִנֵּה אֲשֶׁר־בָּנִיתִי אֲנִי הֹרֵס וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר־נָטַעְתִּי אֲנִי נֹתֵשׁ וְאֶת־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ הִיא׃

5And do you expect great things for yourself? Don't expect them. For I am going to bring disaster upon all flesh—declares Hashem—but I will at least grant you your life in all the places where you may go.”

v'-a-TAH t'-va-kesh l'-KHA g'-do-LOT al t'-va-KESH KEE hi-n'-NEE may-VEE ra-AH al kol ba-SAR n'-um a-do-NAI v'-na-ta-TEE l'-KHA et naf-sh'-KHA l'-sha-LAL AL kol ha-m'-ko-MOT a-SHER tay-lekh SHAM

הוְאַתָּה תְּבַקֶּשׁ־לְךָ גְדֹלוֹת אַל־תְּבַקֵּשׁ כִּי הִנְנִי מֵבִיא רָעָה עַל־כָּל־בָּשָׂר נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה וְנָתַתִּי לְךָ אֶת־נַפְשְׁךָ לְשָׁלָל עַל כָּל־הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר תֵּלֶךְ־שָׁם׃

45:5   And do you expect great things for yourself?

Rashi (1040-1105)

In the midst of the calamity, Yirmiyahu rebukes his closest student, Baruch son of Nerya, for being concerned about his personal welfare at a time of national crisis. Some suggest that as his grandfather was Maasayahu, governor of Yerushalayim during Yoshiyahu’s reign (II Chronicles 34:8), Baruch also hoped for high office, only to see his aspirations dissipate. Rashi, however attributes a higher motivation to Baruch: He was hoping, like great students of prophets before him, such as Yehoshua and Elisha, to receive the gift of prophecy. However, Yirmiyahu reminds his student, at a time when the people are suffering, personal goals — even spiritual ones — must be set aside.