Baruch was a scribe and the prophet Jeremiah’s amanuensis. He came from a wealthy and powerful Judean family—his grandfather had been a governor in Jerusalem under King Josiah (2 Chron. 34:8), and his brother Seraiah had been King Zedekiah’s chief chamberlain (Jer. 51:59). Baruch could have had an important career in public service, but he sacrificed it in order to serve Jeremiah.
In 605 BCE he recorded all of Jeremiah’s prophecies, and when King Jehoiakim banned Jeremiah from the temple Baruch read them to the people at the gate of the temple (Jer. 36:4ff.). He then read them to King Jehoiakim, who burned the scroll piece by piece as it was read. Jeremiah and Baruch then rewrote and expanded it (Jer. 36:32).
Baruch did not write the whole book of Jeremiah, but scholars credit him with a significant part of it. Chapter 45 indicates that Jeremiah had compassion on Baruch’s discouragement at the rejection of the prophecies by the people of Judah.
There is no record of what happened to Baruch. Tradition says that when Jeremiah was carried off to Egypt, Baruch was taken there with him and died there. Another tradition says that he died in Babylon.
Many scholars believe that Baruch might well have been the author of Deuteronomy and possibly of 1 and 2 Chronicles, although ancient tradition attributes the latter to Ezra.