Verse 5. "And seekest thou great things for thyself?" - Nothing better can be expected of this people: thy hopes in reference to them are vain. Expect no national amendment, till national judgments have taken place. And as for any benefit to thyself, think it sufficient that God has determined to preserve thy life amidst all these dangers.
"But thy life will I give unto thee for a prey" - This is a proverbial expression. We have met with it before, chap. xxi. 9, xxxviii. 2, xxxix. 18; and it appears to have this meaning. As a prey or spoil is that which is gained from a vanquished enemy, so it is preserved with pleasure as the proof and reward of a man's own valor. So Baruch's life should be doubly precious unto him, not only on account of the dangers through which God had caused him to pass safely, but also on account of those services he had been enabled to render, the consolations he had received, and the continual and very evident interposition of God in his behalf. All these would be dearer to him than the spoils of a vanquished foe to the hero who had overcome in battle.
Spoil may signify unlooked-for gain. The preservation of his life, in such circumstances, must be more than he could reasonably expect; but his life should be safe, and he should have it as a spoil, whithersoever he should go. This assurance must have quieted all his fears.