Bible History

Categories

Ancient Documents
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Greece
Ancient Israel
Ancient Near East
Ancient Other
Ancient Rome
Archaeology
Bible History
Bible Searches
Biblical Archaeology
Childrens Resources
Church History
Evolution & Science
Illustrated History
Images & Art
Intertestamental
Jesus
Languages
Maps & Geography
Messianic Prophecies
Museums
Mythology & Beliefs
People in History
Prof. Societies
Rabbinical Works
Resource Sites
Study Tools
Timelines & Charts
Weapons & Warfare
World History

The Babylonian Captivity with Map

Treatment of the Jews in Babylon

bar1.jpgbar1.jpg

Jewish Treatment During the 70 Years in Captivity

 

striding_lion_thumb.jpg Because of the Babylonian Captivity, Babylonia became the most important center of Jewish life during the Exile. We know a bit about Jewish thought and life because of some Jewish communities in Egypt, but virtually nothing from the Assyrian Captivity in 722 B.C. and of the 10 lost tribes.

 

The Jewish people survived in Babylon because the Babylonian policy allowed the Jews to settle in towns and villages along the Chebar River, which was an irrigation channel. The Jews were allowed to live together in communities, they were allowed to farm and perform other sorts of labor to earn income. Many Jews eventually became wealthy. This was probably because of the influence of certain Jews who ministered in the palace of Babylon, like Daniel and his friends. It is also likely that the Lord purposed that the Jews would settle down there and get comfortable. Then after the 70 years were complete it would be a test of faith to pick up and return to Jerusalem.

 

In any case the Jews were treated well, and tablets were found near the Ishtar Gate which indicate that even in captivity Jehoiachin was referred to as the "king of Judah" and he received abundant food supplies from the royal storehouse.

 

During captivity the Jews were encouraged by the prophet Jeremiah from Jerusalem to take wives, build houses, plant gardens and take wives and take advantage of their situation because they were going to be there for seventy years:

 

Jer 29:4-11

4 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon:

5 Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit.

6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters -- that you may be increased there, and not diminished.

7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

8 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.

9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the LORD.

10 For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.

 

The Exile was truly Godís punishment to a rebellious people but they were to learn the lesson from His chastisement, and maintain hope for the coming redemption. But many were discouraged, as written in the Psalms:

 

Ps 137

1 By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion.

2 We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it.

3 For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

4 How shall we sing the LORD's song In a foreign land?

 

They were to keep their hope alive and not be assimilated into the Babylonian way of life. To prevent this and to preserve their identity the religious leaders had Scribes copy the Scriptures. They also wrote much literature and taught the people to observe the Sabbath and to circumcise their male children.

 

Also See:

Timeline of Events

 

bar1.jpgbar1.jpg

Map of the Deportation of Judah

Map of the Babylonian Captivity

2 Kings 24:20 "For because of the anger of the LORD this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, that He finally cast them out from His presence"

bible_persp9.gif In  the Book of II Kings we read of the deportation of the Jews from their land to the land of Babylon, and then the Book ends 37 years later with the account of Jehoiachin who was blinded and in captivity in Babylon. After 30 years of imprisonment, Evil-merodach ascended the throne of Babylon and at the beginning of his rule he chose to honor the Judean prisoner Jehoiachin. The Jewish king was given appropriate garments and an income and made a member of the court of Babylon, with other deposed kings. This was no doubt a comforting sign to the Jewish captives who were still in the "land of bondage."

 

In all actuality it was the Lord who had given favor to Jehoiachin, and it was the Lord that had allowed the promised Seed (Messiah) to pass through the loins of Jehoiachin as Matthew states:

 

Matt 1:11-16

11 Josiah begot Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.

12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel.

13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor.

14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud.

15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob.

16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

 

God was faithful to His promises that they would remain in the land of Babylon for seventy years, and the "Son of David" would still come to bring salvation to the world.

 

Even in bitter captivity there was hope for Godís people, the promises were being fulfilled and the Scriptures continued to be written:

 

Ps 137:1-6

1 By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion.

2 We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it.

3 For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

4 How shall we sing the LORD's song In a foreign land?

5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill!

6 If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth -- If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.

 

Introduction

Overview

The Destruction of Jerusalem

The Deportation of Judah

Seventy Years

Treatment of the Jews in Babylon

Benefits of the Babylonian Captivity

Archaeology and the Babylonian Captivity

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Timeline of Events

Scriptures

Conclusion

 

Places of the Exile

Babylon

Tel Abib

Susa

Ecbatana

Persepolis

Pasargadae  

 

bar1.jpgbar1.jpg

 

 



Map of the Babylonian Captivity

Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible


© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)

 

The Ishtar Gate in Ancient Babylon

Table of Contents
Introduction
Overview
The Destruction of Jerusalem
The Deportation of Judah
Seventy Years in Babylon
Treatment of the Jews in Babylon
Benefits of the Captivity
Archaeology and Babylon
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Timeline of Events
Scriptures
Conclusion

Places of the Exile

Babylon

Tel Abib

Susa

Ecbatana

Persepolis

Pasargadae