The Destruction of the Southern Kingdom of Judah

1. Babylonian Forces Approaching


The Armies of Nebuchadnezzar Began their Approach in the North


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."



In 601 B.C there was an intense battle of attrition between Egypt and Babylon leaving both sides heavily depleted. Judah was left alone for a season and they paid tribute to the Babylonians. Then Judah revolted against the king of Babylon and conspired with Egypt. This was in spite of the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah that they should accept their new master as a just punishment from the Lord for all of their grievous sins, even for worshiping false gods and for straying from the Godís commands.


In 597 B.C. king Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon purposed in his heart to march on Judah and conquer Jerusalem because of Judahís political intrigue with Egypt. King Jehoiakim had died before the Babylonians had invaded his capital, but Jehoiakin, his son and successor, was ruling in Jerusalem only three months and he went out with all his household and surrendered to the approaching Nebuchadnezzar. (according to the Babylonian Chronicles Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem on March 16, 597 B.C.)


Jerusalem was spoiled of all her treasures, King Jehoiakin and the leading men of Judah were taken captive to Babylon as prisoners.


Nebuchadnezzar then placed Josiah's second youngest son, Mattaniah, on the throne as a puppet king. His name was changed to Zedekiah by his captors, and he was left to reign over the remnant of his people.


11 years later, in the 9th year of his reign he conspired with Egypt. Soon his rebellion was found out and the Babylonians came in full force.


(See the Timeline)



The Events Surrounding the Destruction of Jerusalem

Map of the Fall of Judah

"And I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it
and turning it upside down" (2 Kings 21:13)


The Destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.

babylonian_chronicle_thumb.jpg Revival came during the reign of Hezekiah but it was immediately swept aside by his son Manasseh, who was Judah's most wicked and longest ruling king. The nation never fully recovered from the effects of this evil king. Manasseh's son Amon continued in his father's depravity, but he soon was murdered. His successor Josiah (about 640-609 B.C.) restored traditional covenant religion, which was based on the Book of the Law newly discovered in a Temple storeroom (2 Chr. 34:14). Many did not follow Josiah's example, however, and the prophet Zephaniah foretold disaster for the nation. By 610 B.C. the Assyrian Empire had collapsed under Babylonian attacks, and Babylon prepared to march against Egypt, which had been helping the Assyrians. Against Jeremiah's advice, Josiah intervened and was killed at Megiddo.


After Josiah there was no hope for Judah, the last 3 kings were all evil. The Babylonians swept down upon Jerusalem in 597 B.C. and captured it. A second attack led to Jerusalem's second defeat in 586 B.C. Captives from both campaigns were taken to Babylonia to mark the captivity of the Southern Kingdom.




Fall of Jerusalem


Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Timeline of Events


1 - Babylonian Forces Approaching

2 - Capture of Judean Cities

3 - The Siege of Jerusalem

4 - Edomites Raid Judah

5 - Rumor of Approaching Egyptian Forces

6 - Jerusalem is Captured

7 - King Zedekiah Tries to Flee

8 - Jews Deported to Babylon from Ramah

Jeremiah's Prophecies



The Fall of Judah

Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible

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