The Destruction of the Southern Kingdom of Judah

2. Capture of Judean Cities

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The Babylonian Armies Ravaged the Cities 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."

 

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The Babylonian armies came from the north and ravaged the small city-states of Syria, and in 589 B.C. they sacked Lachish and Azekah.

 

Jer 25:8-11 "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Because you have not heard My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,' says the LORD, 'and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."

 

Jeremiah advised the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon to all submit to king Nebuchadnezzar (See Jer 27-28).

 

The prophet Ezekiel pictured Nebuchadnezzar casting lots at the cross-roads where the sign pointed to Rabbah of Ammon and to Jerusalem.

 

Ezek 21:18-23

18 The word of the LORD came to me again, saying:

19 "And son of man, appoint for yourself two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to go; both of them shall go from the same land. Make a sign; put it at the head of the road to the city.

20 Appoint a road for the sword to go to Rabbah of the Ammonites, and to Judah, into fortified Jerusalem.

21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the road, at the fork of the two roads, to use divination: he shakes the arrows, he consults the images, he looks at the liver.

22 In his right hand is the divination for Jerusalem: to set up battering rams, to call for a slaughter, to lift the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to heap up a siege mound, and to build a wall.

23 And it will be to them like a false divination in the eyes of those who have sworn oaths with them; but he will bring their iniquity to remembrance, that they may be taken.

 

Jeremiah also gave a word about king Zedekiah and Jerusalem and the cities of Lachish and Azekah, the only three cities that remained standing :

 

Jer 34:1-7

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army, all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem and all its cities, saying,

2 "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

3 And you shall not escape from his hand, but shall surely be taken and delivered into his hand; your eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon, he shall speak with you face to face, and you shall go to Babylon.'"'

4 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah! Thus says the LORD concerning you: 'You shall not die by the sword.

5 You shall die in peace; as in the ceremonies of your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so they shall burn incense for you and lament for you, saying, "Alas, lord!" For I have pronounced the word, says the LORD.'"

6 Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words to Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem,

7 when the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem and all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish and Azekah; for only these fortified cities remained of the cities of Judah.

 

(See the Timeline)

 

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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.

 

Introduction

Overview

Fall of Jerusalem

Scriptures

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Timeline of Events

Archaeology

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
 

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The Fall of Judah

Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible


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

 

 


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