The Destruction of the Southern Kingdom of Judah

Fall of Jerusalem

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Brief Overview of the History of the Fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC

 

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."

 

babylonian_chronicle_thumb.jpgJerusalem was under siege for many long months as the food ran out and disease and starvation spread throughout the city.

 

On July 10, 586 B.C. The Babylonian forces of king Nebuchadnezzar broke through the northern wall of Jerusalem and it was only a matter of time. Josephus records some of the gruesome details of the siege:

 

On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled by night by way of the gate between the two walls beside the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and he passed sentence on him. During this siege, Zedekiah and the remnants of his army broke out of Jerusalem and fled east toward Jericho, only to be captured and brought to Riblah where Nebuchadnezzar still maintained his headquarters. When he was come Nebuchadnezzar began to call him a wicked wretch and a covenant-breaker and one that had forgotten his former words, when he promised to keep the country for him. (Josephus. Antiquities 10:8:2).

 

Zedekiah was forced to watch his sons be executed before his eyes were gouged out. He was given bronze fetters and led 700 miles to Babylon, the land of idolatry where he would die in prison.

Painting of the Fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC

The Jewish survivors were hauled across the Syrian Desert to Babylon, many of them perishing along the way. The Southern Kingdom of Judah had ceased to exist, the monarchy had ended and this marked the end of the First Temple Period.

 

Jerusalem was burned and the walls of the city were torn down. All military, civil and religious leaders were either executed or carried away into captivity. Only the poorest of the peasants of Judah were allowed to remain in the land which was by now a place of complete desolation.

 

(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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