Babylonian Captivity


August 20, 2022

The Babylonian Captivity (in the old Bible translation the Babylonian Captivity) was the exile of the Jews in Babylon in Mesopotamia. It began in 597 BCE, when Nebuchadnezzar II first conquered Jerusalem, and ended with Cyrus the Great's conquest of Babylon in 539 BCE.

Fate of Judah

The Kingdom of Judah, which was smaller than Israel, resisted the invaders longer than Israel and even expanded between 930 and 730 BCE. The Bible tells about kings and prophets who obeyed the God of their fathers, as well as bad rulers, such as Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab of Israel, who ruled Judah in the 850s BC. after and because of his belief in Baal was killed. The Kingdom of Judah became a vassal of Egypt before Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II in 587 BC. destroyed the Jerusalem temple and took a large part of the people captive to Babylon. According to the Bible, Nebuchadrezzar II took a large part of the inhabitants of Jerusalem captive to Babylon during the time of King Jehoiachin of Judah, allowing only the poor to remain there. Later, in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, under Zedekiah, Jerusalem was completely destroyed after a siege and the entire population was taken into exile. When the Persian king Cyrus the Great later conquered Babylon, he granted the Jews the right to return to Judah. At the same time, he gave them permission to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, but it was not built until the reign of Darius. According to Professor Simo Parpola, the Jews had completely adopted the Babylonian culture and religion, and the returnees to Judah brought them with them more or less as they were. Since the period lasted only 58 years according to tradition or the Bible, which time is very humanly memorable, the captivity in Babylon is possibly of central importance to Judaism and what developed from it to the nostalgic longing of Christianity for the "Holy Land". This metaphor also appears later in connection with border transfers, for example in the Balkans, in connection with the question of the ceded Karelia, and when dealing with forced transfers of peoples within the Soviet Union. The captivity of Babel is also called the captivity of Avignon, i.e. the period from 1309 to 1377, when the Popes of Rome were in unwilling exile in Avignon, France.

See also

Jewish calendar New Babylon


On topic elsewhere

Peltonen, Mauno: Babylon's captivity and the timing of Jerusalem's destruction Bible: Jer. 25:11–12; Jer. 29:10 Bible: Zech. 1:7,12; Zak. 7:1–5