Trinity Theological College
Subject : Prophetic Responses to the Struggles of the People of God Topic :Babylonian exile: Displacement and disembodiment and the consequent
loss of their identity markers like King, Land, and Temple Presenters : Avi Kiba and Om Thang
Lecturer : Miss Chumchano
Date :21st,Feb 2013.
Of many crisis which Israel had experienced, none was more fraught with danger than the Babylonian Exile. This paper deals with the last days of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem, the Deportation of the Southern Kingdom (Judah), Displacement and Disembodiment, and the consequent lost of their identity markers like king, temple, and land. 1.The Last Days of Judah and the Destruction of Jerusalem (609-586 BCE).
In the late 7th century BCE, the kingdom of Judah was a client state of the powerful Assyrian empire. In 606 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar at the death of his father, Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, became the ruler of the entire Fertile Crescent .In the last decades of the century Assyria was overthrown by Babylon, an Assyrian province with a history of former glory in its own right. Egypt, fearing the sudden rise of the Neo-Babylonian empire, seized control of Assyrian territory up to the Euphrates river in Syria, but Babylon counter-attacked and in the process Josiah, the king of Judah, was killed by Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt, although the circumstances are obscure (606 BCE). Judah became a Babylonian client, but in the following years two parties formed at the court in Jerusalem: one pro-Egyptian and the other pro-Babylonian (II Kings 23; II Chronicles 35).1
The people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah, anointed him, and made him king in place of his father. He reigned three months in Jerusalem. Pharaih Neco made Eliakim son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim (Kliakim) was hated by most of his people both because of his pro-Egyptian policy and because of his tyrannical rule and the heavy financial burdens which he placed on his subjects in contrast to the rule of his father (II Kings 23:35; Jer 22:13-19). Prophets who complained about the activities of the king, his ministers, and the priests were persecuted and some sentenced to death (Jer 26: II Kings 24:2-4).2
After 609 BCE, the Egyptians ruled over Palestine and Syria. The battleground between Egypt and Babylon was located along the Euphrates River (II Kings 24:7). Jehoiakim faithfully carried the Egyptians burden (II Chro 36:3). The decisive shift in the power balance took place in 605 BCE. In that year, Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptian army at Carchemish (Jer 46: 2). This decisive battle led to the dominance of Chaldean Babylon over Syro-Palestine (II Kings 24:1; Jer 25:1-14).
Judah’s submission to Babylon occurred in one of the years 605-601 BCE, during which time Nebuchadnezzar made campaigns to the land of Hatti (Syro-Palestine) and received tribute from the local kings. When Jehoiakim chose to rebel against Babylon (600 BCE), three years after submitting to Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings 24:1), he did so because of the failure of the Babylonian invasion of Egypt and in hopes of receiving significant support from Egypt. In response to the rebellion of Jehoiakim, Nebuchadnezzar sent Chaldean units which were already in the area as well as battalions from the subject states of Moab, Ammon, and Edom against Judah( II Kings 24:2). Nebuchadnezzar, in the seventh year of his reign ( 598/7 BCE), marched on a punitive campaign Judah. Thus Jerusalem fell into Babylonian hands on March 15/16, 597 BCE.3 2.The Deportation of the Southern Kingdom (Judah)
According to the biblical account Nebuchadnezzar accomplished three deportations of Judah. The First Deportation. In the third year of Jehoiakim, the eighteenth king of Judah (605 BCE), Nebuchadnezzar having overcome the...
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Bright, John. A History of Israel .Philadelphia : Westminster Press, 1981.
Ceresko,Anthony R. The Old Testament: A Liberation Perspective .Bangalore : St. Pauls, 1993.
Israelite and Judean History, edited by John H. Jayes and J. Maxwell Miller.London: SCM Press Ltd., 1984.
Matthews, Victor H. Social World of the Hebrew Prophets. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2001.
Pfeiffer, Charles F. Old Testament History .Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1993.
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