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Captivity of the Jewish People

INTRODUCTION: Although the Jewish people were the chosen people of God, they disobeyed Him and were punished for their sins. Enemies won battles against them and their crops failed. However, they refused to respond to the correction given to them by the Lord. Finally, God sold them into slavery. One way or another, they must learn that their sins cannot continue and God must be served.

    1. Taken into Captivity by Assyria (2 Kings 17:6, 22-23); dated at 721 BC
      1. Because they walked in the sins of Jeroboam (2 Kings 17:22)
      2. The Lord removed Israel out of His sight (2 Kings 17:23).
      3. Israel was carried to Assyria (2 Kings 17:23).
      4. They were spread out through various locations (2 Kings 17:6; 2 Kings 18:11).
        1. Halah
        2. Habor
        3. The cities of the Medes
      5. Israel never completely returned from the captivity.
    2. To Return One Day to the Land (Isaiah 11:10-13; Jeremiah 3:17-18; Jeremiah 30:3-4; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Jeremiah 33:7; Ezekiel 37:15-28; Hosea 1:11; Zechariah 10:6)
      1. The Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people (Isaiah 11:11).
      2. Israel will be brought again to the land of their fathers, and they shall possess it (Jeremiah 30:3-4).
      3. The house of Judah and the house of Israel will be reunited with the Lord as their one and only King (Jeremiah 3:17-18).
      4. The Lord will again build Judah and Israel as He did at the first (Jeremiah 33:7).
      5. The Lord will put His law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
      6. The Lord will cleanse His people and will be their God (Ezekiel 37:23).
      7. They shall be as though the Lord had not cast them off (Zechariah 10:6).
    1. First Stage; occurred about 606 BC (2 Chronicles 36:5-8; Daniel 1:1-6)
      1. Occurred during the reign of Jehoiakim as king of Judah (2 Chronicles 36:5-6; Daniel 1:1)
      2. Occurred during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:6)
      3. Jehoiakim was bound and carried to Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:6).
      4. The vessels of the house of the Lord were carried to Babylon and placed in a heathen temple (2 Chronicles 36:7; Daniel 1:2).
      5. Nebuchadnezzar took certain of the children of Israel and groomed them to be wise men of Babylon (Daniel 1:3-6).
    2. Second Stage; occurred about 597 BC (2 Kings 24:8-16)
      1. Occurred during the reign of Jehoiachin as king of Judah (2 Kings 24:8)
      2. Occurred during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon (2 Kings 24:10)
      3. Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem and besieged it (2 Kings 24:11).
      4. Jehoiachin, his mother, and his servants were taken by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:12).
      5. Nebuchadnezzar carried away treasures out of the house of the Lord (2 Kings 24:13).
      6. Nebuchadnezzar carried away all but the poorest people of the land (2 Kings 24:14-16).
    3. Third Stage; occurred about 586 BC (2 Chronicles 36:11-21)
      1. Occurred during the reign of Zedekiah as king of Judah (2 Chronicles 36:11)
      2. Occurred during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:13)
      3. The people of God rebelled against the clear warnings of the Lord (2 Chronicles 36:12-16).
      4. The remaining people were given into the hand of the enemy (2 Chronicles 36:17, 20-21).
      5. The remaining vessels and treasures were carried to Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:18).
      6. Much was destroyed at the hands of the enemy (2 Chronicles 36:19).
        1. The house of God was burnt.
        2. The wall of Jerusalem was broken down.
        3. All the palaces were burnt with fire.
        4. All the goodly vessels were destroyed.
    4. Prophets at the Time of the Captivity
      1. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:1-3)
      2. Habakkuk (Habakkuk 1:6)
      3. Zephaniah (Zephaniah 1:1-2)
    1. Under Babylon
      1. King Nebuchadnezzar - From about 605 to 562 BC (Daniel 2:36-38; Daniel 4:30)
      2. King Belshazzar - From about 562 to 539 BC (Daniel 5:1-2)
        1. The record of history
          1. History records that Belshazzar was actually the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar.
          2. History records that Nabonidus reigned after Nebuchadnezzar.
        2. The problem solved
          1. Nabonidus was gone most of the time on campaigns or for other reasons.
          2. Belshazzar reigned with his father, but was the main ruler in the absence of his father.
          3. A grandfather is generally called a father in scripture and therefore presents no conflict when Nebuchadnezzar is identified as the father of Belshazzar.
    2. Under Persia
      1. The fall of Babylon occurred around 539 BC (Daniel 5:22-30).
      2. The kings
        1. Cyrus - Ruled Persia from 559 to 530 BC (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1-4)
        2. Darius Ruled Persia from 522 to 486 BC (Ezra 4:5; Ezra 6:15)
        3. Ahasuerus Ruled Persia from 486 to 465 BC (Esther 1:1-3); Note: historically called Xerxes
        4. Artaxerxes Ruled Persia from 465 to 425 BC (Ezra 7:11-13)
    3. Prophets of the Exile
      1. Daniel (Daniel 1:1, 6; Daniel 6:1-3)
      2. Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1-3)

CONCLUSION: The Jews did not listen to God when they had a chance. They are still God’s people and He still loves them, but they have had to go through terrible troubles because of their disobedience. Perhaps we can learn from their mistakes. We should learn to obey before we get into such a mess.