Overview and timeline of the exile of Israel and her return from captivity.
- Shalmaneser II (860-825 BC) – began to “cut off” Israel
- Adad-Nirari (808-783 BC) – took tribute from Israel (Jonah’s visit?)
- Tiglath-Pileser III (747-727 BC) – deported most of Israel
- Sargon II (7220705) BC – carried the rest of Israel captive
- Sennacherib (706-681 BC) – invaded Judah; Assyrian Captivity of northern kingdom
- Esar-Haddon (681-668 BC) – very powerful
- Assur-banipal (668-626 BC) – most powerful and brutal
- Weak Kings (626-605 BC) – who lead to defeat of Assyria
Fall of Judah
- 612 BC – Babylonians and Medes conquer Assyria.
- 605 BC – Babylonians battle Egyptians at Carchemish.
- 605 BC – Nebuchadnezzar becomes king of Babylon; The Babylonians invade Judah; First wave of deportation of Jews to Babylon; Daniel is taken captive and begins to prophesy.
- 601 BC – Babylonians battle Egypt, both sides suffer losses; Judah decides to realign itself with Egypt.
- 597 BC – Jehoachin becomes king of Judah; Babylonians capture Jerusalem; Second wave of deportation to Babylon from Judah; Ezekiel is taken captive to Babylon; Zedekiah becomes king of Judah.
- 593 BC – Ezekiel begins to prophesy.
- 586 BC – The Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and the Temple; Jerusalem’s walls and gates are burned with fire; Third wave of Jews deported to Babylon; Babylonian Exile begins.
- 539 BC – The Fall of Babylon; Beginning of the Persian Period to 332; The Decree of Cyrus II allowing Jews to return.
- 516 BC – The Jews rebuild their Temple (70 years).
Developments in Judah (2 Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 40-44)
- Judah as a province of Babylon: no king; governor appoint; new captial is Mizpah.
- Small population left in Jerusalem under hard conditions; “the poor of the land” (2 Kings 25:12).
- Gedaliah assassinated by Ishmael (2 Kings 25:23-26; Jeremiah 40:7-41:18); governor appoint by Babylonians.
- Jeremiah gives advice (Jeremiah 40:1-6; 42:1-43:3) to stay in land.
- People flee to Egypt (Jeremiah 43:4-44:30); Jeremiah follows them; Babylon conquers Egypt and people further dispersed.
By the Waters of Babylon (605-539 BC)
- Humiliation (Psalm 137).
- Institutions remained: synagogue evolved; elders, prophets (Ezekiel) and priest maintained (Jeremiah 29).
- Freedom of movement; Jews could buy a house and move.
- Freedom of correspondence: could write/receive letters.
- Possibility of government positions (e.g. Daniel).
- Living in a fertile prosperous land with agricultural possibilities.
- Too comfortable? (Josephus Antiquities 11.1.3).
Rise of Persia
- Restoration predicted (e.g Jeremiah 25:11).
- Cyrus, King of Persia, reigns 559-530 BC.
- Cyrus conquers the Meades, Assyrians and up to India, creating a vast Persian empire.
- Fall of Babylon (October 539 BC); Cyrus greeted as a conquering hero.
- Edict of release (Ezra 1:1-4; Ezra 6:3-5).
Content of the Edict
- Ezra 1 is more theological; Ezra 6 is the official record.
- Temple to be rebuilt and cost defrayed by Cyrus (Ezra 6:8).
- Building specifications and dimensions.
- Return of gold and silver items taken by Nebuchadnezzar.
- All Jews who wished could return to Judah.
- Jews who remain in Babylon may assist project with freewill offerings.
Return and Restoration
First Stage of Return to Judah
- Ezra 1-6 – Rebuilding the temple
- Ezra 1 – edict of return
- Ezra 2 – list of returnees; leading role for Zerubbabel (2:2); approx. 50,000 return
- Ezra 3:1-6 – rebuilding and rededicating the altar; Mosaic worship restored
- Ezra 3:7-13 – laying the temple foundation about 6 months after altar dedication
- Ezra 4:1-23 – opposition to rebuilding; work stops for approximately 10 years
- Ezra 5:1-6:15 – Encouragement to rebuild from Haggai & Zechariah; work resumes in 530 BC
- Ezra 6:16-22 – Completed temple is dedicated and Passover celebrated
- Ezra 7:1-8:36 – Second return of the Jews to Jerusalem; 458-457 BC (1 year)
- Ezra 9:1-10:44 – Restoration of the people
- Biblehub: Ezra Timeline
Second Stage of Return to Judah
- Nehemiah 1:1-11 – Nehemiah learns Jerusalem has no walls; 445 BC
- Nehemiah 2:1-20 – Nehemiah commissioned to return to Jerusalem
- Nehemiah 3:1-6:19 – Building the walls amidst continued opposition
- Nehemiah 8:1-18 – reading and exposition of the Law
- Nehemiah 9:1:10:39 – Covenant renewal
- Nehemiah 12:27-47 – Dedication of Jerusalem city walls
- Nehemiah 13 – Nehemiah’s second administration; returns 432 BC to a bad situation
- Biblehub: Nehemiah Timeline
- Alfred Edersheim: Sketches of Jewish Social Life
- Alfred Edersheim: Old Testament History
- Alfred Edersheim: The Temple —Its Ministry and Services
- Jacob Abbott: Cyrus the Great by Jacob Abbott (1904)
- Flavius Josephus: From The Death Of Ahab To The Captivity Of The Ten Tribes (157 Years)
- Flavius Josephus: From The Captivity Of The Ten Tribes To The First Year Of Cyrus (182 Years)
- Flavius Josephus: From The First Of Cyrus To The Death Of Alexander The Great
- The New Babylonian Empire and Ezekiel – BibleHistory.com
- The New Babylonian Empire and Egypt – BibleHistory.com
- The Babylonian Captivity – BibleHistory.com
- The Divided Kingdom – Biblehub.com
- The Kingdom of Judah – Biblehub.com
- The Captivity of Judah – Biblehub.com
- The Restoration – Biblehub.com
- Deportations and Returns under Assyria and Babylon -Idubiblia.org
- Assyrian and Babylonian and Greek Empires -Idubiblia.org
Invasions of Jerusalem
There were 4 significant invasions of Jerusalem in Old Testament history:
- By Shishak, king of Egypt, ca. 925 BC during the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25-26; 2 Chronicles 12).
- By the Philistines and Arabians between 848–841 BC during the reign of Jehoram of Judah (2 Chronciles 21:8–20).
- By Jehoash, king of Israel, ca. 790 BC (2 Kings 14; 2 Chronciles 25).
- By Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
Exile Kings in the Bible
|Assyria||Tiglath-Pileser III||744-727 BC||2 Kings 15:29; 2 Kings 16:7-10; 1Chronicles 5:6-26|
|Assyria||Sargon II||721-701 BC||2 Kings 17:3; 2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 20:1|
|Assyria||Sennacherib||704-681 BC||(Assyrian Captivity of northern kingdom)|
|Assyria||Esarhaddon||680-699 BC||Isaiah 36:37; 2 Kings 18-19; 2 Chronicles 32|
|Assyria||Ashurbanipal||668-627 BC||2 Kings 19:27; Ezra 4:2; Isaiah 37:38|
|Babylon||Nebuchadneezar II||604-562 BC||(Babylonian captivity of southern kingdom)|
2 Kings 24-25; Jeremiah 21;
|Babylon||Nabonidus||551-539 BC||Daniel 5|
|Medo-Persian||Cyrus & Dairus||529-530 BC||Daniel 6; Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1; 2 Chronicles 36|
|Medo-Persian||Ahasuerus (Cambyses)||529-522 BC||Ezra 4:6|
|Medo-Persian||Artaxerxes (Ahasuerus)||423-405 BC||Esther|