Exile, the


Exile, the
The captivity of the king and people of Judah in Babylonia (597–539 BCE). War [[➝ war]] between Egypt and Babylonia was disastrous for little Judah, lying between them. After the Babylonian victory at Carchemish in 605 BCE and the resumption of hostilities in 604, King Jehoiakim switched his allegiance from Egypt to Babylonia. But he continued to have half a hope in Egypt and rebelled against Babylonia (2 Kgs. 24:1). It was a foolish decision and made against the advice of Jeremiah. The Babylonians marched; Jerusalem surrendered (2 Kgs. 24:10–17), and the leading citizens were deported to Babylon (597 BCE), which represents the beginning of the Exile, or Captivity, of the Jews. About 10,000 people were deported (though a smaller figure is given by Jer. 52:28), but many still remained in Palestine and a weak puppet king (Zedekiah) was installed. He too rebelled in 588 and two years later the capital fell to the Babylonians, and there was massive destruction. Many of the inhabitants were taken to Babylonia, though some managed to flee to Egypt.
In 539 BCE Cyrus, king of Persia, captured Babylon and in accordance with his policy towards subject peoples he permitted Jews to return to Palestine, although many preferred to stay put in Babylon where they had become moderately comfortable. The Exile had ended; there was little change in material conditions, but the Dispersion [[➝ dispersion]] (diaspora) had begun, and with it an era of theological creativity which was to reshape the great bulk of the OT which is pre-exilic material. OT studies therefore give far more attention to the post-exilic period than does the OT itself. This was the era when the editorial work on the Pentateuch was finalized.
In Babylon the exiles enjoyed a degree of freedom and were able to maintain communication with relatives still surviving in an impoverished Palestine. In exile new importance was attached to Sabbath observance and circumcision, and synagogues, which constituted a revaluation in Jewish worship, may possibly have been established in this period. All this was part of the response to the challenge to faith in Yahweh by the fate of the Jerusalem Temple: it was the footstool of God (Lam. 2:1), his dwelling place (Ezek. 43:7), and a visible symbol of the nation's self-consciousness as a chosen race. Now it was a heap of rubble. Moreover, the dynasty of David, to which so much had been promised, had come to an end which became in fact a new beginning.
Not all the responses to the challenge of exile were equally positive. Some people were deeply nostalgic and tearful (Ps. 137:5–6) and uttered a savage curse upon their enemies (Ps. 137:9). Some turned to other gods (Ezek. 20:32), and some in self-pity blamed calamity on the previous generation (Jer. 31:29). More optimistically, some expected a new intervention from above (Deutero-Isaiah). Generally, the exiles emphasized, one way or another, their national identity as Jews among foreigners.

Dictionary of the Bible.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Exile (disambiguation) — Exile is to be away from one s home while being explicitly refused permission to return. Exile, exiled, or exiles may also refer to: Contents 1 Fiction 2 Film 3 …   Wikipedia

  • The Return to Zion — ( he. שיבת ציון, Shivat Tzion , or שבי ציון, Shavei Tzion , lit. Zion Returnees ) is a term that refers to the event in which the Jews returned to the Land of Israel from the Babylonian exile following the decree by the Persian King Cyrus, the… …   Wikipedia

  • The Smiling, Proud Wanderer — (zh tsp|t=笑傲江湖|s=笑傲江湖|p=xiào ào jiāng hú) is a 1967 Chinese language wuxia novel written by Louis Cha, who was better known as Jinyong.The term Xiao Ao Jiang Hu (笑傲江湖) means to live a carefree life in a mundane world of strife. An alternative… …   Wikipedia

  • The Wife's Lament — is a short Old English poem of 53 lines found in the Exeter Book and generally treated as an elegy in the manner of the Old English frauenlied , or woman s song. The poem has been relatively well preserved and requires few if any emendations in… …   Wikipedia

  • The Matrimonial Bed — (1930) Poster showing Florence Eldridge and Lilyan Tashman. Directed by Michael Curtiz …   Wikipedia

  • The Mansion — is a mansion owned by famed music producer Rick Rubin in Los Angeles, built in 1918. After recording the Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik with considerable ease and comfortablility, Rubin decided to record many of the albums he has… …   Wikipedia

  • The Lady with the Black Gloves — Directed by Michael Curtiz Starring Lucy Doraine Release date(s) November 21, 1919 (1919 11 21 …   Wikipedia

  • The Star of Damascus — Directed by Michael Curtiz Starring Lucy Doraine Iván Petrovich Cinematography Gustav Ucicky …   Wikipedia

  • The Scourge of God (film) — The Scourge of God Directed by Michael Curtiz Starring Lucy Doraine Cinematography Gustav Ucicky Release …   Wikipedia

  • The Fionavar Tapestry — is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Guy Gavriel Kay, set partly in our own contemporary world, but mostly in the fictional world of Fionavar. It is the story of five University of Toronto students, who are drawn into the first world of the Tapestry …   Wikipedia

  • The Hasheesh Eater — is an autobiographical book by Fitz Hugh Ludlow describing the author s altered states of consciousness and philosophical flights of fancy while he was using a cannabis extract. First published in 1857, The Hasheesh Eater went through four… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.