The presentation on the Exilic period will focus on the last days of the nation of Israel and Judah just before their fall, the background of their conquerors, and what happened to them after their capture.
Fall of Israel:
Assyria – The Assyrians had their capital at Ashur, which according to Gen 10:22 suggests that they were the descendents from the line of Shem. It lays in the upper Mesopotamia plain, bounded on the west by the Syrian Desert, on the south by Babylonia and on the north by the Persian. Its second city is Nineveh, which together with Ashur were prosperous as early as 2500 BC.
Assyria Rise – When David and Solomon sat on the throne from 1012 – 972 BC, Assyria was at its lowest point.
But when the united kingdom of Israel fell apart in 930 BC; Assyria had begun her rise to superiority. Her ascension eventually led to Israel becoming a vassal to the Assyrians and tributes were exacted from the reign of Menahem onwards.
Israel’s Last Days – When Hoshea, the last king of Israel, withheld payment of tribute from Assyria at the instigation of Egypt, Shalmaneser attacked and destroyed Samaria in 722 BC after a 3-year siege. Hoshea who had surrendered was imprisoned.
Sargon, Shalmaneser’s successor, in order to avoid future uprisings, began massive deportation of the inhabitants of Israel to distant lands of Mesopotamia, never to return again. In their stead, other peoples from Babylonia and Hammath were settled in Samaria. The new inhabitants brought with them foreign customs and gods, which were incorporated into the life of the local Israelites. They were the Samaritans of the New Testament.
All these took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God.
And Israel was never restored.
Fall of Judah:
Babylon – The Babylonians had their capital in Babylon and was often addressed as the land of the Chaldeans because the Chaldean rule over Babylonia in the 8th and 7th century BC.
Babylonian Rise – In 614 BC, Nabopolassar entered into an alliance with the Medes to drive the Assyrians out of Babylon and in 612 BC, he successfully destroyed the capital city of Nineveh, completing the destruction of the Assyrian empire and opened a new era of greatness for Babylonia.
Judah’s Last Days:
1st Campaign – 605 BC
With the fall of Assyria, King Jehoiakim, a vassal of Neco II of Egypt, submitted to Nebuchadnezzar when he later invaded the land of Judah. Articles from the temple and hostages, including Daniel, were carried off to Babylon.
In 598, Jehoiakim revolted, prompting Nebuchadnezzar to attack the city the 2nd time. He laid siege to the city of Judah and captured it in 597 BC.
Jehoiakim died during the siege and his 18 year old son, Jehoiachin, surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar. Jehoiachin was captured and deported along with Ezekiel and 10,000 people comprising officers, fighting men, craftsmen and artisans to Babylon. All treasures and gold articles from the temple and the royal palaces were also removed.
Nebuchadnezzar appointed Jehoiachin’s uncle Zedekiah as the new king.
In 589 BC, Zedekiah revolted resulting in the final invasion and total destruction of Judah in 586 BC. The temple was destroyed and everything in the city that was of value was burnt down. The remnant including king Zedekiah was carried off into exile to Babylon.
The exile lasted 70 years. Restoration to the land began when the victorious King Cyrus of the new Mede-Persian Empire and conqueror of Babylon, decreed that the Jews might return (2 Chron 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4).
– Summary in Points –
We will focus on :
– Last Days of Israel and Judah
– Background of Assyria and Babylon
– What happened to the captives?
Fall of Israel :
– Had capital at Ashur
– May be descendents of Shem (Gen 10:22)
– 2nd City: Nineveh
Assyria’s Rise to Power
– Weakest during David & Solomon’s reign
– Israel became a vassal from king Menahem onwards
Israel’s Last Days
– Hoshea withheld tribute at instigation of Egypt
– Shalmaneser attacked and destroyed Samaria
– Conquered Samaria after a 3-year siege
– Israel fell in 722 BC
– Sargon deported Israel to avoid future uprising
– Populated Israel with inhabitants from Babylonia and Hammath
– They were the Samaritans of the New Testament
Israel was never restored
Fall of Judah :
– Had capital at Babylon
– Also called Land of the Chaldeans
Babylonia’s Rise to Power
– Nabopolassar drove out the Assyrians in 614 BC
– Destroyed the Assyrians in 612 BC
Judah’s Last Days – 3 Campaigns :
1st Campaign – 605 BC
– King Jehoiakim surrendered
– Articles from the temples taken
– Hostages, including Daniel, taken to Babylon
2nd Campaign – 597 BC
– King Jehoiakim revolted in 598 BC
– Nebuchadnezzar attacked and captured city
– Jehoiachin, the new king, together with Ezekiel were deported
– All treasures and gold articles taken from Temple
– Zedekiah appointed King
3rd Campaign – 586 BC
– King Zedekiah revolted in 589 BC
– Nebuchadnezzar attacked and destroyed city
– Temple destroyed
– Remnant of Judah, including Zedekiah, deported
Exile lasted 70 years