The Captives Of Babylon The Condition Of The Hebrews Held Captive In Babylon During The Reign Of Nebuchadnezzer

1365 words - 5 pages

The Captives of BabylonThe nation of Israel was once a great and united kingdom under King David and Solomon. Internal pressures caused the kingdom to split, with the 10 northern tribes calling themselves Israel and the 2 southern tribes going by Judah. Israel revolted against Assyrian rule, and was conquered in 722 B.C.E., when it is said that the tribes of Israel were so scattered and their numbers so diminished that they vanished from the face of the earth and became known as the Ten Lost Tribes. Judah, however, did not revolt, so they existed as a territory of Assyria until Assyria was overthrown by Babylon around 600 B.C.E.The First RebellionUnfortunately, Judah did not learn a lesson from Israel's destruction and revolted against Babylonian rule, a rebellion which was put down in 597B.C.E.. A large number of people were deported - close to 7,000 soldiers and 1,000 craftsmen - and the king was taken captive. In addition, the Babylonians carried off the gold of the Temple and some sacred artifacts and texts."And he (Nebuchadnezzar) carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said. Also he carried into captivity all Jerusalem: all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land. And he carried Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. The king's mother, the king's wives, his officers, and the mighty of the land he carried into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon ."The Second RevolutionZedekiah was placed as head of Judah in Jehoiachin's stead. Still, the people of Judah did not learn. They revolted a second time and this time the Babylonian response was swift and brutal ."He burned the house of the Lord and the king's house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great, he burned with fire. And all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls of Jerusalem all around. Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive the rest of the people who remained and the defectors who had deserted to the king of Babylon, with the rest of the multitude ."With only the poor left in Judah , the center of Jewish culture shifted to Babylon.Living ConditionsWhen most people hear the word "captivity", they think of imprisonment, harsh treatment, and strict rules. The Hebrew people were not strangers to captivity, servitude, or even slavery, as evidenced in the way they were treated by the Pharaohs of Egypt. Their stay in Babylon, however, was so vastly different that even after they were allowed to leave, many chose to stay. There is some disagreement on what living conditions were like, but all agree that Jews were free to work and earn a living. Some scholars believe that Jewish living quarters were...

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