How Bad Was the Babylonian Exile?


Were the Judahites really weeping by the rivers of Babylon?

Biblical Archaeology Society Staff


Link to Full Article Here https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/how-bad-was-the-babylonian-exile/

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, sat and wept, as we thought of Zion.” Psalm 137:1 [JPS]

The Babylonian Exile that resulted from King Nebuchadnezzar’s sixth-century B.C.E. capture of Jerusalem has traditionally been portrayed with the Judahites lamenting their circumstances. But the textual remains left by the Babylonians and even some Judahites may reveal an entirely different story.

The Babylonian Exile began in 597 B.C.E. with the deportation of Judahite king Jehoiachin, his family, skilled craftsmen, warriors and 10,000 additional captives (2 Kings 24:12–16). Two more deportations took place: one in 586 B.C.E., when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, and another in 582 B.C.E. Jeremiah 52:28–30 claims that a total of 4,600 Judahites were displaced in the Babylonian Exile. Psalm 137:1–2 poetically recounts the feelings of the deported Judahites: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, sat and wept, as we thought of Zion. There on the poplars we hung up our lyres.”


A Related Article here on the Judeans and Babylonian Exile Here https://www.asor.org/anetoday/2015/05/new-sources-and-insights-on-judeans-in-the-babylonian-exile/


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