Seventy Years in Babylon

The 70 Years of Captivity in Babylon

It is from the three great prophets, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, that we learn most of the condition of the children of the captivity. The prophet Jeremiah prophesied that the captivity should last for seventy years:

Jer 29:10-14 "For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive."

Jer 25:12 "'Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,' says the LORD;'and I will make it a perpetual desolation."

The Babylonian Captivity lasted exactly 70 years as predicted, extending from the burning of the Temple to its reconstruction, 586 B.C. - 516 B.C.

The Babylonian captivity ended with the decree of Cyrus in 537 B.C.

Ezra 1:2-4 "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem."

A portion of the nation of Israel returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel in 535 B.C., and then with Ezra in 458 B.C., and Nehemiah in 444 B.C.

The number who returned upon the decree of 537 B.C. was 42,360, besides servants. Among them about 30,000 are specified (Ezra 2 and Neh 7) as belonging to the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi.