The Deportation of Judah

The Deportation of the Southern Kingdom of Judah

2 Kings 24:14-16 "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. All the valiant men, seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths, one thousand, all who were strong and fit for war, these the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon."

This was not the first time that the Jews in the Southern Kingdom of Judah were taken into captivity. Sennacherib, about 701 BC, is stated to have carried into Assyria 200,000 captives from the Jewish cities that he took (2 Kings 18:13).

The carrying away of the people of Judah to Babylon was not accomplished at one time. Three distinct deportations are mentioned in 2 Kings 24:14 (including 10,000 persons) and 2 Kings 25:11, one in 2 Chron 36:20, three in Jer 52:28-30 (including 4,600 persons), and one in Dan 1:3.

The two principal deportations were:

(1) when Jehoiachin with all his nobles, soldiers, and artificers were carried away; and

(2) that which followed the destruction of Jerusalem and the capture of Zedekiah, 586 B.C. The three mentioned by Jeremiah may have been contributions from the more distinguished portions of the captives, and the captivity of certain selected "children" (Dan 1:3), 607 BC, may have occurred when Nebuchadnezzar was a colleague of his father, Nabopolassar.