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Timeline of the Babylonian Captivity
612 Babylonians and Medes conquer Assyria
605 Babylonians battle Egyptians at Carchemish
605 Nebuchadnezzar becomes king of Babylon
605 The Babylonians invade Judah
605 First wave of deportation of Jews to Babylon
605 Daniel is taken captive and begins to prophesy
601 Babylonians battle Egypt, both sides suffer losses
601 Judah decides to realign itself with Egypt, Jeremiah warns
597 Jehoachin becomes king of Judah
597 Babylonians capture Jerusalem
597 Second wave of deportation to Babylon from Judah.
597 Ezekiel is taken captive to Babylon
597 Zedekiah becomes king of Judah
593 Ezekiel begins to prophesy
586 The Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and the Temple (9th of Av)
586 Jerusalem’s walls and gates are burned with fire
586 Third wave of Jews deported to Babylon
586 Babylonian Exile (Galut Bavel) begins
586 End of Biblical (First Temple) Period
586 The end of the monarchy in Judah
539 The Fall of Babylon
539 Beginning of the Persian Period to 332
539 The Decree of Cyrus II allowing Jews to return
516 The Jews rebuild their Temple (70 years)
Map of the Deportation of Judah
2 Kings 24:20 "For because of the anger of the LORD this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, that He finally cast them out from His presence"
In the Book of II Kings we read of the deportation of the Jews from their land to the land of Babylon, and then the Book ends 37 years later with the account of Jehoiachin who was blinded and in captivity in Babylon. After 30 years of imprisonment, Evil-merodach ascended the throne of Babylon and at the beginning of his rule he chose to honor the Judean prisoner Jehoiachin. The Jewish king was given appropriate garments and an income and made a member of the court of Babylon, with other deposed kings. This was no doubt a comforting sign to the Jewish captives who were still in the "land of bondage."
In all actuality it was the Lord who had given favor to Jehoiachin, and it was the Lord that had allowed the promised Seed (Messiah) to pass through the loins of Jehoiachin as Matthew states:
11 Josiah begot Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.
12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel.
13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor.
14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud.
15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob.
16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
God was faithful to His promises that they would remain in the land of Babylon for seventy years, and the "Son of David" would still come to bring salvation to the world.
Even in bitter captivity there was hope for God’s people, the promises were being fulfilled and the Scriptures continued to be written:
1 By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion.
2 We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it.
3 For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"
4 How shall we sing the LORD's song In a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill!
6 If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth -- If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.