A term used, often synonymously with “captivity,” to refer to the period in the sixth century BCE when part of the Judean population was exiled to Babylonia. Deportation as a policy was practiced by various ancient powers: Assyria deported part of the population of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) in 722 BCE. 2Kgs 17:6 and 2Kgs 18:11 list places to which they were taken; their subsequent history is unknown. Sennacherib’s siege of Lachish (701 BCE) resulted in deportation of captives. Babylon deported Jehoiachin and other members of the royal family in 597 BCE, together with leading military men, military personnel, and craftsmen (2Kgs 24:15-16); a second deportation followed in 587 BCE consisting of survivors in Jerusalem and deserters (2Kgs 25:11). Jer 52:30 records a third deportation in 582 BCE. It was these Babylonian deportations that marked the period of Israelite history called the “exile.” “Exile” becomes a theological theme in later writings. The sins for which the exile is punishment are variously assessed and theologically justified, and various preconditions are given for the termination of the exile, like divine grace, human repentance, or a combination of the two (Jer 24; Jer 31; Ezek 18; Lam 5). Ps 137 offers an interpretation of the experience in terms of desolation and hope.

2Kgs 17:6

6In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria captured Samaria; he carried the Israelites away to Assyria. He placed them in Halah, on the Habor, the river o ... View more

2Kgs 18:11

11The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria, settled them in Halah, on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes,

2Kgs 24:15-16

15He carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon; the king's mother, the king's wives, his officials, and the elite of the land, he took into captivity from Jerusalem to ... View more

2Kgs 25:11

11Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had defected to the king of Bab ... View more

Jer 52:30

30in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadrezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took into exile of the Judeans seven hundred forty-five persons; all the pers ... View more

Jer 24

The Good and the Bad Figs
1The Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. This was after King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon had taken ... View more

Jer 31

The Joyful Return of the Exiles
1At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.2Thus says the Lord:
... View more

Ezek 18

Individual Retribution
1The word of the Lord came to me:2What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour ... View more

Lam 5

A Plea for Mercy
1Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us;
look, and see our disgrace!2Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
our homes to aliens.3We ... View more

Ps 137

Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem
1By the rivers of Babylon—
there we sat down and there we wept
when we remembered Zion.2On the willows there
we hung up ... View more

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