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What is Babylonian Captivity in history?

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The Babylonian Captivity was an incident in which the Jews of the Kingdom of Southern Judah were taken captive and relocated to the Babylonian region by the Neo-Babylonian Empire king Nebuchadnezzar II.

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The Kingdom of Southern Judah? To be honest, I don't know much about the history of Israel...

If you are not familiar with the history of Israel, please refer to the following article which summarizes the history of ancient Israel up to the Babylonian Captivity.

What are the "Ten Lost Tribes"? Why we don't know their whereabouts?

This kind of forced migration was common in ancient Orient (today's Middle East and Egypt) society.

The Babylonian Captivity was not limited to Jews, but also to people from the following countries as well:

  • Persians
  • Egyptians
  • Greeks

So why was this policy of forced emigration implemented?

Synopsis of the Babylonian Captivity

The capital of the Kingdom of Southern Judah was Jerusalem.

Nebuchadnezzar II, the king of Neo-Babylonian Empire, conquered Jerusalem.

To learn more about the history of Nebuchadnezzar II from his capture of Jerusalem to the Babylonian Captivity,

Who is Nebuchadnezzar II? Anecdotes, including the Babylonian Captivity!

Please read this article.

He forced the survivors to move to Babylon and took them captive.

This Babylonian captivity took place not only once but three times.

The exiled Jews were later freed by Cyrus II, the first king of Achaemenid Persian.

By the way, Cyrus II was tolerant of religion,

Mesopotamian (Babylonian) king image

You can rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

Thus, he allowed the Jews to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

To learn more about Cyrus II, the benefactor of the Jews,

Who is "Cyrus II"? Achievements of the First King of Persia under the Achaemenids

Please read this article.

The Babylonian Captivity with Optimism

Most of those taken captive by the Jews were relocated to the area of Babylonia, once a fortress of the Assyrians.

The battle by the Neo-Babylonian Empire would have devastated the land and left little shadow of the people.

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Jews were relocated to the land to supplement the population.

It is believed so.

On the other hand, artisans were relocated to the city of Babylon.

The Jews were also sent to Babylon to work on the construction projects that Nebuchadnezzar II, the king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, was enthusiastic about.

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Well, the forced migration of Babylonia is temporary.

At first, the Jews seemed to think this way.

Because it was the time of kingdoms rising and falling.

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Neo-Babylonian Empire would soon be destroyed anyway.

Like this, they were optimistic that they could return to their homeland soon.

However, the Jewish prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel did not think so.

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The destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem is near!

They warned it repeatedly.

On the other hand, such warnings are in vain,

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It's going to be all right!

Other so called prophets of salvation spread optimism everywhere.

As a result, the Jewish people did not listen to the prophecies of destruction.

But then came the second Babylonian captivity.

The Temple of Jerusalem was indeed destroyed.

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What? It was really destroyed.... This is no time to be optimistic about the situation!

This was a wake-up call for the Jews in captivity.

Influenced by Babylonian culture

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We can go back to our homeland soon.

The dream of the Jews that they would soon be able to return to their homeland.

That dream was easily dashed.

The Jews who lived in Babylonia for a long period of time were influenced by the Babylonian culture.

The influence of Babylonian culture can be summarized as follows.

  • From the Jewish people emerged those with Babylonian-style names
  • Adoption of Babylonian month names from Jewish month names
  • Change from Hebrew to Aramaic script
  • Babylonian literary influence on literature

Finally "Judaism" is born

For the Jews, Babylonian society and religion were overwhelming.

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What should we as Jews be as a people?

That's where it got them thinking.

They must have struggled with many thoughts and feelings.

Such anxieties strengthened their religious ties.

The evidence was that the temple in Jerusalem was a big presence for the Jews.

After the loss of the Temple, they began to base their hearts on the "Torah".

From this time on, "Judaism" as a religion that emphasized not only the Temple but also the Law was born.

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What is Yahweh (God)?

It was also during this period that they began to rethink God.

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The God of the Jewish people.

They thought of Yahweh as the God of the Jewish people.

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Yahweh is the only God who created this world!

From that time on, they came to understand it.

To learn more about Yahweh,

Please read this article.

It seems that the Jews had quite a sense of rivalry against Babylonia.

Is it because of the Babylonian mythological worldview?

By the way, if you want to know more about "Mesopotamian Mythology" including Babylonian mythology that was believed in Babylonia,

I've given you a brief overview and history of "Mesopotamian Mythology!"

Please read this article.

This Jewish religious consciousness remained even after the Roman Empire.

In other words, the identity of the Israelites was established after the Babylonian Captivity and was not lost thereafter.

The Babylonian Captivity is an important event that affected both the history of Mesopotamian civilization and that of the Kingdom of Israel.

To learn more about the history of Mesopotamian civilization,

What is the Mesopotamian civilization? I explain in detail what kind of civilization it is!

Please read this article.

Also, if you want to know more about the history of the Kingdom of Israel,

What is the "Kingdom of Israel"? The history of the Kingdom of Israel from its establishment to its heyday!

Please read this article.