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  #1  
Old 01-18-2009, 10:56 AM
pancakes3 pancakes3 is offline
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Why were Jews forced into babylonian exile?

Why did the babylonians force the jews to move? Did anyone supplant the hebrew people? How many "high profile" jews were forced to move? Was it a significant portion of the population, or just a few select priests as a token of submission? Why was this exile so significant?
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2009, 11:22 AM
Odesio Odesio is offline
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The idea was that if you removed them from their home then they would abandon their religion and become integrated into the Babylonian Empire. This wasn't something the Babylonians did to Jews alone. When the Persians came along they took the opposite tact. They didn't care if the Jews or anyone else kept their religion so long as they were loyal members of the empire. Cyrus the Great holds an honored position in Jewish history for returning them to their homes.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2009, 11:27 AM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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Empires throughout history have done this sort of thing - think Stalin moving various ethnic peoples around the Soviet Union.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:28 AM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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Occupational hazard of losing wars in that day and age. Happened to many other through out history, we know about the Jewish experience, because i) Jews survived and ii) A thousand years later most of the world would follow religions emnating from Jewish beliefs.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2009, 11:31 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Biblical history makes Israel/Judah out to be some sort of major power in the region, so when things like the destruction of Israel and the dispersal of the 10 tribes and the Exile come up, they look like extraordinary events. It's not true, however.

Judah was a client state of Babylonia for decades, if not centuries. They were paying tribute to the kings of Babylon for a long time. It was only when the king of Judah decided he'd have a better outlook joining with Egypt that Babylon moved to destroy the temple and depopulate Judah.

Israel/Judah were a couple of small-potatoes powers who are really only known today because of the happy accident of the founder of Christianity being born Jewish.
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2009, 11:33 AM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is online now
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Memo to the Ancient Babylonians: It's more effective if you disperse them when you move them; relocating an entire ethnic group en masse just tends to make them cling to their traditions all the stronger.

Seriously, ancient people weren't stupid. Why would they have thought this would work? The only thing I can think of is if the Hebrew religion was particularly localized (not just any temple but THAT temple on THAT spot). Obviously that doesn't work so well if (a) they have an omnipresent God and (b) the land remains for eventual, if problematic, reclamation.
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2009, 11:35 AM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
Biblical history makes Israel/Judah out to be some sort of major power in the region, so when things like the destruction of Israel and the dispersal of the 10 tribes and the Exile come up, they look like extraordinary events. It's not true, however.

Judah was a client state of Babylonia for decades, if not centuries. They were paying tribute to the kings of Babylon for a long time. It was only when the king of Judah decided he'd have a better outlook joining with Egypt that Babylon moved to destroy the temple and depopulate Judah.

Israel/Judah were a couple of small-potatoes powers who are really only known today because of the happy accident of the founder of Christianity being born Jewish.
I agree that Israel/Judah was a bit player in its day, but you are seriously underrating the fact that there are plenty of Jews still around.

I'd say that the reason the ancient history of Judah/Israel is still known is that Jews have a remarkable dedication to preserving the semi-historical legends of their ancestors. The spread of Christianity of course made this history even more prominent, but it would not have been unknown even if Christianity never existed, I think.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:46 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Originally Posted by Malthus View Post
I agree that Israel/Judah was a bit player in its day, but you are seriously underrating the fact that there are plenty of Jews still around.

I'd say that the reason the ancient history of Judah/Israel is still known is that Jews have a remarkable dedication to preserving the semi-historical legends of their ancestors. The spread of Christianity of course made this history even more prominent, but it would not have been unknown even if Christianity never existed, I think.
You have a point. Replace "known" in my last reply with "well-known". I seriously think that Jewish history would be a specialist subject (like the history of the Hmong) rather than the almost universally (if shallowly) known subject it is now (at least among Christians and in western countries with a Christian majority).

Last edited by jayjay; 01-18-2009 at 11:46 AM..
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2009, 11:46 AM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is online now
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Memories from my high school classes (which were a lot closer to the time of the Babylonian Exile) lead me to believe that the Samaritans were descended from the Jews who weren't brought to Babylon. They stayed where they always were, and didn't take too kindly to the Babylonian-ized folks coming back, with their fancy new writings and big-city habits, moving in like they had a right to the land.

Last edited by DrFidelius; 01-18-2009 at 11:47 AM..
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2009, 11:50 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Originally Posted by DrFidelius View Post
Memories from my high school classes (which were a lot closer to the time of the Babylonian Exile) lead me to believe that the Samaritans were descended from the Jews who weren't brought to Babylon. They stayed where they always were, and didn't take too kindly to the Babylonian-ized folks coming back, with their fancy new writings and big-city habits, moving in like they had a right to the land.
I was taught that the Samaritans were remnants of the population of Israel (the northern kingdom) who had shifted their religious beliefs in the days of Ahab and other northern kingdom kings. For instance, their sacred place was a mountain in the former boundaries of Israel instead of the Temple Mount, which was a change instituted (according to the Bible) by King Ahab (he of the marriage to the original Jezebel).
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:10 PM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
You have a point. Replace "known" in my last reply with "well-known". I seriously think that Jewish history would be a specialist subject (like the history of the Hmong) rather than the almost universally (if shallowly) known subject it is now (at least among Christians and in western countries with a Christian majority).
Pretty universally known amongst muslim countries as well.
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  #12  
Old 01-18-2009, 12:18 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFidelius View Post
Memories from my high school classes (which were a lot closer to the time of the Babylonian Exile) lead me to believe that the Samaritans were descended from the Jews who weren't brought to Babylon. They stayed where they always were, and didn't take too kindly to the Babylonian-ized folks coming back, with their fancy new writings and big-city habits, moving in like they had a right to the land.
The Samaritans are more corrected defined as the remnants of the Jews of the northern Kingdom of Israel, who were mostly exiled by the Assyrians about a century and a half before the Babylonian Exile of the Kingdom of Judah.
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2009, 12:24 PM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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The way I learned it, the Samaritans were descended from people the Babylonians exiled to northern Israel, who intermingled with the remnants of the Israelites and picked up some of their customs.
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  #14  
Old 01-18-2009, 01:04 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
Biblical history makes Israel/Judah out to be some sort of major power in the region, so when things like the destruction of Israel and the dispersal of the 10 tribes and the Exile come up, they look like extraordinary events. It's not true, however.
Actually, Israel under David and Solomon was a major power, and the biblical account does suggest a significant decline beginning with the divided kingdoms.
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Judah was a client state of Babylonia for decades, if not centuries. They were paying tribute to the kings of Babylon for a long time.
You mean the Assyrians, not Babylonia.
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  #15  
Old 01-18-2009, 01:28 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman View Post
Actually, Israel under David and Solomon was a major power, and the biblical account does suggest a significant decline beginning with the divided kingdoms.
It's a bit dicey to make such an unqualified statement. The historicity of a united kingdom of Israel & Judah based on biblical accounts has been called into question.

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You mean the Assyrians, not Babylonia.
Actually Assyrians, Egyptians or Babylonians at various times. It was the switcing of sides and payment of tribute from Babylon to Egypt that precipitated the Babylonian Captivity.
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  #16  
Old 01-18-2009, 01:55 PM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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Israel/Judea existed as buffer states between Mesopotamia and Egypt. Both empires needed them as a buffer. After the babylonian victory at Carchemish, Egypt ceased to be a power in the Near East for oh about 1800 years, and Judea/Israel had outlived their uselfulness.

Last edited by AK84; 01-18-2009 at 01:56 PM..
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  #17  
Old 01-18-2009, 03:04 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
It's a bit dicey to make such an unqualified statement. The historicity of a united kingdom of Israel & Judah based on biblical accounts has been called into question.
I was responding to a generalized unqualified statement. Certainly historians have challenged the biblical account with regard to David, given the propensity of spin and propaganda in historical naratives, but archaelogy though scant in support for David has recently recovered the Tel Dan Stele at the north of Israel, dated to the 9th century BCE alluding to a victory over the dynasty of the "House of David".


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Actually Assyrians, Egyptians or Babylonians at various times. It was the switcing of sides and payment of tribute from Babylon to Egypt that precipitated the Babylonian Captivity.
Mostly Assyria. The tribute to Babylon only lasted three years, and the tribute to Egypt before that only lasted 4 years. Though Jehoiakim switched sides back to Egypt, its not certain that he resumed paying tribute to Egypt as he got no help at all from them against Nebuchadrezzar II .
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  #18  
Old 01-18-2009, 04:36 PM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
The way I learned it, the Samaritans were descended from people the Babylonians exiled to northern Israel, who intermingled with the remnants of the Israelites and picked up some of their customs.
The Samaritans are still around, although their numbers have dwindled over the centuries.

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As of November 1, 2007, there were 712 Samaritans half of whom reside in their modern homes at Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim, which is sacred to them, and the rest in the city of Holon, just outside Tel Aviv. There are also four Samaritan families residing in Binyamina, Giv'at Ada, Matan and Ashdod.

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