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Captivity



Captivity This principally refers in the O.T. to the 'Carrying away' of Israel and Judah. The order in which Israel was carried into captivity is not very clear. It appears however that the events recorded in 1 Chr. 5: 26 occurred first, because of Pul king of Assyria being mentioned, for he reigned before Tiglath-pileser: here the latter is named as Carrying away the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh: showing that the Israelites who stopped short of their privileges, and did not cross the Jordan, were the first to be carried into captivity. There is nothing in the Passage to fix the date, but in 2 Kings 15: 29 is another reference to Israel when Tiglath-pileser took Ijon, Abelbeth-maachah, Janoah, Kedesh, and Hazor, which are all in the north on the west of the Jordan; but then is added Gilead, which is on the east, and this may be intended to embrace the two and a half Tribes; then Galilee with all the land of Naphtali is added, which is again in the north on the west. So that this may be a summary of all that this king carried away captive to Assyria. It was 'in the days of Pekah,' and Pekah reigned 20 years: the date is generally reckoned as B.C. 740 for the captivity of the two and a half Tribes. A more definite date is given for the captivity of the remaining portion of Israel in 2 Kings 18: 10, 11. It was in the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel and the sixth of Hezekiah that Samaria was taken by the Assyrians after a three years' siege: this would be B.C. 722. The captives were carried to Halah and Habor by the river of Gozan (these same names being mentioned in 1 Chr. 5: 26, with Hara added there). These places are supposed to be in the north of Assyria; but in the above Passage in Kings the words are added "and in the Cities of the Medes." This is a region much farther east, where they would be far removed from their Brethren in Assyria and from Judah, who were afterwards carried to Babylon. The captivity of Judah followed in four detachments. Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 606, carried away the sacred vessels and captives, among whom were Daniel and his companions. This formed the commencement of the 'times of the Gentiles.' 2 Chr. 36: 6, 7. The second captivity was in B.C. 599, when Jehoiachin had reigned three Months. It is called the great captivity. Zedekiah was left as a vassal of Babylon. 2 Kings 24: 14; 2 Chr. 36: 10. The third captivity was in B.C. 588. 2 Chr. 36: 20. The fourth was in B.C. 584 under Nebuzar-adan. Jer. 52: 12, 30. The 70 years of captivity foretold by Jeremiah (Jer. 25: 11, 12) commenced B.C. 606 and expired B.C. 536 when the Jews returned to Judaea by the proclamation of Cyrus king of Persia. Jer. 29: 10; Ezra 1. The captivity is referred to in Matt. 1: 11, 17 as 'the Carrying away.' The places to which Israel and Judah were carried are considered under their respective names. Those who returned from exile were the two Tribes, Judah and Benjamin (unless any few of the ten Tribes may have accompanied them; cf. Luke 2: 36). They retained possession of the land, under many changes and vicissitudes, until their Messiah appeared. His rejection and Crucifixion resulted in the Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans A.D. 70, and the scattering of the Jews to all parts of the world.

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