The fallThe fall refers specifically to the disobedience of Adam and Eve when they listened to Satan rather than adhering to God's command not to eat the fruit from the tree. When people act contrary to God's will, they are said to fall from from grace... More of Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, in 612 B.C.E. and Nebuchadnezzar’s victory over the Egyptian Pharaoh Neco at Carchemish in 605 B.C.E. established the Neo-Babylonian Empire that would hold sway over the ancient Near East until CyrusPersian leader who allowed Jewish exiles to return home. More and the Persians came to power in 539 B.C.E. When JudahJudah was the name of Jacob's fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More revolted in 597 B.C.E., NebuchadnezzarBabylonian king who conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and exiled the people More sacked Jerusalem and deported the leading citizens to Babylon, including the priestly prophet EzekielA prophet during the Babylonian exile who saw visions of God's throne-chariot, new life to dry bones, and a new Temple. More, who ministered to the exiles. The prophet JeremiahProphet who condemned Judah's infidelity to God, warned of Babylonian conquest, and promised a new covenant More had urged Zedekiah, the last Davidic king to rule in Judah, to surrender to Babylon since Babylon was merely the rod of Yahweh’s judgment against Israel (Jeremiah 25:1-14). Zedekiah refused and revolted in 587 B.C.E., hoping for aid from Egypt that never materialized. The king was blinded immediately following the execution of his sons, and led off to Babylon in chains as Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and burned the templeThe Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More.
The history of Israel revolves around the double foci of exodus and exile. At the exodus, Israel began the process toward becoming a nation. The exile, however, signaled the loss of Israel’s status as an independent nation, and even after the exile Israel was merely a political backwater in the Persian province of Yehud. One would expect this to be a bleak period in the life of God’s people: Jerusalem destroyed, the temple burned, the end of the Davidic dynasty, and the fruit and flower of the population deported. Yet, this was the most productive period of Israel’s history; it fostered the birth of Judaism. The people came to recognize that God had not been defeated; indeed, God was the author of these events and could be worshiped apart from native land, temple, priestA priest is a person who has the authority to perform religious rites. In New Testament times priests were responsible for daily offerings and sacrifices in the temple. More, or monarch. This was a crucial insight for DiasporaDiaspora is separation or dispersion of people from their homeland. Historically, the Jews who have been scattered from their native Palestine are said to be in Dispersion or Diaspora. More Judaism, those living in Babylon, Egypt, or elsewhere, deprived of their former institutions. Without a king, Israel remembered that Yahweh had always been their true king. A burned temple hundreds of miles away meant there were no sacrifices, but the SabbathSabbath is a weekly day of rest, the seventh day, observed on Saturday in Judaism and on Sunday in Christianity. In the book of Genesis, God rested on the seventh day; in the Gospel accounts Jesus and his disciples are criticized by some for not... More could become a time to worship and contemplate God’s word in the synagogueA synagogue is a Jewish house of worship. Jesus often taught in synagogues where he sometimes ran afoul of Jewish leaders. In the book of Acts, Paul and others attend synagogues and teach in them. More. In fact, most of the Old Testament was written, compiled, or edited during the exile. Furthermore, circumcisionCircumcision is an act of cutting off part of a male (or female) sex organ for religious or health reasons. In the Bible circumcision was performed on males to indicate inclusion into the Jewish religious community. Some church calendars commemorate January 1 as the Circumcision... More came to be seen as a way to identify a people as easily as national boundaries.
The situation in Babylon is not well documented. Since most of the deportees refused to return to Jerusalem in 538 B.C.E., it seems safe to assume they enjoyed a measure of autonomy.