Babylonian captivity

The Babylonian captivity or Babylonian exile is the period in Jewish history during which a number of people from the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylonia. After the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged Jerusalem, resulting in tribute being paid by King Jehoiakim.[1] Jehoiakim refused to pay tribute in Nebuchadnezzar's fourth year, which led to another siege in Nebuchadnezzar's seventh year, culminating with the death of Jehoiakim and the exile of King Jeconiah, his court and many others; Jeconiah's successor Zedekiah and others were exiled in Nebuchadnezzar's eighteenth year; a later deportation occurred in Nebuchadnezzar's twenty-third year. The dates, numbers of deportations, and numbers of deportees given in the biblical accounts vary.[2] These deportations are dated to 597 BCE for the first, with others dated at 587/586 BCE, and 582/581 BCE respectively.[3]

After the fall of Babylon to the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE, exiled Judeans were permitted to return to Judah.[4][5] According to the biblical book of Ezra, construction of the second temple in Jerusalem began around 537 BCE. All these events are considered significant in Jewish history and culture, and had a far-reaching impact on the development of Judaism.

Archaeological studies have revealed that not all of the population of Judah was deported, and that, although Jerusalem was utterly destroyed, other parts of Judah continued to be inhabited during the period of the exile.[6] The return of the exiles was a gradual process rather than a single event, and many of the deportees or their descendants did not return, becoming the ancestors of the Iraqi Jews.

Biblical accounts of the exile

In the late 7th century BCE, the Kingdom of Judah was a client state of the Assyrian empire. In the last decades of the century, Assyria was overthrown by Babylon, an Assyrian province. Egypt, fearing the sudden rise of the Neo-Babylonian empire, seized control of Assyrian territory up to the Euphrates river in Syria, but Babylon counter-attacked. In the process Josiah, the king of Judah, was killed in a battle with the Egyptians at the Battle of Megiddo (609 BCE).

After the defeat of Pharaoh Necho's army by the Babylonians at Carchemish in 605 BCE, Jehoiakim began paying tribute to Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. Some of the young nobility of Judah were taken to Babylon.

In the following years, the court of Jerusalem was divided into two parties, in support of Egypt and Babylon. After Nebuchadnezzar was defeated in battle in 601 BCE by Egypt, Judah revolted against Babylon, culminating in a three-month siege of Jerusalem beginning in late 598 BCE.[7] Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, died during the siege[8] and was succeeded by his son Jehoiachin (also called Jeconiah) at the age of eighteen.[9] The city fell on 2 Adar (March 16) 597 BCE,[10] and Nebuchadnezzar pillaged Jerusalem and its Temple and took Jeconiah, his court and other prominent citizens (including the prophet Ezekiel) back to Babylon.[11] Jehoiakim's uncle Zedekiah was appointed king in his place, but the exiles in Babylon continued to consider Jeconiah as their Exilarch, or rightful ruler.

Despite warnings by Jeremiah and others of the pro-Babylonian party, Zedekiah revolted against Babylon and entered into an alliance with Pharaoh Hophra. Nebuchadnezzar returned, defeated the Egyptians, and again besieged Jerusalem, resulting in the city's destruction in 587 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city wall and the Temple, together with the houses of the most important citizens. Zedekiah and his sons were captured, the sons were executed in front of Zedekiah, who was then blinded and taken to Babylon with many others (Jer 52:10–11). Judah became a Babylonian province, called Yehud, putting an end to the independent Kingdom of Judah. (Because of the missing years in the Jewish calendar, rabbinic sources place the date of the destruction of the First Temple at 3338 HC (423 BCE)[12] or 3358 HC (403 BCE)).[13]

Nuremberg chronicles f 63v 1
Illustration from the Nuremberg Chronicle of the destruction of Jerusalem under the Babylonian rule

The first governor appointed by Babylon was Gedaliah, a native Judahite; he encouraged the many Jews who had fled to surrounding countries such as Moab, Ammon and Edom to return, and he took steps to return the country to prosperity. Some time later, a surviving member of the royal family assassinated Gedaliah and his Babylonian advisors, prompting many refugees to seek safety in Egypt. By the end of the second decade of the 6th century, in addition to those who remained in Judah, there were significant Jewish communities in Babylon and in Egypt; this was the beginning of the later numerous Jewish communities living permanently outside Judah in the Jewish Diaspora.

According to the book of Ezra, the Persian Cyrus the Great ended the exile in 538 BCE,[14] the year after he captured Babylon.[15] The exile ended with the return under Zerubbabel the Prince (so-called because he was a descendant of the royal line of David) and Joshua the Priest (a descendant of the line of the former High Priests of the Temple) and their construction of the Second Temple in the period 521–516 BCE.[14]

Archaeological and other non-Biblical evidence

Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem, his capture of King Jeconiah, his appointment of Zedekiah in his place, and the plundering of the city in 597 BCE are corroborated by a passage in the Babylonian Chronicles:[16]:293

In the seventh year, in the month of Kislev, the king of Akkad mustered his troops, marched to the Hatti-land, and encamped against the City of Judah and on the ninth day of the month of Adar he seized the city and captured the king. He appointed there a king of his own choice and taking heavy tribute brought it back to Babylon.

Jehoiachin's Rations Tablets, describing ration orders for a captive King of Judah, identified with King Jeconiah, have been discovered during excavations in Babylon, in the royal archives of Nebuchadnezzar.[17][18] One of the tablets refers to food rations for "Ya’u-kīnu, king of the land of Yahudu" and five royal princes, his sons.[19]

Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian forces returned in 588/586 BCE and rampaged through Judah, leaving clear archaeological evidence of destruction in many towns and settlements there.[16]:294 Clay ostraca from this period, referred to as the Lachish letters, were discovered during excavations; one, which was probably written to the commander at Lachish from an outlying base, describes how the signal fires from nearby towns were disappearing: "And may (my lord) be apprised that we are watching for the fire signals of Lachish according to all the signs which my lord has given, because we cannot see Azeqah."[20] Archaeological finds from Jerusalem testify that virtually the whole city within the walls was burnt to rubble in 587 BCE and utterly destroyed.[16]:295

Archaeological excavations and surveys have enabled the population of Judah before the Babylonian destruction to be calculated with a high degree of confidence to have been approximately 75,000. Taking the different biblical numbers of exiles at their highest, 20,000, this would mean that at most 25% of the population had been deported to Babylon, with the remaining 75% staying in Judah.[16]:306 Although Jerusalem was destroyed and depopulated, with large parts of the city remaining in ruins for 150 years, numerous other settlements in Judah continued to be inhabited, with no signs of disruption visible in archaeological studies.[16]:307

The Cyrus Cylinder, an ancient tablet on which is written a declaration in the name of Cyrus referring to restoration of temples and repatriation of exiled peoples, has often been taken as corroboration of the authenticity of the biblical decrees attributed to Cyrus,[21] but other scholars point out that the cylinder's text is specific to Babylon and Mesopotamia and makes no mention of Judah or Jerusalem.[21] Professor Lester L. Grabbe asserted that the "alleged decree of Cyrus" regarding Judah, "cannot be considered authentic", but that there was a "general policy of allowing deportees to return and to re-establish cult sites". He also stated that archaeology suggests that the return was a "trickle" taking place over decades, rather than a single event.[22]

As part of the Persian Empire, the former Kingdom of Judah became the province of Judah (Yehud Medinata[23]) with different borders, covering a smaller territory.[22] The population of the province was greatly reduced from that of the kingdom, archaeological surveys showing a population of around 30,000 people in the 5th to 4th centuries BCE.[16]:308

An exhibition in Jerusalem has on display over 100 cuneiform tablets that detail trade in fruits and other commodities, taxes, debts, and credits accumulated between Jews driven from, or convinced to move from Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar around 600 BCE. They include details on one exiled Judean family over four generations, all with Hebrew names.[24][25]

Exilic literature

The exilic period was a rich one for Hebrew literature. Biblical depictions of the exile include Book of Jeremiah 39–43 (which saw the exile as a lost opportunity); the final section of 2 Kings (which portrays it as the temporary end of history); 2 Chronicles (in which the exile is the "Sabbath of the land"); and the opening chapters of Ezra, which records its end. Other works from or about the exile include the stories in Daniel 1–6, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, the "Story of the Three Youths" (1 Esdras 3:1–5:6), and the books of Tobit and Book of Judith.[26] The Book of Lamentations arises from the Babylonian captivity.

The Priestly source, one of the four main sources of the Torah/Pentateuch in the Bible, is primarily a product of the post-exilic period when the former Kingdom of Judah had become the Persian province of Yehud.[27] Also during this Persian period, the final redaction of the Pentateuch purportedly took place.[16]:310

Significance in Jewish history

Tissot The Flight of the Prisoners
James Tissot, The Flight of the Prisoners.

In the Hebrew Bible, the captivity in Babylon is presented as a punishment for idolatry and disobedience to Yahweh in a similar way to the presentation of Israelite slavery in Egypt followed by deliverance. The Babylonian Captivity had a number of serious effects on Judaism and Jewish culture. For example, the current Hebrew alphabet was adopted during this period, replacing the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet.

This period saw the last high-point of biblical prophecy in the person of Ezekiel, followed by the emergence of the central role of the Torah in Jewish life. According to many historical-critical scholars, the Torah was redacted during this time, and began to be regarded as the authoritative text for Jews. This period saw their transformation into an ethno-religious group who could survive without a central Temple.[28]

This process coincided with the emergence of scribes and sages as Jewish leaders (see Ezra). Prior to exile, the people of Israel had been organized according to tribe. Afterwards, they were organized by smaller family groups. Only the tribe of Levi continued in its temple role after the return. After this time, there were always sizable numbers of Jews living outside Eretz Israel; thus, it also marks the beginning of the "Jewish diaspora", unless this is considered to have begun with the Assyrian captivity of Israel.

In Rabbinic literature, Babylon was one of a number of metaphors for the Jewish diaspora. Most frequently the term "Babylon" meant the diaspora prior to the destruction of the Second Temple. The post-destruction term for the Jewish Diaspora was "Rome", or "Edom".


The following table is based on Rainer Albertz's work on Israel in exile.[29] (Alternative dates are possible.)

Year Event
609 BCE Death of Josiah
609–598 BCE Reign of Jehoiakim (succeeded Jehoahaz, who replaced Josiah but reigned only 3 months) Began giving tribute to Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BCE. First deportation, purportedly including Daniel.
598/7 BCE Reign of Jehoiachin (reigned 3 months). Siege and fall of Jerusalem.
Second deportation, 16 March 597
597 BCE Zedekiah made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon
594 BCE Anti-Babylonian conspiracy
588 BCE Siege and fall of Jerusalem. Solomon's Temple destroyed.
Third deportation July/August 587
583 BCE Gedaliah the Babylonian-appointed governor of Yehud Province assassinated.
Many Jews flee to Egypt and a possible fourth deportation to Babylon
562 BCE Release of Jehoiachin after 37 years in a Babylonian prison.[30] He remains in Babylon
539 BCE Persians conquer Babylon (October)
538 BCE Decree of Cyrus allows Jews to return to Jerusalem
520–515 BCE Return by many Jews to Yehud under Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest.
Foundations of Second Temple laid

See also

  • Avignon Papacy, sometimes called the "Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy"
  • Al-Yahudu Tablets, 200 clay tablets from the sixth and fifth centuries BCE on the exiled Judean community


  1. ^ Coogan, Michael (2009). A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Moore, Megan Bishop; Kelle, Brad E. (2011). Biblical History and Israel S Past: The Changing Study of the Bible and History. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 357–58. ISBN 0802862608. Retrieved 11 June 2015. Overall, the difficulty in calculation arises because the biblical texts provide varying numbers for the different deportations. The HB/OT’s conflicting figures for the dates, number, and victims of the Babylonian deportations become even more of a problem for historical reconstruction because, other than the brief reference to the first capture of Jerusalem (597) in the Babylonian Chronicle, historians have only the biblical sources with which to work.
  3. ^ Dunn, James G.; Rogerston, John William (2003). Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 545. ISBN 978-0-8028-3711-0.
  4. ^ Jonathan Stökl, Caroline Waerzegger (2015). Exile and Return: The Babylonian Context. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. pp. 7–11, 30, 226.
  5. ^ Encyclopaedia Judaica. 3 (2nd ed.). p. 27.
  6. ^ Stern, Ephraim (November–December 2000). "The Babylonian Gap". Biblical Archaeology Review. 26 (6). From 604 BCE to 538 BCE—there is a complete gap in evidence suggesting occupation. ... I do not mean to imply that the country was uninhabited during the period between the Babylonian destruction and the Persian period. There were undoubtedly some settlements, but the population was very small. Many towns and villages were either completely or partly destroyed. The rest were barely functioning. International trade virtually ceased. Only two regions appear to have been spared this fate—the northern part of Judah (the region of Benjamin) and probably the land of Ammon, although the latter region awaits further investigation.
  7. ^ Geoffrey Wigoder, The Illustrated Dictionary & Concordance of the Bible Pub. by Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. (2006)
  8. ^ Dan Cohn-Sherbok, The Hebrew Bible, Continuum International, 1996, p. x. ISBN 0-304-33703-X
  9. ^ 2Kings 24:6–8
  10. ^ Philip J. King, Jeremiah: An Archaeological Companion (Westminster John Knox Press, 1993), p. 23.
  11. ^ The Oxford History of the Biblical World, ed. by Michael D Coogan. Pub. by Oxford University Press, 1999. p. 350
  12. ^ Rashi to Talmud Bavli, avodah zara p. 9a. Josephus, seder hadoroth year 3338
  13. ^ malbim to ezekiel 24:1, abarbanel et al.
  14. ^ a b "Second Temple Period (538 BCE. to 70 CE) Persian Rule". Retrieved 2014-03-15.
  15. ^ Harper's Bible Dictionary, ed. by Achtemeier, etc., Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1985, p. 103
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2001). The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-86912-4.
  17. ^ Thomas, David Winton (1958). Documents from Old Testament Times (1961 ed.). Edinburgh and London: Thomas Nelson. p. 84.
  18. ^ Cf. 2Kings 24:12, 24:15–24:16, 25:27–25:30; 2Chronicles 36:9–36:10; Jeremiah 22:24–22:6, 29:2, 52:31–52:34; Ezekiel 17:12.
  19. ^ COJS staff. "Babylonian Ration List: King Jehoiakhin in Exile, 592/1 BCE". The Center for Online Judaic Studies. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. Ya’u-kīnu, king of the land of Yahudu
  20. ^ Translation from Aḥituv, Shmuel. Echoes from the Past. Jerusalem: CARTA Jerusalem, 2008, p. 70.
  21. ^ a b Becking, Bob (2006). ""We All Returned as One!": Critical Notes on the Myth of the Mass Return". In Lipschitz, Oded; Oeming, Manfred. Judah and the Judeans in the Persian Period. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-57506-104-7.
  22. ^ a b Grabbe, Lester L. (2004). A History of the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period: Yehud – A History of the Persian Province of Judah v. 1. T & T Clark. p. 355. ISBN 978-0567089984.
  23. ^ Yehud being the Aramaic equivalent of the Hebrew Yehuda, or "Judah", and "medinata" the word for province
  24. ^ "Ancient tablets on display in Jerusalem reveal Jewish life during Babylon exile".
  25. ^ "Ancient tablets reveal life of Jews in Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon". 3 February 2017 – via Reuters.
  26. ^ Rainer Albertz, Israel in exile: the history and literature of the sixth century BCE (page 15 link) Society for Biblical Literature, 2003, pp. 4–38
  27. ^ Blum, Erhard (1998). "Issues and Problems in the Contemporary Debate Regarding the Priestly Writings". In Sarah Shectman, Joel S. Baden. The strata of the priestly writings: contemporary debate and future directions. Theologischer Verlag. pp. 32–33.
  28. ^ A Concise History of the Jewish People. Naomi E. Pasachoff, Robert J. Littma. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. p. 43
  29. ^ Rainer Albertz, Israel in exile: the history and literature of the sixth century BCE, p.xxi.
  30. ^ 2 Kings 25:27

Further reading

Wikisource-logo.svg Wikisource.

4 Baruch

Fourth Baruch is a pseudepigraphical text of the Old Testament. Paralipomena of Jeremiah appears as the title in several Ancient Greek manuscripts of the work, meaning "things left out of (the Book of) Jeremiah." It is part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible.

6th century BC

The 6th century BC started the first day of 600 BC and ended the last day of 501 BC.

This century represents the peak of a period in human history popularly known as Axial Age. This period saw the emergence of five major thought streams springing from five great thinkers in different parts of the world: Buddha and Mahavira in India, Zoroaster in Persia, Pythagoras in Greece and Confucius in China.

Pāṇini, in India, composed a grammar for Sanskrit, in this century or slightly later. This is the oldest still known grammar of any language.

In Western Asia, the first half of this century was dominated by the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean empire, which had risen to power late in the previous century after successfully rebelling against Assyrian rule. The Kingdom of Judah came to an end in 586 BC when Babylonian forces under Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem, and removed most of its population to their own lands. Babylonian rule was ended in the 540s by Cyrus, who founded the Persian Empire in its place. The Persian Empire continued to expand and grew into the greatest empire the world had known at the time.

In Iron Age Europe, the Celtic expansion was in progress. China was in the Spring and Autumn period.

Mediterranean: Beginning of Greek philosophy, flourishes during the 5th century BC

The late Hallstatt culture period in Eastern and Central Europe, the late Bronze Age in Northern Europe

East Asia: the Spring and Autumn period. Confucianism, Legalism and Moism flourish. Laozi founds Taoism

West Asia: During the Persian empire, Zoroaster, a.k.a. Zarathustra, founded Zoroastrianism, a dualistic philosophy. This was also the time of the Babylonian captivity of the ancient Jews.

Ancient India: the Buddha and Mahavira found Buddhism and Jainism

The decline of the Olmec civilization in Central America


Ahasuerus (Hebrew: אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ, Modern: ʼAḥašvērōš, Tiberian: ʼAẖašwērōš; Greek: Ασουηρος, translit. Asouēros in the Septuagint; or Latin: Assuerus in the Vulgate; commonly transliterated Achashverosh; cf. Old Persian: 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠, 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 Xšayārša; Persian: اخشورش‎ Axšoreš; Ancient Greek: Ξέρξης, translit. Xerxes) is a name used several times in the Hebrew Bible, as well as related legends and Apocrypha. This name (or title) is applied in the Hebrew Scriptures to three rulers. The same name is also applied uncertainly to a Babylonian official (or Median king) noted in the Book of Tobit.


Amestris (Greek: Άμηστρις, Amēstris, perhaps the same as Άμαστρις, Amāstris, from Old Persian Amāstrī-, "strong woman") was the wife of Xerxes I of Persia, mother of Achaemenid King of Kings Artaxerxes I of Persia.She was known to have been poorly regarded by ancient Greek historians.Amestris was the daughter of Otanes, one of the seven noblemen reputed to have killed the magus who was impersonating King Bardiya in 522 BC. After this, Darius I the Great of Persia assumed the throne. According to Herodotus, Otanes was honoured with royal marriages. Darius I married Otanes' daughter Phaedymia while Otanes married a sister of Darius, who gave birth to Amestris.

When Darius died in 486 BC, Amestris was married to the crown prince, Xerxes. Herodotus describes Amestris as a cruel despot:

I am informed that Amestris, the wife of Xerxes, when she had grown old, made return for her own life to the god who is said to be beneath the earth by burying twice seven children of Persians who were men of renown.

Herodotus, Histories 7.114.The origin of this story is unclear, since known records and accounts indicate that human sacrifices were not permitted within the Persian religion. Also since most accounts of the time are from Greek sources, and due to the involvement of Greece as an opponent of Persia, it is possible that not all accounts are accurate.

Circa 478 BC, her son Crown Prince Darius was married to his cousin Artaynte at Sardis. She was the daughter of Xerxes' brother Masistes. At the behest of Xerxes, Artaynte committed adultery with him (Xerxes). When Amestris found out, she did not seek revenge against Artaynte, but against her mother, Masistes' wife, as Amestris thought that it was her connivance. On Xerxes' birthday, Amestris sent for his guards and mutilated Masistes' wife by cutting off her breasts and threw them to dogs, and her nose and ears and lips also, and cutting out her tongue as well. On seeing this, Masistes fled to Bactria to start a revolt, but was intercepted by Xerxes' army who killed him and his sons.

Artaxerxes II of Persia

Artaxerxes II Mnemon (Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂, meaning "whose reign is through truth") was the Xšâyathiya Xšâyathiyânâm (King of Kings) of Persia from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC. He was a son of Darius II and Parysatis.

Greek authors gave him the epithet "Mnemon" (Greek: mnḗmona, in Old Persian: abiataka), meaning "remembering; having a good memory".

Artaxerxes I of Persia

Artaxerxes I (, Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂 Artaxšaça, "whose rule (xšaça < *xšaϑram) is through arta ("truth"); Hebrew: אַרְתַּחְשַׁשְׂתָּא, Modern: ʾArtaḥšásta, Tiberian: ʾArtaḥšasetāʾ; Ancient Greek: Ἀρταξέρξης, translit. Artaxérxēs) was the sixth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, from 465-424 BC. He was the third son of Xerxes I.

He may have been the "Artasyrus" mentioned by Herodotus as being a satrap of the royal satrapy of Bactria.

In Greek sources he is also surnamed "long-handed" (Ancient Greek: μακρόχειρ Makrókheir; Latin: Longimanus), allegedly because his right hand was longer than his left.

Avignon Papacy

The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive popes resided in Avignon (then in the Kingdom of Arles, part of the Holy Roman Empire, now in France) rather than in Rome. The situation arose from the conflict between the papacy and the French crown, culminating in the death of Pope Boniface VIII after his arrest and maltreatment by Philip IV of France. Following the further death of Pope Benedict XI, Philip forced a deadlocked conclave to elect the French Clement V as Pope in 1305. Clement refused to move to Rome, and in 1309, he moved his court to the papal enclave at Avignon, where it remained for the next 67 years. This absence from Rome is sometimes referred to as the "Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy".A total of seven popes reigned at Avignon, all French, and all under the influence of the French Crown. In 1376, Gregory XI abandoned Avignon and moved his court to Rome (arriving on January 17, 1377). But after Gregory's death in 1378, deteriorating relations between his successor Urban VI and a faction of cardinals gave rise to the Western Schism. This started a second line of Avignon popes, subsequently regarded as illegitimate. The last Avignon antipope, Benedict XIII, lost most of his support in 1398, including that of France; after five years besieged by the French, he fled to Perpignan in 1403. The schism ended in 1417 at the Council of Constance, after two popes had reigned in opposition to the papacy in Rome.

Babylonian captivity (disambiguation)

The Babylonian captivity was the period in Jewish history during which the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon.

Babylonian captivity may also refer to:

Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy, the Papacy's sojourn in Avignon between 1309 and 1378

On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, a tract written by Martin Luther in 1520 examining the seven sacraments of the medieval Church in the light of the Bible

History of the Captivity in Babylon, a pseudepigraphical text of the Old Testament that supposedly provides omitted details concerning the prophet Jeremiah


Ecbatana (; Old Persian: 𐏃𐎥𐎶𐎫𐎠𐎴 Hagmatāna or Haŋmatāna, literally "the place of gathering", Aramaic: אַחְמְתָא‎, Ancient Greek: Ἀγβάτανα in Aeschylus and Herodotus,Ἐκβάτανα, Akkadian: 𒆳𒀀𒃵𒋫𒉡 kura-gam-ta-nu in the Nabonidus Chronicle) was an ancient city in Media in western Iran. It is believed that Ecbatana is in Hagmatana Hill (Tappe-ye Hagmatāna), an archaeological mound in Hamedan.According to Herodotus, Ecbatana was chosen as the Medes' capital in the late 8th century BC by Deioces. Under the Achaemenid Persian kings, Ecbatana, situated at the foot of Mount Alvand, became a summer residence. Later, it became the capital of the Parthian kings, at which time it became their main mint, producing drachm, tetradrachm, and assorted bronze denominations. The wealth and importance of the city in the Persian empire is attributed to its location on a crucial crossroads that made it a staging post on the main East-West highway.In 330 BC, Ecbatana was the site of the murder of the Macedonian general Parmenion by order of Alexander the Great.


Hamadān (pronounced [hæmedɒːn]) or Hamedān (Persian: همدان‎, Hamedān) (Old Persian: Haŋgmetana, Ecbatana) is the capital city of Hamadan Province of Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 473,149, in 127,812 families.Hamedan is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities. It is possible that it was occupied by the Assyrians in 1100 BCE; the Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, states that it was the capital of the Medes, around 700 BCE.

Hamedan has a green mountainous area in the foothills of the 3,574-meter Alvand Mountain, in the midwest part of Iran. The city is 1,850 meters above sea level.

The special nature of this old city and its historic sites attract tourists during the summer to this city, located approximately 360 kilometres (220 miles) southwest of Tehran.

The major sights of this city are the Ganj Nameh inscription, the Avicenna monument and the Baba Taher monument.

The majority of the population is Persian; however, there is a considerable Azerbaijani minority.

Nebuchadnezzar II

Nebuchadnezzar II (; from Akkadian 𒀭𒀝𒆪𒁺𒌨𒊑𒋀 dNabû-kudurri-uṣur; Hebrew: נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר, Modern: Nəvūkádne’ṣar, Tiberian: Neḇukáḏné’ṣār, meaning "O god Nabu, preserve/defend my firstborn son"), king of Babylon c. 605 BC – c. 562 BC, was the longest-reigning and most powerful monarch of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.His father Nabopolassar was an official of the Neo-Assyrian Empire who rebelled in 620 BCE and established himself as the king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne in 605 BCE and subsequently fought several campaigns in the West, where Egypt was trying to organise a coalition against him. His conquest of Judah is described in the Bible's Books of Kings and Book of Jeremiah. His capital, Babylon, is the largest archaeological site in the Middle East.The Bible remembers him as the destroyer of Solomon's Temple and the initiator of the Babylonian captivity. He is an important character in the Book of Daniel, a collection of legendary tales and visions dating from the 2nd century BC.

On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church

Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (Latin: De captivitate Babylonica ecclesiae, praeludium Martini Lutheri, October 1520) was the second of the three major treatises published by Martin Luther in 1520, coming after the Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation (August 1520) and before On the Freedom of a Christian (November 1520). It was a theological treatise, and as such was published in Latin as well as German, the language in which the treatises were written.

On the Freedom of a Christian

On the Freedom of a Christian (Latin: "De Libertate Christiana"; German: "Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen"), sometimes also called "A Treatise on Christian Liberty" (November 1520), was the third of Martin Luther’s major reforming treatises of 1520, appearing after his Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation (August 1520) and the work Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (October 1520). The work appeared in a shorter German and a more elaborate Latin form. There is no academic consensus whether the German or the Latin version was written first. The treatise developed the concept that as fully forgiven children of God, Christians are no longer compelled to keep God's law to obtain salvation; however, they freely and willingly serve God and their neighbors. Luther also further develops the concept of justification by faith. In the treatise, Luther stated, "A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all."

Psalm 11

Psalm 11 is the 11th psalm from the Book of Psalms. In the Septuagint and Vulgate it is numbered as Psalm 10. Its authorship is traditionally assigned to king David, but most scholars place its origin some time after the end of the Babylonian captivity.

Psalm 74

Psalm 74 (Greek numbering: 73) is part of the Biblical Book of Psalms. A community lament, it expresses the pleas of the Jewish community in the Babylonian captivity. It begins in verses 1–3 by imploring God to recall his people, and Mount Zion, and continues in verses 4–11 by describing the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar. Verses 12–17 praise the might of God; the psalm ends (verses 18–23) by imploring the Lord to remember Israel and come to their aid.


Shevat (Hebrew: שְׁבָט, Standard Šəvat Tiberian Šəḇāṭ ; from Akkadian Šabātu) is the fifth month of the civil year starting in Tishre (or Tishri) and the eleventh month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar starting in Nisan. It is a winter month of 30 days. Shevat usually occurs in January–February on the Gregorian calendar.

The name of the month was taken from the Akkadian language during the Babylonian Captivity. The assumed Akkadian origin of the month is Šabātu meaning strike that refers to the heavy rains of the season.

In Jewish sources the month is first mentioned by this name in prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 1).

Va, pensiero

"Va, pensiero" (Italian: [ˈva penˈsjɛːro]), also known as the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves", is a chorus from the opera Nabucco (1842) by Giuseppe Verdi. It recollects the period of Babylonian captivity after the loss of the First Temple in Jerusalem in c. 500 BCE.

The libretto is by Temistocle Solera, inspired by Psalm 137. The opera with its powerful chorus established Verdi as a major composer in 19th-century Italy. The full incipit is "Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate", meaning "Go, thought, on golden wings".

Zeboim (Hebrew Bible)

Zeboim is the name in English of two or three places in the Bible:

Zeboim, Zeboiim or Tzvoyim (Hebrew: צְבֹויִים, Modern: Tsvoyim, Tiberian: Ṣəḇoyim, "Deer (plural); goats; gazelles; roes") was one of the "five cities of the plain" of Sodom, generally coupled with Admah (Gen. 10:19; 14:2; Deut.29:23; Hos. 11:8). It had a king of its own ("Shemeber", שמאבר, Gen. 14:2), and was therefore a place of some importance. It was destroyed along with the other cities of the plain, according to Deuteronomy 29:23.

Gē haṣṢāḇoʻim (גי הצבעים, "Valley of the Hyenas"), a valley or rugged glen somewhere near Gibeah in Benjamin (1 Sam. 13:18). It was probably the place now bearing the name Wadi Shaykh aḍ-Ḍubʻa "Ravine of the Chief of the Hyenas" north of Jericho.

Ṣāḇoʻim (צבעים, "Hyenas"), a place mentioned only in the Book of Nehemiah 11:34, inhabited by the Benjamites after the Babylonian captivity.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.