Author: Ron Graham
Time ~ 7. Exile and Scattering
Span ~ 200 years
Books ~ Jer, Lam, Eze, Dan, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Obadiah, [Joel]
Figures ~ Jeremiah, Daniel
Begins with ~ Wars upon Israel and Judah
Ascendant empire ~ Babylon
Of all the Times of Israel, the seventh —Exile and Scattering— is probably the saddest. We have seen the kingdom divided, and that was sad. But worse still, we now see the beginning of the captivities —as the larger kingdom (Israel) falls to Assyria and its people are taken away to foreign lands.
When Assyria was a world power, Israel was captured and its people exiled northward to the area whence Abraham had come so long ago.
Hezekiah was then the king of Judah, a good king who listened to Isaiah, God's prophet, so the kingdom of Judah was spared and only Israel, the ten tribes, were taken. But when the Babylonians came to dominate the world, Coniah was the king in Judah. He was evil, so it was Judah's turn to be conquered.
The people were exiled in Babylon. Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed. The king Coniah became like a shattered jar as Jeremiah had prophesied, and none of Coniah's descendants could reign any more on David's throne in Judah.
We learn from this story that God is merciful and longsuffering, but when people persistently depart from his word they will reap what they sow.
[Similar information is given in 2Chronicles 25-27]
The table below shows the kings who reigned in Israel and Judah. The chart covers three of the Times of Israel (Kingdom, Division, and Exile). The period in focus in this lesson starts at the flag marked ISRAEL EXILED. Note that the reigns of kings in each kingdom often overlap because of rivalry or of co-regency.
The tribes of the northern kingdom are often spoken of as "the ten lost tribes".
It is claimed (and certain doctrines are based upon this claim) that no remnant of these tribes ever returned to or remained in the promised land.
However, this is not so. For example, Anna the prophetess was of the tribe of Asher (Luke 2:36).
Not only would some members of the ten tribes have made their way to Judah before, during, and after the Assyrian attack, but some would have been already living among the people of Judah and Benjamin.
In the time of Josiah, when Passover observance was restored, it was kept with "the priests and Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (2Chronicles 35:17-19).