Talk:Babylonian captivity

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I would just like to hear some responses (preferably educated ones) about the actual date of the Babylonian captivity. To our knowledge, the Hebrews were exiled to Babylon in 586 BCE, however, that date does not match up with the "seventy years" they were to be held there. Many sources say that it actually occurred in 605 BCE. In addition, the liberation date 538 BCE doesn't make much sense either, because it doen't match up with either the 586 or the 605. Help a struggling Religious Studies Student! - The above was posted by (talk) on 28 January 2005.

Reliable Bible chronology is based on certain pivotal dates.

A pivotal date is a calendar date in history that has a sound basis for acceptance and that corresponds to a specific event recorded in the Bible. It can then be used as the starting point from which a series of Bible events can be located on the calendar with certainty. Once this pivotal point is fixed, calculations forward or backward from this date are made from accurate records in the Bible itself, such as the stated life spans of people or the duration of the reigns of kings. Thus, starting from a pegged point, we can use the reliable internal chronology of the Bible itself in dating many Bible events. Pivotal Date for the Hebrew Scriptures. A prominent event recorded both in the Bible and in secular history is the overthrow of the city of Babylon by the Medes and Persians under Cyrus. The Bible records this event at Daniel 5:30. Various historical sources (including Diodorus, Africanus, Eusebius, Ptolemy, and the Babylonian tablets) support 539 B.C.E. as the year for the overthrow of Babylon by Cyrus. The Nabonidus Chronicle gives the month and day of the city’s fall (the year is missing). Secular chronologers have thus set the date for the fall of Babylon as October 11, 539 B.C.E., according to the Julian calendar, or October 5 by the Gregorian calendar.

Following the overthrow of Babylon, and during his first year as ruler of conquered Babylon, Cyrus issued his famous decree permitting the Jews to return to Jerusalem. In view of the Bible record, the decree was likely made late in 538 B.C.E. or toward the spring of 537 B.C.E. This would give ample opportunity for the Jews to resettle in their homeland and to come up to Jerusalem to restore the worship of Jehovah in “the seventh month,” Tishri, or about October 1, 537 B.C.E.—Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-6. So based on this of 537 and know the scriptures to be true that the jew would be in captivity for "70 years"(even as aknowledeged by the prophet Daniel himself) would bring the date of Jerusalem's destruction to (537+70) 607 B.C.E. - The above was posted by on 23 December 2005.

Thank you for copy/pasting the Jehovah's Witness revisionist "historical" calculations, in reality based on Charles T. Russel's pyramidology. Only JWs teach that Jerusalem was destroyed 607. There's no single piece of historical evidence to support that, au contraire, everything points to 586. Sure, that date is fundamental to the JW faith, so you might keep yourself telling that... Socramus (talk) 12:28, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Argumentum ignorantio elenchi. You evaluate an argument based on the body of facts and information presented not on who it was authored by. Try again. —Maxximiliann talk 05:28, 14 August 2013 (UTC) 539 may be a pivotal date, but 607 clearly is not. Daniel himself apparently did not return to his homeland. Although a small remnant was returned to build the temple, the end of the complete exile may as well have ended officially with the restoration of the temple at 516 BC (corresponding with 586, which is a year secular historians are quite certain about).
- The above was posted by on 1 January 2006.

Jeremiah 25:8-11 does not allow for the 70-year period to be anything other than the time from the desolation of Judah to the return of the exiles, because it says the 70 years would be years of "devastation of the land of Judah". That's how Daniel understood it at Daniel 9:2. And 2 Chronicles 36:20-23 says the land was desolate for 70 years to fulfill Jeremiah's prophecy "until the royalty of Persia began to reign" and then they started rebuilding the temple. So it could not have officially ended in 516 unless these accounts have somehow been corrupted. If the accounts are correct then there must be something wrong with Ptolemy's canon (see comment below). (talk) 14:32, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

The date of 586 B.C.E. was arrived at from the Canon of Ptolemy. Unfortunately there is not (yet) any other non-Biblical evidence to substantiate or contradict Ptolemy (which has been suspected to be unreliable[1]). So basically, we don't know. (talk) 09:20, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Ptolemy's cannon is far from the only source that verifies 586 BCE. It's also testified as the correct date the Nabonidus Chronicle, Harran, Hillah Stele, the excavation of Lachish, and synchronization of Egyptian chronology. Tens of thousands of detailed Economic-administrative, business and legal documents have been unearthed outlining daily, monthly and yearly occurrences during the reign of the Babylonian kings, all of which are 20 years out of sync when using 607 BC, but line up perfectly with 586 BC. The Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, page 274 states "Archaeological evidence for the destruction of the kingdom in 586 B.C. comes from Jerusalem, Lachish, Tell Beit Mirsim, and other sites."
You’re seriously misinformed if you think 586 BC isn't supported by a plethora archaeological evidence. Actually 607 BC is a date without any archaeological evidence at all. In order to calculate that date you have to make unsupported assumptions about what Daniel "must" have meant and be willing contradict thousands of pieces of evidence. Remember there are many biblical and archeological scholars who also believe in the Biblical inerrancy, yet no scholar alive supports 607 BC. They don’t see a contradiction with Daniel's 70 years and 586 BC, so why do you? You asked for a reply from someone with education, here's an explanation of the 70 years from someone with a PhD: Jadon (talk) 16:59, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


This article is probably the least structured, least coherent page that I have ever read on Wikipedia.--PeadarMaguidhir 19:57, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

A lot of the references aren't actually references but editorial footnotes. As such there is really only one reference, which appears to be the King James version of the Bible. Hmoulding (talk) 03:32, 13 October 2008 (UTC)


I am a bit this article stating all this as fact, or is it mearly relaying STORIES told by religious texts??

I'm unfamiliar with said texts which is why i'm asking if this is fact or disputed???--Donnie from the mean streets of Boston, KY 20:11, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy says that Wikipedia never reports "facts". It only reports the opinions of sources considered reliable by different points of view. These sources sometimes disagree. Wikipedia routinely reports what religious texts say about religiously significant events. It also reports historians' and other views. It identifies which source says what. You can choose for yourself which view to believe. --Shirahadasha 20:56, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
So the title of the opening section should be changed to "Scriptural Account" then?Rykalski 15:11, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
The opening section reports alternative historical takes on the matter as well as summarising the Bible texts, so I don't think "Scriptural account" is a fair heading. Maybe the paragraph should disentangle more clearly the material that is based on the Bible and that which is not, giving sources for the latter. Anyway, as it's not all scriptural, I've reverted the heading for now, but further discussion is welcome here. - Fayenatic london (talk) 15:51, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
At the moment, this is not true. The only alternative historical take is a remark on the decree. Apart from that, this article is straight Bible history with a mainly one-sided view. --Depaderico (talk) 03:05, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
I am actually in the process of trying to fix that right now, it will take me some time!Smeat75 (talk) 04:34, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
'Historical Account' implies a belief in the actuality of these events which is non-npov. To report that these events are recorded in the holy texts of the Jews & Christians is not to demonstrate their historicity. All text contain statements which are of the text only and not of the wider world. Disentangling those textual statements from those statements about the wider world contained in a text is extremely difficult especially when the texts in question have so little context. The first section needs a new title. (hope I got the '~'s right this time).Rykalski 19:39, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I took 'Historical Account' to mean that it is based on the evidence of ancient documents and other historical evidence. Any such evidence (consider the writings of, say, Geoffrey of Monmouth) may need to be weighed. In this case, is there good reason for discarding the scriptural account? Like much of the Bible, it reflects badly on the writer's people and leaders, which would generally be a mark of reliability. Fayenatic london (talk) 21:45, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I would tend to take the view that an account that essentially summarizes the Bible should be called "Biblical account" or similar. There is no need for Wikipedia to vouch for or against, or for us to debate, the account's historicity. Best, --Shirahadasha 03:48, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
It'd be nice all the same to consider actual historical evidence of the captivity. To the extent that it does have a historical basis, and that the historical basis diverges on significant points from the accounts in Jewish scripture, for this article to be considered complete it should cite the known or accepted historical facts and sources. Don't use Wikipedia's neutral point of view to excuse not being thorough. Hmoulding (talk) 03:29, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

The article definitely gives undue weight to the torah (which isn't RS anyway) and ignores historical/archaeological research into the subject. (talk) 07:40, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Number of captives[edit]

This page only seems to relate an account based on religious scriptures. For example "40,000 are said to have availed themselves of this opportunity". What is the evidence of this number being this high?

In Chaldaean history, to relocate that great a number of people would be unheard of. The usual practice was to bring the governing class to Babylon. In a city that maybe numbered 50,000, the idea that the aristocracy equalled 80% of hte population is a little ... daft?

There is evidence for continued settlement in jerusalem, it's not as though the city was depopulated and the only jewish people existed in babylon.

I can't get into specifics because I only remember bits and pieces from stydhing my degree in babylonian history, but surely a historian out there can add to this current article with some objective history, not just the accounts of the prophets. While those accounts are historically useful because they represent the words of contemporary people, they arne't neccessarily accurate. Indeed, the bible has more than a few inaccuracies :)

So please, someone who is a Syro/Palestinian archaeologist or Historian, add to this article to discuss the evidence for real numbers and facts. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16 March 2007.

Hi! Do you have a source for the viewpoint that the captivity involved the city of Jerusalem only and that there was no increase (due to children or converts) while in captivity? Best, --Shirahadasha 17:57, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
So, at its hight Babylon's population was say 200K, and of those, 40k were captive jews? Can you imagine 5% of a city being captives? Can you imagine 5% of a city's population leaving en mass? The whole things stinks of religous tradition, not history.
Also, the 1st sentence of the article "There were three occerences of these". Of what,exactly. The 1st paragraph needs work just to make it clear, was there 3 times jews were taken, but then released all at once? Needs to be spelled out, I think193.11.246.156 20:23, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Can you imagine 5% of a city being captives? Can you imagine 5% of a city's population leaving en mass? Easily. < basil fawlty > Have you heard of slavery, Manuel? It was very big here in America at one point. < / basil fawlty > But the article should probably include the view that Judaism or the Torah as we know it originated at this time (possibly with influence from Zoroastrianism, which we apparently think dates from the tenth or eleventh century before the start of the Gregorian calendar.) Dan (talk) 19:11, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think this is the place for that. (talk) 13:41, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
40K out of 200K is actually 20%. The whole yarn is patently ridiculous; nobody would give it a moment's credence were it not for the subsequent religious triumph of Judaism via Christianity and Islam. Best guess is the whole thing was made up out of whole cloth when the Persians imported a new priest class under Ezra to administrate the new temple state based in Jerusalem as a cult centre for the satrapy of Trans-Jordan (Eber Nari). Whoever the "returners" were, it's very unlikely they were the descendents of whoever had been deported half a century before, let alone that the religion they brought with them- monotheistic worship of the local god Yoohoo as a proxy for Ahuramazda- bore much relation to any previous worship in the area. (talk) 09:20, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Wow, this is the best sentence on Judaism on Wikipedia CUSH 13:22, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Archaeological evidence[edit]

What is the evidence? Shouldn't we have sources like this or the ones in it? ]] Dougweller (talk) 18:47, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree completely. The Bible is cited multiple times as a reliable historical source, and as any fule no, this simply is not the case. This page requires serious re-editing to be brought up to acceptable standards of citation. (talk) 13:07, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Babylonian captivity of the Church[edit]

I'm tempted to add something about the expression Babylonian captivity of the Church, which was originally used to descriped the captivity of the Roman Catholic Church in the see of Avignon during the Western Schism. It was subsequently re-used by Martin Luther during the early days of the Protestant Reformation. ADM (talk) 06:57, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I didn't know that. It would be great to add this. Although this event really "starts" modern Judaism as we know it (customs, normative cultural form [diaspora], rabbis) and so inhabits a particularly special place in Jewish history, Christianity has its own interpretation for the exile as well as their own metaphors based upon this event. The inclusion of such information will only help to make the article more valuable.BinaryLust (talk) 01:12, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Intermarriage prohibition was to Canaanites under Mosaic Law[edit]

Mosaic Law doesn't prohibit intermarriage EXCEPT to Canaanites. Joseph (3 generations from Abraham) was married to an Egyptian woman, and in line with Deuteronomy 23, those children were accepted into the assembly. Jacob blessed those children and there never has been any exclusion of those ½ tribes.

Similarly, Boaz (10 generations from Abraham) married Ruth, a Moabitess. This is also in line with Dt 23.

Though they was a prohibition to the 10th generation, that period had passed, just as it had on Egyptians to the 3rd generation. Ezra and Nehemiah (who weren't sent by God== not prophets) not only misinterpreted the Law, they've passed that on to THEIR descendants.

The reference that intermarriage is prohibited by Mosaic Law should be stricken from the document, since it doesn't stand under examination. No938 (talk) 22:27, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

"Nothing was done at the time"?![edit]

I don't understand this paragraph:

According to the book of Ezra-Nehemiah, the Persian Cyrus the Great ended the exile in 538 BC, the year in which he captured Babylon.[7] For reasons not explained in the biblical history nothing was done at the time

"Nothing was done" - in what sense? AxelBoldt (talk) 17:18, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Issues with the lead article[edit]

I have certain issues with the lead in to this article and some of the claims it makes, Here is is for examination:

According to the Hebrew Bible, there were three deportations of Jews to Babylon: in 597 BCE, involving King Jeconiah and his court and many others; in 587/6 BCE, of his successor King Zedekiah and the rest of the people; and a possible deportation after the assassination of Gedaliah, the Babylonian-appointed governor of Yehud Province, possibly in 582 BCE. The forced exile ended in 538/7 BCE after the fall of Babylon to the Persian king Cyrus the Great, who gave the Jews permission to return to Yehud province and to rebuild the Temple.[1]

First, the bible does not list any date in the 597 B.C.E. range as they did not use our current calendar for dating, and to submit a date of 597 BCE is supposition. The further use of the dates 587/586 BCE and 582 BCE are likewise supposition unsupported by either fact or reference material. Also, while the date given for the end of the exile appears to be correct in late 538 BCE to early 537 BCE, it again lacks a citation to support it's use. What we do know, because it is commonly accepted as absolutely accurate, is that Babylon fell to the Medo-Persian armies on the night of October 5th in the year 539 BCE of the Gregorian calendar or October 11th 539 BCE of the Julian calendar. That date is then utilized to theorize additional dates using a fragmented historical record based upon broken and decayed pieces of cuneiform "clay" tablets and postulation of involved archaeologists seeking to further their own agenda by making interpretations of the partial/fragmented record. However the biggest question mark in dating the reign of the kings of Babylon comes in the reign of a single king named Amel-Marduk(Evil-Merodach), who is given a reign by most archaeologists of only 2 years, because a cuneiform tablet listing the length of his reign has a 2 followed by a chip where a portion of the sentence is gone. Thus it is assumed that his reign lasted only 2 years, However, this king of Babylon is assigned a reign of 18 years by Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in book X of Antiquities of the Jews and is assigned an additional 5 years (or a total of 23 years) by the Seder Olam Rabbah, accounting for 5 years of reign during a period when he took control of Babylon during the "period of insanity" of king Nebuchadnezzar II . The dates of the remaining kings are commonly accepted as being 44 years for Nebuchadnezzar II,(Evil-Merodach falls in line here, 18 years), 4 years for Neriglissar (Nergal-sharezer), 9 months for Labosordacus (Labashi-Marduk), 17 years for Nabonidus, and from 3 years into the reign of Nabonidus for Belshazzar (or 14 years of co-regency), which were all during a co-regency with Nabonidus, his father. Remembering that the reigns of the kings were counted in only whole years of reign from the new year forward, an additional year must be counted between each king, to simplify, Neriglissar is assigned a reign of 4 years, but his reign could have possibly lasted nearly 6 years if his reign started early in his accession year and ended late in the year following his last complete year of reign. Thus a complete year is accounted for between the years of reign for each king to make up for the incomplete years of reign. Therefore the total length of reign for the kings from Nebuchadnezzar II through Belshazzar total 44+1+18+1+4+1+17 (no additional year is needed for the reign of Labosordacus because his reign was less than a single complete year) for a total of 86 years. To determine the date of the Fall of Jerusalem to Babylon, you need to add the 86 years to 539 BCE and subtract 19 years. Which brings in the date of 625 BCE as the date that Nebuchadnezzar II started his reign, he captured Jehoiachin and took him into exile in Babylon in the 8th year of his reign, which would have been then, 617 BCE and completely destroyed Jerusalem in the 19th year of his reign or 607 BCE. Thus 607 BCE is the historically accurate date for the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon. Willietell (talk) 06:48, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

It is true that the Bible does not indicate specific years, so the wording in question could be changed to something like
According to the Hebrew Bible, there were three deportations of Jews to Babylon: the exile of King Jeconiah, his court and many others in Nebuchadnezzar's eighth year; Jeconiah's successor Zedekiah and the rest of the people in Nebuchadnezzar's eighteenth year; and a later deportation in Nebuchadnezzar's twenty-third year. These are secularly attributed to 597 BCE, 587 BCE, and 582 BCE, respectively. The forced exile ended in 538 BCE after the fall of Babylon to the Persian king Cyrus the Great, who gave the Jews permission to return to Yehud province and to rebuild the Temple.
archaeologists seeking to further their own agenda?? could have possibly? Not only are you speculating, omitting a lot of sources corroborating the secular view, but you also certainly have an "agenda".
607 BCE is not historically (nor biblically) accurate, and your view (the WP:FRINGE view of Jehovah's Witnesses) on this matter will not be employed in the article. 597 BCE is based on a lot more than simply 'supposition' (unlike the JWs' dogmatic selection of 537 for the return of the Jews).--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:27, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Though several sources confirm the length of the reign of Amel-Marduk, you defer to a statement by Josephus that Amel-Marduk reigned 18 years, which Josephus himself elsewhere contradicts (and you ignore Josephus' [incorrect] attribution of 40 years to Neriglissar in the same sentence of the source you cite; 18 years is likely a scribal error for 18 months, and 40 years is likely an error for 4 years, as these figures are consistent with other sources and with other statements by Josephus about the length of the Neo-Babylonian period). You likely do not accept Josephus where he says Jerusalem's temple was desolate and lay in obscurity for fifty years (Against Apion, Book I, Chapter 21). You also likely do not accept where Josephus says there were "ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-TWO YEARS AND A HALF FROM THE CAPTIVITY OF THE TEN TRIBES TO THE FIRST YEAR OF CYRUS" (Antiquities of the Jews, Book X). (You probably don't actually realise that you don't agree with the latter, but it is only compatible with a fall of Jerusalem around 587 BCE and nowhere near 607.) However, you are happy to cherry-pick from Josephus when it suits your agenda.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:46, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Seriously Jeffro77 ? Perhaps you need to put a little more investigation into what you think you have convinced yourself to believe. The statement "several sources confirm the length of the reign of Amel-Marduk" show that you don't realize what single piece of fragmented evidence those sources place their confidence and theory upon. All the sources are truly based upon a single premise, and all the so-called ""sources"" are really just individual sources repeating the same idea which is fraught with numerous problems that go ignored for the sake of "conforming" to the common view. Secondly, it is much more likely that Josephus made a scribal error in stating 40 years, since he might have had available to him the Seder Olam Rabba depending on its true age, or at least the information it was based upon, which also credits Neriglissar 4 years of reign, than to assume that he meant to assert the absurd figure of 40 years to his reign. To say that 18 years is a scribal error for 18 months is illogical, considering that if the reign of Evil-Marodach had been 18 months, it would have been stated as being only 1 year, because partial years were not counted in the total reign of the kings, the exception being with Labosordacus (Labashi-Marduk), because his reign was for less than a single full regnal year, thus to exclude the 9 months was to exclude the king altogether, an unacceptable result. The idea of 587 BCE presents problems with chronology that cannot be reconciled without distorting events and time spans to create a fit. Even if the reign of Evil-Merodach had been only 2 years, which it wasn't, this would still not reconcile to a 587 BCE date, but would place the date at 591 BCE, so the 587 BCE theroy is not mathematically correct when counting the sum of the reigns of the kings. Nothing fits when using that date, it therefore MUST be incorrect. Willietell (talk) 23:18, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I have previously examined all the relevant information in depth. 587 is entirely consistent with secular sources, and also with the Bible (when not re-interpreted by end-times groups). The entire body of scholarship on the matter agrees that you are wrong. It is also of note that you conveniently ignore the other statements of Josephus that I raised. You accuse professional scholars of having an 'agenda' for accepting 587 (maybe they're all biased against JWs as well—sigh), yet you quite clearly are pushing your own religious agenda. Just stop.--Jeffro77 (talk) 07:25, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I do believe, that in this particular article, there is only One editor who has brought up religion, and that certainly isn't me. I have discussed the difficulties of archaeology and the problems with aged artifacts, but have yet to offer any support to the subject from a religious standpoint on this particular page. So get your facts straight, as the numbers do not mathematically add up to a 587 BCE date, no matter what your religion. I also addressed some issues regarding Josephus, so why do you pretend that I have ignored them? And yes, professional scholars do at times push certain agendas, which is not at all debatable to a reasonable person, because a multitude of them have been accused of doing just that many times, and it is usually, not at all religiously based, but driven by a desire to seek prominence within their own community. Willietell (talk) 05:47, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
The suggestion that the motive for all scholars agreeing about 587 BCE is a result of the individual scholars seeking prominence is just bizarre. There's no need to be coy about your religious agenda, and your inconsistent usage of Josephus demonstrates that you are cherry picking in an attempt to add credence to an unworkable theory against a preponderance of evidence from many sources. No sources other than JWs (and possibly other tiny Bible Students groups) support the novel claim that Jerusalem fell in 607 BCE, and it will not be used in the article.--Jeffro77 (talk) 06:11, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Math is math, and 1+1+1=3, it cant be refuted because you don't like the result or because you seem to think that the many agree with a different result. The math does not add up to 587 BCE, this is an undisputed, non-religious based fact, and no amount of opinion can change the simple mathematics involved in determining that. This is not a religious question, no matter how strong your desire to turn it into one. Willietell (talk) 06:29, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
The math as found in the majority of sources adds up perfectly. But instead of accepting the proponderance of evidence, you focus on an anomalous '18 years' from Josephus (while conveniently ignoring a second anomolous '40 years' in the same sentence from Josephus) to tweak the numbers to fit what you want them to, in support of the fringe view of Jehovah's Witnesses. And you conveniently ignore other statements from Josephus as raised earlier that also make 607 impossible. There is no worldwide conspiracy among scholars—many of whom are quite good at math—to select 587 instead of 607 for the fall of Jerusalem just to make JWs look wrong.--Jeffro77 (talk) 06:43, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Contemporary business transaction records are known for the entire Neo-Babylonian period, and no such records exist for the additional 20-year period you allege should be added to the period agreed upon by scholars worldwide. Additionally, the 16 years you seek to add to the reign of Amel-Marduk (for which no records exist) do not fill the twenty year gap. (Your conclusion that 18 months could only be counted as 1 regnal year is also incorrect, because such a period can span parts of 3 different years, which would be counted as 2 regnal years.)
Your claim that "the reigns of the kings were counted in only whole years of reign from the new year forward" is also wrong. The Babylonians counted reigns from the start of the new year (Nisanu) following the accession period up to and including the last part-year of reign; your interpolation of an extra year between each of the reigns (which actually partially overlap) to pad out the period is entirely unfounded (not to mention that you ignore your own 'rule' by not adding an extra year for Nabonidus' final part-year). The actual lengths of the reigns (not counting accession years, which overlap the last year of the previous reign) of Nebuchadnezzar, Amel-Marduk, Neriglissar, Labashi-Marduk and Nabonidus are 43+2+4+0+17. These are from 604–562, 561–560, 559–556, (556), 555–539, respectively.--Jeffro77 (talk) 13:41, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
What you have are missing is that the partial year was attributed to neither king, only full regnal years were counted. I realize that I didn't add an additional year after/between the rules of Nabonidus and Cyrus after Babylons fall, a period of several months because Babylon fell late in the year, in fact nearly a complete year. However, it must also be taken into account that the length of reign given to Nebuchadnezzar vary from 43 to 45 years depending upon the source, I used 44 in the example, however, personally I feel that 43 is correct, as it is also the most commonly accepted, and the additional years may be simply some sort of co-regency with his father but no one knows for a certainty. The additional years must be added because otherwise the accession year goes uncounted in the stream of time. Again, you cannot escape the fact that only full regnal years were counted, but at least we have come to the agreement that they began to count those years at the beginning of the new year. If you really look, I have said exactly the same thing you assert as to when the reign begins, but nowhere do you read that any king ruled for 17 year and 4 months, only that his rule was for 17 years...This is because the additional months of his reign did not add another complete year to his reign and is therefore not counted. The accession year of the next king is also not counted, even if it is several months long, if it falls short of one full year. This is why you must add the additional year between kings, because together those two short time periods make up exactly one full year. Willietell (talk) 04:15, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Your claim that the final part year of a reign is not counted is not only simply wrong, but also completely illogical. When a king began the last year of his reign, he was in his nth year. Documents (such as business records) include that as a regnal year, because there is no way of knowing at the beginning of a particular year that it will be the last one, so of course it was counted as part of the reign. Business records were not revised later to remove reference to the final year of a king's reign and replace it with some imaginary intermediate year, as you would have us believe. Your claim indicates that you are unaware of the fundamental purpose of 'accession years', which are used so that any particular year is counted as the regnal year of only one king rather than of two kings. Also, Babylon did not fall "late in the year", it fell in October; the Babylonian calendar begins in Nisanu (April). You don't know what you're talking about. Just stop.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:31, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
In the Babylonian reckoning of reigns, a king who is said to have reigned '17 years' reigned for 1) a number of months in his accession year, which is counted as the nth year of the previous king; 2) 16 full years; and 3) some number of months in his 17th year.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:35, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
It sounds very nice, but it is also wrong, only full regnal years were counted, not full regnal year minus a little bit on the front, but lets add extra at the end for the sake of posterity. A king who ruled 16 year and 7 months is assigned a reign of 16 years only. Evidence of this is seen in the reign of Labashi-Marduk, who is assigned the unusual reign of only 9 months, minus of course, his accession year. By your reckoning, his reign would have been 1 year, but alas, it is not, it is stated as a mere 9 months, because he reigned for less than a full regnal year. His reign did not get "gifted" the additional 3 months of the incoming king, Nabonidus, but was simply stated as what it was, a reign of less than a single full regnal year. Thus, while that 9 month period may have been looked upon as the 1st year of Labashi-Marduk's reign, he is still not assigned a 1 year reign, because he did not complete it. Additionally, 7 1/2 months into the year is at the latter part of the year and thus to be considered "late in the year". In any case, this discussion has become repetitive and therefore it's continuation is of little benefit as you will believe what you chose to believe and no argument, regardless of how factual, logical, or reasonable will change your position. Willietell (talk) 02:19, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
(editing on a phone, so only a brief response). As usual, you are wrong. Labashi-Marduk didn't have any regnal years. He only ruled for 9 months of his accession year during 556BCE. Per the rules I stated before, he ruled for 1) 9 months of his accession year (counted as the final regnal year of the previous king), 2) 0 full regnal years, 3) 0 months of non-existent final regnal year. When there was only an accession period and no regnal years, the number of months is given. This is entirely consistent. (talk) 08:30, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and that was a funny attempt to try to save face about your error about 'late in the year'. The 7th month is the middle of the year, and certainly is no 'explanation' for why you ignore your 'rule' of adding an imaginary year for leftover months at the end of a reign.-- (talk) 08:41, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Again, this is inconsistent with what you have previously stated to believe, as according to your reckoning, those 9 months would be assigned to the previous king and Labashi-Marduk's 9 months of reign would go unmentioned, but that is not the case, again proving you are incorrect in this matter. His month's of reign in his accession year were not counted, and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that his reign could have lasted for as many as 20 months plus a matter of days, no one knows for certain. But again this is a discussion to which there is little point of continuation, because reason and facts will not sway your opinion and you will only continue to counter with another illogical argument. And to worry whether 7 1/2 months is considered the "middle of the year" or or "late in the year" is splitting hairs and rather sophomoric, and not a discussion I will entertain. If it is your goal to simply "get in the last word" then here is your opportunity, because I am done with this discussion. Willietell (talk) 03:14, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Stop. You are just plain wrong. Neriglissar reigned until the beginning of 556. Labashi-Marduk replaced him in 556 and was only in power 9 months (accession year only), then Nabonidus started ruling in 556. Read an encyclopedia before making up easily disprovable lies.-- (talk) 09:28, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes, the way the lead is worded is bad. It gives dates as certainties although they are clearly not certain - it appears that occurs in the body of the article also (which is where the dates should be discussed, with the lead then reflecting that. But all of this 'more likely' etc is simply original research and not the way to write an article. Jeffro's suggestion is closer to the way the lead should read, so long as those dates are cited and attributed where appropriate in the body of the article, using reliable (and that means mainstream here) sources. Dougweller (talk) 06:14, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

At this point I have not suggested any phrasing for the lead to the article, thus I have not recommended the terminology "more likely" or any similar terminology be employed. Still the usage of similar terms is frequently employed in encyclopedia articles in situations where the absolute facts are in question, as is the case with the subject at hand. If dates are provided in this article, they should be presented as speculation, not as fact. References cited, should not be references that say that "so and so says that so and so says", but they should be reliable references that point to specific artifacts in determining length of reign. Much of the archaeological evidence in this time period is in a bad state of decay and many of the statements on the cuneiform tablets are open to interpretation. There is also the problem of a repeating solar/lunar cycle for dating events that causes a repeating range of possible dates as well as guesswork about the physical location of the observer of those solar/lunar events. All this really leads to a situation where I personally don't feel it is wise to attempt to employ the use of dates in the article, but think it more logical to just report the occurrence of events Willietell (talk) 03:54, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

"Significance in Jewish history"...a bit redundant, eh?[edit]

This article is not very neutral and is written as if it is exclusively for Jewish people (Reform/Secular level). That is why I found it a little funny that the above is an actual header. This is an article for a universal and neutral global encyclopedia. Secular historical scholarship should be given far more weight including how the page should be designed.

However, I don't want to sound overly critical here. People can always add a section that includes more secular, archaeological research (me included). The biblical history depicted in the article is generally considered pretty accurate, especially for a religious text. Although if I didn't know history, including Jewish history, from a neutral secular perspective I would not know this. Herein lies the problem for me with this article. Additionally, I looked at the references and the books listed, which is exceptional for an article this small. Frankly, this tells me that the people who have written for this article are well versed and have the capability to produce both a more neutral article and a lengthier one but chose the perspective they did.BinaryLust (talk) 01:07, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Jenks24 (talk) 13:22, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Babylonian captivityDestruction of the First Temple – Rationale for the proposed page name change; in line with Destruction of the Second Temple, and/or central theme is the temple destruction which supposedly dampened the exilees will to return.Marecheth Ho'eElohuth (talk) 19:09, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose Most obviously, I note that Destruction of the Second Temple is a redirect to "Siege of Jerusalem (70)", so this is hardly a valid analogy. More broadly, although there is some dispute about how much of the traditional concept is historically accurate, "Babylonian captivity" is an established concept in Jewish historiography. "Destruction of the First Temple" just refers to a specific event and a specific building, albeit a very important one, the existing title refers to a whole period and some broader historical and theological issues, they are not synonymous. If the article is unbalanced that is another issue. PatGallacher (talk) 20:11, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose verbatim as PatGallacher above. Destruction of the First Temple would be part of Siege of Jerusalem (587 BC). In ictu oculi (talk) 11:01, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The current title reflects the article's content. There is no reason to change to a title that reflects only a small part of the article.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:18, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The article is about the Babylonian captivity. 'Nuf said. Kauffner (talk) 16:13, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Historicity (again)[edit]

Years later, I find myself in agreement with the comment on this page "I am a bit this article stating all this as fact, or is it mearly relaying STORIES told by religious texts?? I'm unfamiliar with said texts which is why i'm asking if this is fact or disputed???--Donnie from the mean streets of Boston, KY 20:11, 5 October 2006 (UTC)"

The only reference I see on the main page is "According to the Hebrew Bible, there were three deportations of Jews to Babylon" but the Bible cannot be used as a reliable guide to actual events, it is a religious work and contains many narratives now considered to be unhistorical.I came to this article, like Donnie above, hoping to find out if this event, the Babylonian captivity, can be confirmed outside the Bible, but having read it I still don't know.

On the page, there is a quote:"According to the Babylonian Chronicles[2], he laid siege to Jerusalem, which eventually fell on 2 Adar (March 16) 597 BC. The Chronicles state: In the seventh year (of Nebuchadnezzar-599 BC.) in the month Chislev (Nov/Dec) the king of Babylon assembled his army, and after he had invaded the land of Hatti (Syria/Palestine) he laid siege to the city of Judah. On the second day of the month of Adar (16 March) he conquered the city and took the king (Jeconiah) prisoner. He installed in his place a king (Zedekiah) of his own choice, and after he had received rich tribute, he sent forth to Babylon", which is useful in that it confirms the siege from a source other than the Bible but it does not say anything about the population or a large part of it being taken to Babylon.

Is this an undisputed historical event? I strongly believe the article should make clear whether it is or not. The Bible has a lot of mythology in it, how is a casual reader of this article supposed to judge whether it is fact or legend? If no one knows whether it is or not, the article should say that. Smeat75 (talk) 04:30, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

It seems nobody is responding to the request of people for real historical source documents regarding this event.Historylover4 (talk) 05:54, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Reading the section in Finkelstein and Silberman's The Bible Unearthed, it would seem that there is archaeological evidence but no extra-biblical textual evidence, although they do say "Other sites north of Jerusalem such as Bethel and Gibeon continued to be inhabited in the same era. In the area to the south of Jerusalem, around Bethlehem, there seems to have been significant continuity from the late monarchic to the Babylonian period. Thus, to both the north and south of Jerusalem, life continued almost uninterrupted. Both text and archaeology contradict the idea that between the destruc- tion of Jerusalem in 586 bce and the return of the exiles after the proclamation of Cyrus in 538 bce Judah was in total ruin and uninhabited." Dougweller (talk) 10:01, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Biblical history[edit]

I began doing a copyedit of the Biblical history of the Exile section, but gave up before I got very far. There are elements that omit or otherwise do not concur properly with the biblical account.

The statement about Judah rebelling against Babylon in 599BCE is wrong, and leaves out key details. Specifically, Jehoiakim began paying tribute in early 604BCE, in Nebuchadnezzar's accession year, initially to prevent a siege, reported by Berossus via Josephus (Daniel 1:1, Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews X). He paid tribute to Nebuchadnezzar for the three subsequent years, during which Nebuachadnezzar made various campaigns throughout the region to collect tributes from the various vassal states (2 Kings 24:1, BM 21946 front lines 15-17, 23, reverse lines 1-5). After Jehoiakim had paid tribute to Nebuchadnezzar for three years, he then refused in his eighth year, most likely in early 600BCE (some time before Nisan), after he learned of Babylon's failed attack on the Egyptians in 601BCE (2 Kings 24:1, BM 21946 reverse lines 6-7, Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews X). The following year (600BCE), Nebuchadnezzar remained in Babylon (BM 21946 reverse line 8), and the next year (599BCE) sent various smaller attacks against Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:2, BM 21946 reverse lines 9-10). Then in late 598BCE, Nebuchadnezzar began his siege against Jerusalem that led up to the exile (2 Kings 24:10-11, BM 21946 reverse lines 11-13).

Is there a reason these details aren't present in the section?--Jeffro77 (talk) 00:22, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

JW chronology[edit]

Common sense makes 607 BCE the only rational date for the Babylonian Exile of 70 years. (2 Chronicles 36:20,21; Jeremiah 25:12; Zechariah 1:12; Daniel 9:2; Zechariah 7:5; Jeremiah 29:10) Josephus indicates that the temple foundations were laid in Cyrus' second year (Against Apion, Book I, chapter 21), and Ezra 3:8 places that event in the 2nd month (Iyyar), corresponding with May of 537 BCE. Ezra 3:1 says that the Jews were "in their cities" in the 7th month (Tishri) of the year before, corresponding with October of 538 BCE. Various sources indicate either 538 or 537. Following is a mixed list of secular, Jewish and Christian sources that indicate 538 for the return. This is not an exhaustive list.
  • Fire Bible-NIV-Student - Page 580, Donald Stamps, Carey Huffman, J. Wesley Adams – 2009: “In stage one (538 BC), 50000 exiles returned, led by Zerubbabel and Jeshua (cf. Ezra 2).”
  • Fire Bible Student Edition: New International Version - Page 580, Hendrickson Publishers, Carey Huffman – 2010: “Note that the first group of Jewish exiles in 538 BC returned to Jerusalem”
  • Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible - Page 449, 2000: “According to Ezra, the exiled Jews returned to Judah and Jerusalem en masse in response to a decree by Cyrus king of Persia (538; 1:1-4).”
  • The Catholic Encyclopedia: Volume 8, Charles George Herbermann, Edward Aloysius Pace, Condé Bénoist Pallen – 1913: “I. HISTORY OF THE JEWS. — This history may be divided into various periods in accordance with the leading phases which may be distinguished in the existence of the Jewish race since the Return in 538 bc
  • A History of the Christian Tradition: - Page 22, Thomas C. McGonigle, Thomas D. McGonigle, James F. Quigley – 1988: “The Return from Exile In 538 BCE a new political power, Persia, ...”
  • The Controversial Sholem Asch - Page 269, Ben Siegel – 1976: “Apocalyptic tendencies that led to both Jewish and Christian Messianic movements were apparent as early as Ezekiel, but they did not "flower" until after the Jewish return (538 BC) from Babylon. “
  • Kings of the Jews: the origins of the Jewish nation - Page 152, Norman Gelb - 2010 - 246 pages : “RETURN TO ZION Like their return from Egypt almost eight centuries earlier, the return of the Jews from Babylonia was in waves, beginning in 538 BCE.”
  • Jews and Christians: Graeco-Roman views - Page 3, Molly Whittaker – 1984: “When the Persians took Babylon, some of the exiles were permitted to return (c. 538), although many remained...”
  • The amazing adventures of the Jewish people - Page 37, Max I. Dimont – 1984: “The first Zionade, launched in 538 BCE, had a distinguished leadership — two princes of the house of David, ...”
  • The Creative Era Between the Testaments, Carl Gordon Howie, Carl Gordon Howie – 1965: “Under provisions of the royal decree, Sheshbazzar, who was appointed governor of the Jerusalem area, and his company of fellow Jews left Babylon for Jerusalem during the reign of Cyrus. The immediate purpose of their return in 538 BC ...”
  • Fantastic Victory: Israel's Rendezvous With Destiny - Page 129, W. Cleon Skousen – 2011: “One year later, in 538 BC, Cyrus authorized 50000 Jews to return to the ruins of their beloved Jerusalem for the purpose of rebuilding it. These 50000 “Zionists” required four months to reach their destination and were led by a man who ...”
  • The Last Tango in Baghdad - Page 1, Albert Khabbaza MD, Albert Khabbaza, M.d. – 2010: “The Jews were dispersed mostly to Persia and Babylonia. The opportunity to return arrived in 538 BCE when Cyrus of Persia issued the famous decree permitting the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple.”
  • The Age of the Maccabees, Annesley William Streane – 1898: “BEFORE entering on our main subject, it is desirable that we should take a brief retrospective glance over that part of the earlier history which lies between the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon (538 BC)...”
  • Holman Concise Bible Dictionary - Page 210, Holman Bible Editorial Staff – 2011: “Jehoiachin's grandson, Zerubbabel, led the first exiles back from Babylon in 538 BC (Ezra 2:2; Hag. 1:1).”
  • The Jewish People: A Pictorial History, Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Israel Program for Scientific Translations – 1973: “Permission was given to the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. The first return in 538 bce involved 42.360 free men and 7337 slaves; the territory assigned to them was small..”
  • Merriam-Webster's collegiate encyclopedia - Page 857, Merriam-Webster, Inc – 2000: “Cyrus the Great allowed them to return in 538 BC, and the Temple of Jerusalem was rebuilt.”
  • The myth of the Jewish race - Page 97, Raphael Patai, Jennifer Patai – 1989: “We can gain a very rough idea of the extent of Jewish-Babylonian intermarriage in the half-century that elapsed between their arrival as exiles in Babylon and their first return to the land of Judah (538 BC)...”
  • A Guide Through the Old Testament - Page 16, Celia Brewer Marshall, Celia B. Sinclair – 1989: “Jews return to Judea from the Exile beginning in 538
  • Exile: Old Testament, Jewish, and Christian conceptions - Page 89, James M. Scott – 1997, “including the return in the year 538 under the leadership of Sheshbazzar (Ezra 1 ).”
  • A Concise History of the Jewish People - Page 11, Naomi E. Pasachoff, Robert J. Littman – 2005: “the return to Israel under the Persians in 538 BCE
Now pull out your calculator and follow along: "537 + 70 = ???" —Maxximiliann talk 05:20, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
That was rather clumsy of you, posting a bunch of information confirming that the Jews returned in 538 (which you copied from my response at your User Talk page), and then irrelevantly telling people to add 70 to 537.
You cite scriptures that mention '70 years', but you pay no respect to the context.
  • Jeremiah 25:12 - All the surrounding nations would serve Babylon for 70 years. Babylon deposed the Assyrian empire in 609 after the final defeat of its last king at Harran. Since Babylon was conquered in 539, Babylon was in fact dominant for 70 years.
  • Jeremiah 29:10 - The context is a letter sent (in 594 BCE) to Jews already in Babylon (who had been there since 597 BCE), several years prior to the destruction of Jerualem (587 BCE). They were told that Babylon would be dominant for 70 years (verse 10), and after that, the Jews would have to pray for forgiveness (verses 11-13), then the Jews would return to their homeland (verse 14). It makes no sense to tell them they'll be in exile for 70 years starting from an unspecified future event, and the passage doesn't end the 70 years with the return anyway.
  • Daniel 9:2 - Daniel 'discerned' (from Jeremiah chapter 29) that the Jews would return after Babylon was no longer the dominant power, and he then prayed for forgiveness on behalf of the people, in keeping with Jeremiah 29:10-13.
  • 2 Chronicles 36:20,21 - Indicates that Babylon's 70 years of dominance ended with the rise of the Persian empire, but that the Jews were still paying off their 'Sabbaths' until Cyrus' decree in his first year. Reference to 'Sabbaths' was not 'the word of Jeremiah', but a reference to Leviticus 26:34-35.
  • Zechariah 1:12 - The context is a vision (see verse 8) in 519 BCE (see verse 7) about a future end of a different 70 year period because temple construction had been halted.
  • Zechariah 7:5 - The context is the ninth month of 518 BCE, and indicates fasting for 70 years, in reference to the annual fasts commemorating the fall of Jerusalem (fifth month) and the death of Gedaliah (seventh month). The fasts from 587 until 518 (inclusive) is 70 years of fasts.
Please stop disrupting Wikipedia articles with the alternative JW chronology which has no support from any neutral sources.--Jeffro77 (talk) 05:44, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Jeffro, be informed that Daniel 1,1 supports 70 years from 607BCE. I assume there's an English equivalent source saying the same as this:

Christian Metzenthin Jesaja-Auslegung in Qumran 2010 Page 55 "Die 70 Jahre des Exils beginnen nach Dan 1,1 mit einem postulierten Feldzug Nebukadnezars gegen Jojakim 607/606 v. Chr., der die translatio imperii vom judäischen König zum babylonischen Herrscher zur Folge hat.49 Diese Datierung widerspricht nicht nur allen historisch zuverlässigen Quellen, sondern auch den Darstellungen in den übrigen biblischen Büchern, wonach das Exil erst mit den Wegführungen durch Nebukadnezars 597 und 587 v. Chr. beginnt."

In ictu oculi (talk) 01:45, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Actually, it does not. The source you present does not account for the fact that 'Daniel' gives reigns without counting accession years, placing Jehoiakim's third year of reign as 605 BCE. Your source also notes that "this dating not only contradicts all historically reliable sources, but also what is stated in other Bible books," indicating that any supposed 607-based chronology is wrong. However, the passage in Daniel is in fact consistent with other Bible books when the accession year counting system is properly recognised, and it is also recognised that 70 years was a period during which all the nations were subject to Babylon and not a period of exile. The release of the Jews followed about a year after the end of Babylon's 70 years.--Jeffro77 (talk) 01:56, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Frankly, I couldn't care less. My point - in relation to the issue you have taken to ANI, is that Christian Metzenthin (who is evidently not a "JW") doesn't describe what he considers an error in Dan1:1 to "JW" chronology. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:06, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
This has been clarified at ANI. It is more accurately a Millerite or Adventist teaching. That has no bearing on the fact that the editor in question is pushing his own JW views, which has not been disputed.--Jeffro77 (talk) 02:31, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
The German source states that only Daniel 1:1 suggests "607/606" (in the author's view, though the error regarding accession years has been explained above), and the same source explicitly indicates that all historical sources and the other biblical books contradict that view. In contrast, the JW chronology (and Maxximiliann) insists that all of the biblical books support their '607' chronology. The German source therefore does not provide the source of the JW chronology, nor is it attempting to make any other claim that 607 is correct. The JW chronology is quite definitely derived from Millerism.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:29, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
@Jeffro Argumentum ignoratio elenchi. In light of 2 Kings 24:1, Daniel 1:1 is clearly a reference to King Jehoiakim's vassalage to King Nebuchadnezzar, not the beginning of his eleven year rule in Jerusalem. —Maxximiliann talk 02:25, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Wrong. Daniel 1:1 says nothing at all about 'vassalage'. The original text uses מַלְכוּת (malkuwth; Strongs 4438), which means reign.--Jeffro77 (talk) 02:31, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Which is why I pointed to 2 Kings 24:1 for context. —Maxximiliann talk 02:36, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
2 Kings 24:1 has the same context as Daniel 1:1. Both sources agree with BM 21946. In Nebuchadnezzar's accession year (February 604 BCE), he demanded tribute from Jehoiakim, which was paid for three years. Jehoikaim then refused to pay after Nebuchadnezzar's failed attack on Egypt in 601 BCE.--Jeffro77 (talk) 03:21, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

This article is in a very poor state[edit]

So I have managed to answer my own question as to historicity which I asked more than a year ago on this page, and got a helpful response from Dougweller referring me to "The Bible Unearthed" which, however, the main article does not use as a source at all. Rather than the skewed emphasis on chronology placed right after the lead, with exact dates given in some cases, it would be better to establish which of these events can be confirmed from sources outside the Bible as actually having taken place at all, which I was not alone in being unable to discern from reading this article, see previous questions on this talk page. It really needs to be re-written, I will make some suggestions on this talk page and revisions to the article bit by bit over the next weeks.Smeat75 (talk) 14:17, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

That would be great. I get a bit annoyed when I see articles which use dates which suggest that something is definitely a historical even when the only source is a religious text, whatever that text might be. Dougweller (talk) 13:53, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I have made a start, but there is still a lot to do, I wish there were a tag you could put on articles that says something like "This article is in the process of being revised, please don't judge it the way it is right now, come back in a day or two and look again."Smeat75 (talk) 05:46, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Maybe {{under construction}} or {{in use}}?--Jeffro77 (talk) 06:48, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh thanks Jeffro, I did not know about those. Smeat75 (talk) 20:03, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
So I have done what I can for now, would be interested to hear any comments or questions. There is a whole section, "Significance in Jewish history', that does not quote any references or sources, which I have tagged as such.Smeat75 (talk) 02:10, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

Telpardec has gone through the article and replaced Judea with "Judah" every time, which does not bother me although I am curious to know the reason for it. What I am more than curious to know is why a Biblical quote is necessary in the lead in relation to the (supposed) decree of Cyrus the Great in the book of Ezra. What I cannot live with, and am changing back to the way it was, is the alteration of "As part of the Persian Empire, the former Kingdom of Judea became the province of Yehud with different borders, covering a smaller territory. to "As part of the Persian Empire, the former Kingdom of Judah became the province of Judah (Yehûd medîntā') with different borders, covering a smaller territory" because that is not what the cited source says. It is cited to Finkelstein "The Bible Unearthed" and he does not say "Judah" but "Yehud" and to have it the way Telpardec changed it to would misrepresent the source. Smeat75 (talk) 23:13, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Telpardec also added a quote but left out a word from that quote, which I restored. Our article on Judah is Kingdom of Judah, which doesn't mention Cyrus, although Judea does.
I have a bigger problem with the lead - it still states in effect that there was a decree, despite the fact that the article disputes that. Thanks for all your work, by the way. Dougweller (talk) 09:57, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
So I made some tweaks to the lead so that the first sentence does not say "the Jews" were captives, which sounds like they all were, which is not true, changing it just to "Jews".
The second paragraph now does not refer to a decree of Cyrus (or quote from a Biblical text, I really did not feel that was necessary) and I tried to re-word it so that it does not say for sure that the second temple was rebuilt at that time, just that that is what the Biblical accounts say. Smeat75 (talk) 14:34, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
(Wow, this looks like the pounce-on-Telpardec section – may I join in the fun? :) It is generally not good practice to put someone's username in a section header, which also puts it in the Table of Contents, and in the Edit Summary when anyone chooses section edit, which can then be seen in various lists like the Page History, Recent Changes and Watchlists. Section header renamed to "Recent changes" with this edit. Cheers. —Telpardec  TALK  01:17, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The article has been further revised since the issues raised above, but here is what I was about to post before I fell asleep:

  1. Why Judea to Judah change? Several reasons: common term, simplicity, possible confusion with the New Testament term Judaea or Judæa (the Roman province).
  2. Reason for direct quote from source in lede/intro?? Clarity, accuracy. (Poor man's paraphrase? :)
  3. Yehud vs. Judah? It is generally best not to use jargon when there are plain English alternatives. The Aramaic derived word Yehud is equivalent to the English word Judah. Yehud Medinata means Judah Province. The wikilink and explanation in the article is all the mention that is needed. (Judah is simplicated enough – why complify it? :)
  4. Finkelstein source? Oops. It seems I was looking at the Grabbe p.355 citation at the end of the previous sentence when I made the (Yehûd medîntā') revision.
Happy trails. —Telpardec  TALK  01:17, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for answering the questions. I apologise for putting your username in the section header, I have been told not to do that before, but I forgot. I did not mean to create a "pounce on Telpardec" section.Smeat75 (talk) 03:23, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
OK. No problem. Thanks for all your work. —Telpardec  TALK  07:44, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Wrong Captivity?[edit]

Weird, I didn't expect that! Where is the "Babylonian Captivity" where the Babylonians are the French, and the Jews are the I-talians? You'd expect that if you jacked the pope at least you'd get a Wikipedia page... Hmm.. I should stop reading out of date books. (talk) 21:25, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Recent changes to the lead[edit]

IP changed the final sentence ot the lead from "Archaeological studies have revealed that only a minority 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" to "Archaeological studies have revealed that tens of thousands of the religious, military, Royal and civic Judahite elite were deported, and that, although Jerusalem was utterly destroyed, other parts of Judah continued to be inhabited, by "the poor" non elite, during the period of the exile" with an edit summary "More recent discoveries are clear that around 40000 elite were exiled". According to WP:LEAD the lead should be a summary of the article and should not contain information that is not cited in the main body of the text, that is why there does not have to be inline citations in the lead. But the revision of the IP is a statement not supported by a cite, is not discussed later in the article, and is not what the cited sources on the matter in the body of the article say, I know because I wrote it. So I am changing it back to the way it was before, also the IP changed a date with no citation given for the change, maybe it is correct but it needs a citation, so I am changing that back too.Smeat75 (talk) 13:52, 8 November 2013 (UTC)


Is it correct to refer to the people of Israel as "Jews" at this date? Yes, the deportees were largely from Jerusalem, which was in the land of Judah - but doesn't the word "Jews" in the modern world have very different associations to what would be proper here? I think the more proper designation is "Israelites".

Try this thought experiment: would the people deported from Judah to Babylon at that time have identified themselves as "Jews"? Would they have had rabbis? Would they have had synagogues? (talk) 09:56, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Daniel in the lead[edit]

I don't like the mention of the story of Daniel in the lead, that is just a made up fable with no historicity and I would rather try to keep this article about the real Babylonian captivity, an actual event.Smeat75 (talk) 13:34, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Obviously the story of Daniel lacks historicity. However, I have restored details that are also corroborated by BM 21946. I have also consistently given the years excluding Nebuchadnezzar's accession year in each case, with 'seventh year' (not including accession year) for the siege ending in 597 BCE, rather than 'eighth year' (including accession year).--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:20, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Removed timeline[edit]

The diagram in question:

A historical context of biblical prophecies related to the Babylonian captivity

Polish Wiki User:John Belushi removed the diagram citing Wikipedia:No_original_research (by the way, he removed all diagrams I have posted to Wikipedia). When asked which elements reflected my original research he declined to answer. As a result I reverted his changes.

User:Jeffro77 removed the diagram again as in his wrods Elements of this chart are WP:SYNTH and not supported by mainstream scholarship. e.g. consensus among scholars is that Isaiah 44 was written much later]]. My questions are:

  • Did Jeffro77 remove the whole diagram because of Isaiah 44 dating? If not what are the other elements which go against scholarly consensus?
  • In this diagram dating of Isaiah 44 is based upon works of Gleason, Allis, Motyer, Horton and Yehuda Radday, to name a few. The consensus on dating Isaiah 44 is a fiction and that can usually be linked to personal beliefs of individual scholars (both sides have presented various arguments in support of their stance and the matter is by no means settled, though Jeffro77 seems to believe the opposite).

The diagram does not represent or imply any new information or data which hasn't been discussed in scholarly publications. Apologist en (talk) 18:02, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

I removed the diagram primarily because it appears to make interpretations about primary sources without any reference to reliable secondary sources. However, if I had removed it solely because of its theological assertion that Isaiah 44 is 'prophetic', that would have been entirely legitimate. You have rather ambiguously mentioned some sources that allegedly 'defend' Isaiah 44 as a 'prophecy', and presumably I am now expected to determine who they are and then guess which of their works you are purportedly citing. (I'm already aware that Radday is a Jewish apologist whose theories about the authorship of Genesis are not accepted by the scholarly community). Perhaps you could provide links to the sources you're deferring to.--Jeffro77 (talk) 00:30, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
The number of scholarly publications on the subject which juxtapose OT verses and various events from Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian history are so numerous that it feels just pointless for me trying to show how much you are mistaken. Even a quick search via Google Books will prove you wrong.
And as far as Isaiah goes - I don't need to prove anything. There are plenty of fulfilled profecies from the modern times and in order to believe in the 'prophetic' I don't have to resort to the Old Testament. It is no problem whatsoever for me whether Isaiah was fully composed either in 7th, 6th or 5th century BC. Isaiah predicted a number of times that all nations of the earth would learn about the God of Israel and his worshippers would be found all over the world. Isaiah predicted that one day Jews would abandon idol-worship and would never turn back to it again. Isaiah predicted that Jews would be dispersed among all nations of the earth. Isaiah predicted that one day numerous healings would occur within his worshippers' community and that healing power would be available to them permanently. Isaiah predicted that one day his worshippers would experience his presence in a tangible way. Well, so maybe he should not be mentioned at all on Wiki, because a lot of his daring predictions came true and there are a number of us who can testify that his predictions were correct. On numerous occassions Charles Spurgeon predicted that the state of Israel would soon be restored - and Spurgeon lived in the XIX century, so maybe we should prohibit any references to his sermons, because they turned out to be prophetic? William Branham made a number of predictions ranging from politics (Hitler) to technology (cars without human drivers) - should we prohibit mentioning that on Wiki, because that would prove he was a prophet? I can assure you, that if I tried to prove that Isaiah is a prophetic book I would have plenty of material to draw on without the need to fight over the time his book was composed. No, references to Cyrus do not prove at all (at least to the great majority of people) that Isaiah is prophetic, just as Daniel's prediction that the second temple would be destroyed during the Roman rule does not prove that Daniel's book is prophetic (such is the case with most of us). Would it affect your views at all if one day it was proved that Isaiah 44 was composed in the VII century BC? I'm sure it wouldn't, so what is the point in fighting over it?
Radday is not a self learned apologist but a member of the scholarly community. This community includes a number of people who share his views unless to be a part of the scholarly community one has to believe that Isaiah 44 was completed in the 6th century BC or even later. Apologist en (talk) 14:36, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
As with your response at Talk:Kings of Judah, your tone indicates that you have entirely missed the point. It's not at all clear how available sources that juxtapose OT sources with other historical sources is supposed to 'show how much I am mistaken', because I never asserted that such synchronisms 'don't exist'. The problem is your failure to include such sources. Your claims about Isaiah's 'predictions' don't constitute 'evidence' of anything. There is also a significant difference between making a 'prediction' in the rational sense that may or may not transpire, compared to theological assertions that something is a 'prophecy' that has some alleged 'divine support'. In any case, biased assertions about supposedly 'fulfilled prophecies' are not relevant to a secular encyclopedia article, so it is neither necessary nor appropriate for you to try to 'prove that Isaiah is a prophetic book'.--Jeffro77 (talk) 18:38, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Jeffro. I agree that sources are required, and that a rational prediction is not the same as a prophecy. Dougweller (talk) 20:10, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
That is exaclty what I was trying to express but I may have not made myslef clear enough: the fact that Isaiah may have predicted that a person by the name of Cyrus would save Jews some time in the future does not necessarily mean that he was a 'prophet' or that he had 'divine support' - even if the number of all names used in Isaiah's times was 10.000 or even 100.000 he may have made a 'predition' in the rational sense. The chances would have been 1 in 10.000 or 1 in 100.000 - whatever the case this was still far from the impossible. Things happen and they don't necessarily mean something. My personal beliefs are irrelevant.
I will provide sources for the Isaiah 44 dating I followed on this talk page and provide the link in the diagram caption. More sources are to be found at Talk:Kings of Judah. If there is any other element if the diagram which in your opinion requires references I'll try and provide them. Apologist en (talk) 21:06, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
The mainstream scholarly consensus is that the latter part of Isaiah was written later, so it doesn't matter whether you assert that Isaiah prophesied/predicted/guessed Cyrus' name, or whatever other semantics you want to use.--Jeffro77 (talk) 03:03, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
A far simpler neutral solution would be to replace the word prophecies with scriptures in your diagram.--Jeffro77 (talk) 03:25, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
And again, at the very least, the summary page for this image should provide sources beyond that it is merely your "own work".--Jeffro77 (talk) 03:28, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Doable. Apologist en (talk) 18:42, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Ezra and the two texts[edit]

Why was this deleted? I don't understand the rationale given. Doug Weller talk 18:14, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

I am not sure if you are talking to me, but Ezra is already mentioned 5 times in the article and much of it is repeated. I removed a couple of biblical references in the section specifically named "Archaeological and other non-Biblical evidence" Lipsquid (talk) 18:21, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

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