6 occurrences in 6 dictionaries

Reference: Captivity


God often punished the sins of the Jews be captivities or servitudes, according to his threatenings, De 28. Their first captivity, however, from which Moses delivered them, should be considered rather as a permission of Providence, than as a punishment for sin. There were six subjugations of the twelve tribes during the period of the judges. But the most remarkable captivities, or rather expatriations of the Hebrews, were whose of Israel and Judah under the regal government. Israel was first carried away in part about B. C. 740, by Tiglath-pileser, 2Ki 15:29. The tribes east of the Jordan, with parts of Zebulun and Naphtali, Isa 9:1, were the first sufferers. Twenty years later, Shalmanezer carried away the remainder, 2Ki 17:6-24. Aside from certain prophecies, Isa 11:12-13; Jer 31:7-9,16-20; 49:2; Eze 37:16; Ho 11:11; Am 9:14; Ob 1:18-19, etc., which are variously interpreter to mean a past or a future return, a physical or a spiritual restoration, there is no evidence that the ten tribes as a body ever returned to Palestine.

To Judah are generally reckoned three captivities: 1. Under Jehoiakim, in his third year, B. C. 606, when Daniel and others were carried to Babylon, 2Ki 24:1-2; Da 1:1. 2. In the last year of Jehoiakim, when Nebuchadnezzar carried 3,023 Jews to Babylon; or rather, under Jehoiachin, when this prince also was sent to Babylon, that is, in the seventh and eighth years of Nebuchadnezzar, B. C. 598, 2Ki 24:2,12; 2Ch 36:8,10; Jer 52:34. 3. Under Zedekiah, B. C. 588, when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed, and most that was valuable among the people and their treasures was carried to Babylon, 2Ki 25; 2Ch 36. The seventy years during which they were to remain in captivity, Jer 25:11; 29:10, are reckoned probably from the date of the first captivity, B. C. 606. While at Babylon the Jews had judges and elders who governed them, and decided matters in dispute juridically according to their laws. The book of Daniel shows us a Jew in a high position at court, and the book of Esther celebrates their numbers and power in the Persian empire. The prophets labored, not in vain, to keep alive the flame of the true religion.

At length the seventy years were fulfilled, and Cyrus, in the first year of his reign at Babylon, B. C. 536, made a proclamation throughout his empire permitting the people of God to return to their country, and rebuild the temple, Ezr 1:11. Nearly 50,000 accepted the invitation, Ezr 2:2; Ne 7:7. This company laid the foundation of the second temple, which was completed in the sixth year of Darius, B. C. 516. Fifty-eight years after, Ezra led a small company of 7,000 from Babylon to Judea. He was succeeded as governor by Nehemiah, who labored faithfully and successfully to reform the people, and many of the good fruits of his labors remained until the time of Christ.

Probably none among the posterity of Jacob can now prove from which of his twelve sons they are descended. Both Judah and Israel being removed from "the lot of their inheritance" in Canaan, and dispersed among strangers, the various tribes would naturally amalgamate with each other, the envy of Judah and Ephraim would depart, and the memory of Abraham, Moses, and David would revive, Ezr 6:16-17; 8:35; Eze 37:26-28.

The last captivity of the Jews, A. D. 71, after they had filled up the measure of their iniquity by rejecting Christ and the gospel, was a terrible one. According to Josephus, 1,100,000 perished at the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, and nearly 100,000 captives were scattered among the provinces to perish in gladiatorial shows, doomed to toil as public slaves, or sold into private bondage. The cut represents the medal of the emperor Vespasian, A. D. 71, in memory of the capture of Jerusalem. Under the emperor Hadrian, A. D. 133, a similar crushing blow fell on the Jews who had again assembled in Judea; and at this day they are scattered all over the world, yet distinct from the people among whom they dwell, suffering under the woe which unbelief has brought upon their fathers and themselves, and awaiting the time when Christ "shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob," Ro 11:25-26.

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(1.) Of Israel. The kingdom of the ten tribes was successively invaded by several Assyrian kings. Pul (q.v.) imposed a tribute on Menahem of a thousand talents of silver (2Ki 15:19-20; 1Ch 5:26) (B.C. 762), and Tiglath-pileser, in the days of Pekah (B.C. 738), carried away the trans-Jordanic tribes and the inhabitants of Galilee into Assyria (2Ki 15:29; Isa 9:1). Subsequently Shalmaneser invaded Israel and laid siege to Samaria, the capital of the kingdom. During the siege he died, and was succeeded by Sargon, who took the city, and transported the great mass of the people into Assyria (B.C. 721), placing them in Halah and in Habor, and in the cities of the Medes (2Ki 17:3,5). Samaria was never again inhabited by the Israelites. The families thus removed were carried to distant cities, many of them not far from the Caspian Sea, and their place was supplied by colonists from Babylon and Cuthah, etc. (2Ki 17:24). Thus terminated the kingdom of the ten tribes, after a separate duration of two hundred and fifty-five years (B.C. 975-721).

Many speculations have been indulged in with reference to these ten tribes. But we believe that all, except the number that probably allied themselves with Judah and shared in their restoration under Cyrus, are finally lost.

Like the dew on the mountain, Like the

foam on the river,

Like the bubble on the fountain,

They are gone, and for ever."

(2.) Of Judah. In the third year of Jehoiachim, the eighteenth king of Judah (B.C. 605), Nebuchadnezzar having overcome the Egyptians at Carchemish, advanced to Jerusalem with a great army. After a brief siege he took that city, and carried away the vessels of the sanctuary to Babylon, and dedicated them in the Temple of Belus (2Ki 24:1; 2Ch 36:6-7; Da 1:1-2). He also carried away the treasures of the king, whom he made his vassal. At this time, from which is dated the "seventy years" of captivity (Jer 25; Da 9:1-2), Daniel and his companions were carried to Babylon, there to be brought up at the court and trained in all the learning of the Chaldeans. After this, in the fifth year of Jehoiakim, a great national fast was appointed (Jer 36:9), during which the king, to show his defiance, cut up the leaves of the book of Jeremiah's prophecies as they were read to him in his winter palace, and threw them into the fire. In the same spirit he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 24:1), who again a second time (B.C. 598) marched against Jerusalem, and put Jehoiachim to death, placing his son Jehoiachin on the throne in his stead. But Jehoiachin's counsellors displeasing Nebuchadnezzar, he again a third time turned his army against Jerusalem, and carried away to Babylon a second detachment of Jews as captives, to the number of 10,000 (2Ki 24:13; Jer 24:1; 2Ch 36:10), among whom were the king, with his mother and all his princes and officers, also Ezekiel, who with many of his companions were settled on the banks of the river Chebar (q.v.). He also carried away all the remaining treasures of the temple and the palace, and the golden vessels of the sanctuary.

Mattaniah, the uncle of Jehoiachin, was now made king over what remained of the kingdom of Judah, under the name of Zedekiah (2Ki 24:17; 2Ch 36:10). After a troubled reign of eleven years his kingdom came to an end (2Ch 36:11). Nebuchadnezzar, with a powerful army, besieged Jerusalem, and Zedekiah became a prisoner in Babylon. His eyes were put out, and he was kept in close confinement till his death (2Ki 25:7). The city was spoiled of all that was of value, and then given up to the flames. The temple and palaces were consumed, and the walls of the city were levelled with the ground (B.C. 586), and all that remained of the people, except a number of the poorest class who were left to till the ground and dress the vineyards, were carried away captives to Babylon. This was the third and last deportation of Jewish captives. The land was now utterly desolate, and was abondoned to anarchy.

In the first year of his reign as king of Babylon (B.C. 536), Cyrus issued a decree liberating the Jewish captives, and permitting them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and the temple (2Ch 36:22-23; Ezr 1; 2). The number of the people forming the first caravan, under Zerubbabel, amounted in all to 42,360 (Ezr 2:64-65), besides 7,337 men-servants and maid-servants. A considerable number, 12,000 probably, from the ten tribes who had been carried away into Assyria no doubt combined with this band of liberated captives.

At a later period other bands of the Jews returned (1) under Ezra (Ezr 7:7) (B.C. 458), and (2) Nehemiah (Ne 7:66) (B.C. 445). But the great mass of the people remained still in the land to which they had been carried, and became a portion of the Jews of the "dispersion" (Joh 7:35; 1Pe 1:1). The whole number of the exiles that chose to remain was probably about six times the number of those who returned.

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Used in Scripture for compulsory exile. Besides minor captivities six under the judges, namely, that by Chushan-rishathaim, Eglon, the Philistines, Jabin of Canaan, Midian, Ammon (Judges 3; Judges 4; Judges 6; Judges 10), and that by Hazael of Syria (2Ki 10:32), there were three great captivities. First in the reign of Pekah of Israel, when Tiglath Pileser, king of Assyria, carried away the people. of Gilead, Galilee, and all Naphtali (2Ki 15:29; Isa 9:1). As Pul his predecessor is named with Tiglath Pileser as having carried away Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan (1Ch 5:25-26), probably Tiglath Pileser carried (740 B.C.) out what Pul had intended but was diverted from by Menahem's bribe (771 or 762 B.C., Rawlinson) (2Ki 15:19-20).

Secondly, in the reign of Hoshea of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria, after letting him remain as a tributary prince for a time, at last when Hoshea omitted to send his yearly "present," and made a league with So or Sabacho II of Egypt (of which the record still exists on clay cylindrical seals found at Koyunjik), put Hoshea in prison and besieged Samaria three years, and in the ninth year of Hoshea's reign (721 B.C.) took it, and "carried Israel away to Halah and Habor by the river Gozan, and to the cities of the Medes" (2Ki 17:1-6). Sargon (Isa 20:1), according to the Assyrian monuments, completed the capture of Samaria which Shalmaneser began. In striking minute coincidence with Scripture, he was the first Assyrian monarch who conquered Media. In the monuments he expressly says that, in order to complete the subjugation of Media, he founded in it cities which he planted with colonists from other parts of his dominions.

Sennacherib (713 B.C.) carried into Assyria 200,000 from the Jewish cities he captured (2Ki 18:13). Thirdly, Nebuchadnezzar carried away Judith under Zedekiah to Babylon, 588 B.C. (2 Kings 24; 25.) A previous deportation of Jewish captives (including Ezekiel, Eze 1:1-3, and Mordecai, Esther's uncle, Es 2:6) was tint of King Jehoiachin, his princes, men of valor, and the craftsmen, 599 B.C. From Jer 52:12,15,28-30 we learn Nebuchadnezzar in his seventh (or eighth, according to the month with which the counting of the year begins) year carried away 3,023; but in 14'>2Ki 24:14,16'>16,10'>10,1, and 7,000 men of might, and 1,000 craftsmen; the 3,023 were probably of Judah, the remaining 7,000 were of the other tribes of Israel, of whom some still had been left after the Assyrian deportation; the 1,000 craftsmen were exclusive of the 10,000.

Or else the 3,023 were removed in the seventh year, the 7,000 find 1,000 craftsmen in the eighth year. In the 18th or 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar 832 of the most illustrious persons were carried away. In the 23rd year of Nebuchadnezzar, 745 persons, besides the general multitude of the poor, and the residue of the people in the city, and the deserters, were carried away by Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard. In Da 1:1-2, we find that in the third year of Jehoiakim Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and carried away part of the temple vessels of Jehovah to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god Bel. (Subsequently he took all away; they were restored under Cyrus: Ezr 1:7; 2Ki 24:13; Jer 52:19.) Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, of the blood royal of Judah, were among the captives. With this first deportation in the third year of Jehoiakim (607 or 606 B.C.) the foretold (Jeremiah 25; Jer 29:10) 70 years' "captivity" (i.e. subjection of Judah to Babylon) begins.

Nebuchadnezzar had intended to carry Jehoiakim to Babylon (2Ch 36:6-7); but Jehoiakim died before Nebuchadnezzar's intention could be effected (Jer 22:18-19; 36:30), and. his dead body was dragged out of the gates by the Chaldaean besiegers and left unburied. This was eight years before the deportation under Jehoiachin. In the first year of Darius (Da 9:2-19) the 70 years were nearly run out. Now Jehoiachin's third year was one year before Nebuchadnezzar's accession (2Ki 23:36; 24:12). 2Ki 24:20 years elapsed from that time to the taking of Babylon (Ptolemy's canon). So it would be in the 68th year of the captivity that Daniel prayed pardon for Jerusalem. Cyrus' decree, granting liberty and encouragement to the Jews to return to their own land, was one or two years after taking Babylon, 536 B.C. (Ezr 1:2).

The captivity ecclesiastically began with the destruction of the temple, 586 B.C. The restoration was 70 years afterward, in the sixth year of Darius, 515 or 516 B.C. (Ezr 6:15). The political aim of the deportation was to separate them from local associations, and from proximity to Egypt, their ally in every revolt, and so fuse them into the general population of the empire (Isa 36:16; Ge 47:21). The captives were treated as colonists. Daniel (Daniel 2; 6) and his three friends and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1) subsequently held high offices near the king. Jeremiah had recommended the Jews to settle quietly in the land of their exile. They did so, and increased in numbers and wealth. They observed the law (Es 3:8), and distinctions of rank (Eze 20:1). The synagogues for prayer and reading the law publicly began during the captivity, and afterward were set up in every city (Ac 15:21).

The apocryphal Tobit pictures the inner life of a Naphtalite family among Shalmaneser's captives at Nineveh. Jeremiah, Ezekiel (who died after 27 years' exile at least, Eze 29:17), and Daniel, and some of the Psalms (e.g. 137) give a general view of the state of the whole people in their exile. A portion of the people returned under Sheshbazzar or Zerubbabel, 535 B.C., who set up the altar and began the temple. Then, after along interruption of the building of the temple through Samaritan opposition, the work was completed in the second year of Darius, through Haggai and Zechariah (515 B.C., Ezra 5) the prophets, Jeshua the high priest, and Zerubbabel. A further portion returned under Ezra 458 B.C., and under Nehemiah 445 B.C. (Ezr 7:6-7; Nehemiah 2) In 536, besides servants, 42,360 returned; 30,000 belonging to Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, the remainder probably belonging to the Israelite tribes. Ezr 6:17 recognizes, in the sacrifices, the twelve tribes (compare 1 Chronicles 9).

Of the 24 courses of priests but four returned, so that seemingly only one sixth returned of the people, five sixths remained behind (Ezr 2:36-39, compare 1Ch 24:4,18). The latter who kept up their national distinctions were termed "the dispersion" (Es 8:9,11; Joh 7:35; 1Pe 1:1; Jas 1:1). The Afghans, the black Jews of Malabar, and the Nestorians, have been severally conjectured to represent the lost tribes. All we know is, some blended with the Jews, as Anna of Asher (Lu 2:36), Saul or Paul of Benjamin (Php 3:5); some with the Samaritans (Ezr 6:21; Joh 4:12); many, staying in their land of exile, founded colonies in the E. and were known as "the dispersion" (Ac 2:9-11; 26:7). The prayer, the 10th of the Shemoneh Esre, is still offered by the Jews: "Sound the great trumpet for our deliverance, lift up a banner for the gathering of our exiles, and unite us all together from the four ends of the earth!" evidently alluding to Isa 11:12; 27:13; Ps 106:47.

Those who apostatized to Assyrian and Babylonian idolatry were absorbed among the pagan. The Jews' language became then much affected by Chaldaisms (Ne 8:7-8), so that they could no longer understand, without interpretation, the pure Hebrew of the law. A Chaldee targum or paraphrase became necessary. An increased reverence for the law (Psalm 119 witnesses to this), and an abhorrence thenceforth of idolatry to which they once had been so prone, were among the beneficial effects of affliction on their national character. The prophets foretell the restoration, spiritually and also nationally in their own land, of Israel and Judah distinct, and hereafter to be combined (Isa 11:12-13), to be miraculously "gathered one by one" (Isa 27:12; Jer 3:18; 16:15-16; 31:7-20; Eze 37:16-28; Ho 1:10-11; 3:4-5; Zec 9:13; 10:6,10).

Their return under Messiah (then to be manifested) and their spiritual glory shall be the appointed instrumentality of the conversion of all nations (Isaiah 2; Isaiah 60; Mic 5:7

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This principally refers in the O.T. to the 'carrying away' of Israel and Judah. The order in which Israel was carried into captivity is not very clear. It appears however that the events recorded in 1Ch 5:26 occurred first, because of Pul king of Assyria being mentioned, for he reigned before Tiglath-pileser: here the latter is named as carrying away the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh: showing that the Israelites who stopped short of their privileges, and did not cross the Jordan, were the first to be carried into captivity. There is nothing in the passage to fix the date, but in 2Ki 15:29 is another reference to Israel when Tiglath-pileser took Ijon, Abel-beth-maachah, Janoah, Kedesh, and Hazor, which are all in the north on the west of the Jordan; but then is added Gilead, which is on the east, and this may be intended to embrace the two and a half tribes; then Galilee with all the land of Naphtali is added, which is again in the north on the west. So that this may be a summary of all that this king carried away captive to Assyria. It was 'in the days of Pekah,' and Pekah reigned 20 years: the date is generally reckoned as B.C. 740 for the captivity of the two and a half tribes.

A more definite date is given for the captivity of the remaining portion of Israel in 2Ki 18:10-11. It was in the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel and the sixth of Hezekiah that Samaria was taken by the Assyrians after a three years' siege: this would be B.C. 722. The captives were carried to Halah and Habor by the river of Gozan (these same names being mentioned in 1Ch 5:26, with Hara added there). These places are supposed to be in the north of Assyria; but in the above passage in Kings the words are added "and in the cities of the Medes." This is a region much farther east, where they would be far removed from their brethren in Assyria and from Judah, who were afterwards carried to Babylon.

The captivity of Judah followed in four detachments. Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 606, carried away the sacred vessels and captives, among whom were Daniel and his companions. This formed the commencement of the 'times of the Gentiles.' 2Ch 36:6-7. The second captivity was in B.C. 599, when Jehoiachin had reigned three months. It is called the great captivity. Zedekiah was left as a vassal of Babylon. 2Ki 24:14; 2Ch 36:10. The third captivity was in B.C. 588. 2Ch 36:20. The fourth was in B.C. 584 under Nebuzar-adan. Jer 52:12,30. The 70 years of captivity foretold by Jeremiah (Jer 25:11-12) commenced B.C. 606 and expired B.C. 536 when the Jews returned to Judaea by the proclamation of Cyrus king of Persia. Jer 29:10; Ezra 1. The captivity is referred to in Mt 1:11,17 as 'the carrying away.' The places to which Israel and Judah were carried are considered under their respective names.

Those who returned from exile were the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin (unless any few of the ten tribes may have accompanied them; cf. Lu 2:36). They retained possession of the land, under many changes and vicissitudes, until their Messiah appeared. His rejection and crucifixion resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans A.D. 70, and the scattering of the Jews to all parts of the world.

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CAPTIVITY. God generally punished the sins and infidelities of the Jews by different captivities or servitudes. The first captivity is that of Egypt, from which they were delivered by Moses, and which should be considered rather as a permission of providence, than as a punishment for sin. Six captivities are reckoned during the government by judges: the first, under Chushanrishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, which continued about eight years; the second, under Eglon, king of Moab, from which the Jews were delivered by Ehud; the third, under the Philistines, from which they were rescued by Shamgar; the fourth, under Jabin, king of Hazor, from which they were delivered by Deborah and Barak; the fifth, under the Midianites, from which Gideon freed them; and the sixth, under the Ammonites and Philistines, during the judicatures of Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Eli, Samson, and Samuel. But the greatest and most remarkable captivities were those of Israel and Judah, under their regal government.