DAY 267- BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE EXILE
Have you ever struggled to read the Old Testament, especially books like 1 and 2 Chronicles? The Exile is one of those sections of the Bible where it’s absolutely essential to have a modicum of historical input – without it, you simply will not understand what’s happening. So, today is very much a history lesson.
In the late 7th century BC, the southern kingdom of Judah was a client state of the powerful Assyrian empire. In the last decades of the century Assyria was overthrown by Babylon, an Assyrian province with a history of former glory in its own right. Egypt, fearing the sudden rise of the Neo-Babylonian empire, seized control of Assyrian territory up to the Euphrates river in Syria, but Babylon counter-attacked and in the process Josiah, the king of Judah, was killed. This is what is going on in our reading for today.
Judah became a Babylonian client, but in the following years two parties formed at the court in Jerusalem: one was pro-Egyptian and the other, pro-Babylonian. In 599 BC, the pro-Egyptian party was in power and Judah revolted against Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon responded harshly. He laid siege to Jerusalem, and Jehoiakim, the then king of Judah, died in 598 BC with the siege still under way. He was succeeded by his son Jeconiah, aged either eight or eighteen – no-one knows for sure. Either way, that’s pretty young to be king!
People within the city of Jerusalem experienced horrendous hardships during the siege and the city eventually fell to the Babylonians on March 16, 597 BC.
God keeps His promises…and His threats. If you haven’t done so already, go and read our Deuteronomy reading for today to see that spelled out in gruesome detail. Do you think God is the same today?
I see that it is good to fear Your holiness Lord. Through the work of your Holy Spirit, help me to do this.
FOR THE FAMILY
Use the following information to tell your kids more about the city of Jerusalem
You can also watch the following video about modern-day Jerusalem