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lec3 - HANDOUTS FOR LECTURES 3-5 THE DESTRUCTION OF THE...

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HANDOUTS FOR LECTURES 3-5: THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FIRST TEMPLE AND THE BABYLONIAN EXILE According to Jeremiah, there were three exiles from Judea to Babylonia: - in 597, when Jehoiakin was taken hostage by Nebuchadnezzar; - in 586, when the First Temple was destroyed; - in 582, when Gedaliah was assassinated. The recognized leader of the Jewish community during the Babylonian exile was the Davidic monarch Jehoiakin. His contemporary was the high priest Jehozadak. During this period, there were Jewish temples at Elephantine (Yeb) and at Leontopolis, both in Egypt. The Persians subdivided the territory of their empire into satrapies and provinces (medinot). Judea became the medinah of Yahud, and it was part of the satrapy called Ebernari ("the land beyond the river"). In 539, the Persian king Cyrus issued an edict allowing the Jews to return to Judea and rebuild their temple (2 Chronicles 36:23 and Ezra 1:2-4). There were successive waves of Jewish repatriation to Judea: - led by Sheshbazzar, the son of Jehoiakin (not long after 539) -
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