Exile

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Controversy of the Exile After reading 2 Kings 25 and the two articles, the main source of contrast between these two sourcs is the amount of detail they go into on different aspects of the Exile. The Biblical reading mentions King Nebuchadnezzar and his capture of King Zedekiah, the efforts of General Nebuzaradan and his detailed destruction and pillaging of Jerusalem and the Temple, the capturing and execution of Judah’s chief officers and priests, Judah’s revolt against Gedaliah and fleeing to Egypt, and the benevolence King Evil-merodach of Babylon demonstrated towards Jehoiachin. The articles, however, mentioned nothing of to do with any of these circumstances. They concentrated, instead, on the life in Judah during the Exile. The Biblical picture of life in Judah during the Exile was expressed in only a few verses. One states, “But the poorest of the people were left to farm the land (2 Kings 25:12).'; This gives us little information to work with, and all that can be assumed is that not many people were left in Jerusalem, and those that were, farmed. Whether they farmed for themselves, or for Babylon cannot be reasonably determined from this one verse. Later on, we see that some underground guerrilla forces were also left in Judah as they assassinated Gedaliah and fled to Egypt. Other than this, we know nothing from 2 Kings 25 about life in Judah during the Exile. The articles, however, give us much more light into life in Judah during these times. Graham illustrates that the people that worked in Jerusalem, Mozah, and Gibeon during the Exile were primarily vinedressers and plowmen. 2 Kings 25 does not give us enough information to have known that people worked in these three cities. Their work, however, was not for themselves, but for the greater power of Babylon, as can be illustrated in an engraving on a jar that read, “belonging to the lord'; in reference to the work done by the people for the Babylonian king. This, also, was not explicitly illustrated in 2 Kings 25. The king of Babylon collected the goods produced and used them to better the Babylonian economy and the royal crown. Governor Gedaliah also was expected to have overseen people of Judah work to produce wine, fruit, and oil for Babylon. Outside Benjamin, people worked to make perfume, especially balm, for the royal crown of Babylon. The insight Graham gives us into the work done at Mizpah stresses an important point that 2 Kings 25 leaves out.
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