Monday, December 17, 2018

The Babylonian Exile before the Exile?

A NEW BOOK: The Forgotten Biblical Exile That Laid the Foundation for Jewish Life in the Diaspora. Unlike the Babylonian Exile, the Jehoiachin Exile of 11 years earlier was largely ignored by Jewish history ■ The exiles established a social, economic, religious and literary infrastructure for Jewish life outside Israel (Yair Hoffman, Haaretz premium).

This is an interesting reframing of one phase of the Babylonian Exile as an exile in its own right. The article is based on a book by the author, The Good Figs: The Jehoiachin Exile and its Heritage, which has been published in Hebrew by Tel Aviv University Press.

One correction to the article. Nebuchadnezzar did not kill King Zedekiah. He killed his sons and blinded him, then sent him back to Babylon as a prisoner for the rest of his life (2 Kings 25:1-7 and Jeremiah 52:1-11).

For the unprovenaced, but apparently authentic, Judean Babylonian cuneiform archive, see here and links and here. At least I haven't yet seen anyone argue that its contents are forged, and it seems as though it would have been very difficult to forge so many Akkadian tablets convincingly.

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