03.02.10 587 B.C. Third Deportation; Solomon’s Temple and Jerusalem Destroyed
By this time, King Nebuchadnezzar was so disgusted with these Israelites that he sent his army to destroy the temple and city (2 Kg. 25). Since the ancients believe that gods literally lived in temples, the Babylonians attempted to destroy the God of the Jews by burning Solomon’s temple. The remaining peasants were poverty stricken and had no leadership or wealth with which to rebuild their nation or begin an insurrection.
This destruction brought a theological crisis and would become known as Tish B’av, the Day of Mourning. Issues they contemplated were probably as follows:
- How could the Great God of the Jewish people permit His temple to be destroyed?
- Were the Babylonian gods more powerful than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
- Did He really care about His people?
- As they were marched off to Babylon, would they be inflicted with slavery as they were in Egypt?
- How could a good God permit such evil to fall upon good people?
Just when the Jews felt forgotten, lost, and abandoned, they heard the prophecies of Daniel and found hope. He prophesied that after 70 years of captivity, they would be released, which is precisely what happened. Furthermore, his prophetic words (Dan. 2, 7) of future dominating powers were fulfilled and set the political and cultural setting of the first century Roman era in which Christ ministered.
. Dan. 1:1-4; 2 Kg. 24:1-7; 2 Ch. 36:5-8; See also Lewis, Historical Backgrounds of Bible History. 28-30.