Babylonian Captivity

Babylonian Captivity

The Jews had fallen into great errors and corruptions, and were guilty of most abominable sins; wherefore Jehovah, in his wrath, denounced heavy judgments against them by Jeremiah and other prophets, declaring that their fruitful land should be spoiled, their city become desolate and an abomination, and themselves and their descendants feel the effects of his displeasure for the space of seventy years, which commenced in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiachin, A. L. 3398. Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, destroyed the temple and took them into captivity. 2 Kings 24:10-16

A portion of the Royal Arch ritual relates to the destruction of Solomon's Temple by Nebuchadnezzar's armies and to the deportation of large numbers of Jews to Babylon. Under divine judgment, the subjugation of Judah by the Chaldeans began 18 years prior to the fall of Jerusalem, and many Jews had already been deported into the Babylonian empire. The period of captivity numbered 70 years in all; but the time between the destruction of Solomon's Temple and the beginning of the building of Zerubbabel's Temple under the decree of the Persian ruler Cyrus was 52 years. These fifty-two years are commemorated in the Royal Arch Degree, with special emphasis on the return of between forty and fifty thousand Jews from Babylon to Jerusalem and the building of Zerubbabel's Temple.

Biblical Reference

2 Kings 24:10-16

10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. 12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. 13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said. 14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.

Return to Top

This page is adapted from the Glossary at Phoenixmasonry — Used with permission.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License