Jewish Captivity Timeline
“ Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” (Isaiah 66:8)
The Assyrian Empire defeated the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC.
136 years later in 586 BC the Southern Kingdom of Judah is defeated and taken into captivity by the Babylonian Empire.
70 years later the Temple is rebuilt and a small number of Jews inhabit Jerusalem.
In 480 BC Ester becomes part of King Ahasuerus’ (Xerxes’) harem.
In 474 BC Ester foils Haman’s plot to have the Israelites exterminated.
In 458 BC Ezra is permitted to go back to Jerusalem to start rebuilding the city, but when he starts rebuilding the city walls and gates he is stopped, because Babylon feels it’s a prelude to rebellion.
In 445 BC Nehemiah is permitted to rebuild the city and its walls and gates.
When people speak of the 70 year captivity of Israel, what they are really talking about is the captivity and restoration of the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the city of Jerusalem. If you include the Northern Kingdom of Israel the total time of their captivity was 206 years. Yet, they were still under the rule of the Babylonian Empire and then the Medo-Persian Empire and then Alexander the Great and his Macedonian Empire and then the Roman Empire, etc. After this captivity, they were not truly a sovereign nation again until, by vote of the United Nations, they were once again proclaimed a sovereign nation on May 14, 1948. Israel is re-born in one day after losing the Northern Kingdom’s sovereignty 2,670 years prior. As Isaiah said, “…Shall the earth [a land] be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once?...” Yes, God’s prophesy came true and Isaiah prophesied it some 2,680 years prior to it occurring. They should have listened to God through Isaiah and repented – but no, they had to do things their way.
Take a lesson from the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. If you disregard, reject or rebel against God, expect consequences.