𝛗web -David Phillips & Family - Phiweb

Exile and Return

List of talks & sermons with dates & details

In this period dates in the Bible are usually from the start of a king's reign. Converting these to BC is often ±1 year. See Talk 1 for more about dates.

640BC Josiah became King of Judah

628BC Jeremiah began to prophesy.

610BC Josiah, King of Jerusalem died (2 Ki 23 & 2 Chr 35)

Jehoahaz the son of Josiah anointed as King (2 Chr 36:1). Also known as Shallum (1 Chr 3:15 & Jer 22.11)

After three months the King of Egypt deposed Jehoahaz and laid a tribute on Judah (2 Chr 36.3)

Jehoahaz was put in bonds at Riblah in Hamath (2 Ki 23.23)

The King of Egypt made Eliakim, son of Josiah, King, and renamed Him Jehoiakim (2 Chr 36.4, 2 Ki 23.34). He would reign for 11 years (until about 599BC).

Jeremiah prophesied, calling for repentance and declaring God's judgment. Some wanted to kill him, though others protected him. (Jer 26.1-19, 24)

Former king, Jehoahaz was taken captive to Egypt (2 Chr 36.4) where he died, 11 years later (about 599BC) (2 Ki 23:34).


Around this time Jeremiah prophesied that Jeoahaz (Shallum) would die in Egypt but promising that if the people repented disaster would not come. (Jer 26:20-23).

Uriah (Urijah) also prophesied and fearing death fled to Eypt. King Jehoiakim had the prophet captured and brought back to Jerusalem where the King killed him (Jer 26:20-23).

Habakkuk complained of the stubbornness of the Jews and the Lord replied that he would soon send the Chaldeans into Judah (Hab 1.5-6)


Nebuchadnezzar, son of King Nabopolassar of Babylon led a large army to suppress a revolt by the Assyrians at Carchemish. Nebuchadnezzar became viceroy.

Nebuchadnezzar came to Judah and the tent dwelling Rechabites fled to Jerusalem for safety (Jer 35).

His army besieged Jerusalem in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim (Dan 1.1).

King Jehoiakim was given into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar along with vessels from the Temple and at least the vessels were taken to the land of Shinar (Dan 1.2 & 2 Chr 33.6) This appears to have been early in the year and as the king was soon back in Jerusalem he must have negotiated his release. Possibly his release was in exchange for the youths who followed.

The first people taken captive.  People of Israel, royal family and nobility, youths without blemish, were taken to serve in Babylonia.  This included Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (Dan 1.3-6).

Daniel and his fellows refused the Babylonian diet. (Dan 1.5-20)

Probably 606BC. In the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the first of Nebuchadnezar, Jeremiah prophesied (23 years after his first prophesy). He declared that Nebuchadnezzar will devote Judah and the nations around it to destruction (Jer 25.1-10)

The first mention of the seventy years: This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.(Jer 25.11)

In the fourth year of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah was told to write a scroll that Baruch read in the House of the Lord (Jer 36.1-8).

In the fourth year of Jehoiakim Jeremiah also warned Baruch not to seek great things for himself because all will be destroyed. However, Baruch's life would be protected. (Jer 45.1-5)

Nebuchadnezzar defeated the army of Pharaoh Neco in the fourth year of Jehoiakim  (Jer 46.2).

Jeremiah prophesied about the army of Egypt (Jer 46.3-13) and how Nebuchadnezzar would strike the land of Egypt (Jer 46.14-24) but from afar off Jacob (ie Israel) would be rescued (Jer 46.27-28).


King Jehoiakim, having struck a deal with Nebuchadnezzar and was allowed to return to Jerusalem and rule, subject to the Babylonians.

In the fifth year of King Jehoiakim, in the ninth month (ie November/December), all the people fasted before the Lord (Jer 36.9)

The scroll of Jeremiah, dictated the previous year (see above), was read in the Temple, to the officials and then the King. Jehoiakim burned the scroll. In response the Lord declared that his sons would not reign over Judah (Jer 36.9-22).

The prophesies of Jeremiah 13-20 may have ben given around this time.


Ussher states that Nebuchadnezzar captured all the lands previously held by Egypt. His father Nabopolassar died and so Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar now sole rex (The dating of his reign, eg Jer 25.1, was from when he began to be co-rex, reigning alongisde his father.)


After Jehoiakim had been in subjection to Nebuchadnezzar, and with the latter back in the east, King Jehoiakim rebelled (2 Kings 24.1). This angered the Lord because the king thus broke his word.

In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar the king had a dream which Daniel interpreted. (Dan 2.1-49).  The reaction of King Nebuchadnezzar to the dream, and that of King Jehoiakim to the reading of the scroll, though not far apart in time, were very different.

The events of the apocryphal book of Susanna happened whist Daniel was "A Young Boy".

The prophesies of Jeremiah 13-20 may have ben given around this time. These include the sign of the linen girdle, the leopards spots, false prophets, Jeremiah's complaints, a further promise of return after judgment, condemnation for ignoring the Sabbath, the sign of the potter's vesel, a plot against Jeremiah, his conflict with Passhur when Jeremiah was put in the stocks and furhter complaint from the prophet.

Around this time Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego refused to worship a statue set up by the King and were thrown into a fiery furnace. A song of praise apparently written after or about the event is found in The Apocrypha as an addition to the book of Daniel. It is used in the Morning Prayer service in the Book of Common Prayer under the Latin title "Benedicite, Omnia Opera" and today tends to be known as "The Song of the Three".

Possible supplementary talk on The Song of the Three


Bands of Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites and Ammonites destroyed Judah. (2 Ki 24.2). It is possible they were working for Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon. But it was the Lord's doing because King Jehoiakim broke his promises to Nebuchadnezzar. But it is also said to be because of the sin of Manasseh (2 Kings 24.3-4) who had been king a year earlier. (These things are also mentioned in Jer 15.1-9.)

Minor deportation

Archbishop Ussher assumes that the reference in Jer 52.28 is to the seventh year of the campaign of Nebuchadnezzar not the seventh year of his sole reign. The number of those carried away was 3,023 Judeans.


Jehoiakim died (2 Ki 24.5). 2 Chronicles 36.9 refer to the detestable things he had done.

Jehoiakim was about 36 when he died so he became a father when he was about 18.

Jehoiachin became King of Judah (2 Kings 24.8) and reigned for 3 months and 10 days. He is also known as Jeconiah and Coniah.

2 Kings 24.8 says that he was 18 years old when he became though most of the Hebrew manuscripts of 2 Chron 36.9 say he was 8 years. Some modern Bibles, assuming there to have been a copyists error give the date in 2 Chron as 18.  However, there have been various attempts to explain the difference. One, that the young Jehoiachin aged 8, about the age Josiah was when he became king, was adopted as song and designated successor by his grandfather, but this was then ignored when Josiah died. This is speculative but might also explain why in the list of kings in Matthew 1 the gospel writer only says that "Josiah begot Jehoiachin" thus ignoring the three actual sons of Josiah who became king.

The officers of Kings Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem “at that time” (2 Kings 24.10) meaning during the reign of Jehoiachin. Nebuchadnezzar then arrived (v11).

Jeremiah prophesied at this time that no descendant of Jehoiachin would sit on the throne of the House of David. (Jer 22.24-30)

Jeremiah prophesied about how the shepherds had scattered the sheep and would be punished. But the remnant of the flock would be gathered again (Jer 23.1-4)

Then comes the prophecy that the Lord will raise up “for David a righteous branch” He will be called “The Lord our Righteousness” (Jer 23.5).

Deportation - Jehoiachin gave himself up to the Babylonians along with his mother, servants and officials. (2 Kings 24:12, also referred to in Jer 29.2). He was taken prisoner in the 8th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (v12) and would be a prisoner for over 37 years (Jer 52.31).

All the treasures of the House of the Lord and the King's house were carried off and broken up (v13)

There were 10,000 captives (v14). 7,000 men of valour and 1,000 craftsmen and metal workers are mentioned in v16.

Amongst those taken was Ezekiel who therefore dates his times to this year (eg Ezek 1.1). He would have been about 25 years old when taken.

A possible future sermon series on the book of Ezekiel would begin around this point.

Mordeccai is also listed amongst those taken (Esther 2.5-6). Because of assumptions about the names of some of the later foreign kings people have said that Mordeccai could not have been deported at this time and still be alive at the time of Esther. One solution has been to say that it was his ancestor Kish who was taken, which is a possible reading of the verses.  However, if the King Ahasuerus of Esther was Darisu Hystapsis, as some argue from other evidence, then it is perfectly possibel that Mordecca was taken captive in 599BC.

The prophecy through Isaiah (Isa 39.6-7):

Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the LORD. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle was made King and renamed Zedekiah (2 Ki 24.17, Jer 37.1, 2 Chron 36.10). He was 21 years old and reigned for 11 years. Zedekiah was a son of Josiah.

Zedekiah swore by God to serve Nebuchadnezzar but he broke his oath (2 Chron 36.13) which was strongly condemned and things got much worse spiritually (2 Chron 36.14). The leaders mocked those sent with warning from the Lord.

Jeremiah prophesied the captivity of Zedekiah. Those who had been taken exile were like good figs and would be watched over and return. But Zedekiah and those left were bad figs and would be destroyed. (Jer 24.1-10).

Sermon : Jeremiah 24. Figs  (Not recorded)

Sermon : Jeremiah 19-20. A Prophet's Anguish

Talk 8 : A Broken Covenant


Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles. The letter encouraged the exiles and told them to pray and work for the prosperity of the place where they had been sent. He also wrote of the destruction to come on Jerusalem. (Jer 29.1-23).


Some of the people in exile were writing to Jerusalem to get people to stop Jeremiah sending his letters to Babylon. They didn't like what Jeremiah was saying the Lord had said. But clearly history shows they were wrong and Jeremiah was right.

The Lord spoke through Jeremiah against those who were rebelling against the Lord (v32) in Babylon.  (Jer 29.24-32)

Jeremiah may have also prophesied at this time about the restoration of Israel, after due punishment. (Jer 30.1-30)

Ussher describes these as “notable prophecies concerning the kingdom of Christ and restoration of the church.


The fifth month, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah. Hananiah made his false prophecy and Jeremiah replied. (Jer 28.-14)

Hananiah died in the seventh month.

Jeremiah sent a message with Seraiah who accompanied King Zedekiah on a trip to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign.

The message was a book in which were written all the prophesies AGAINST Babylon. The words were to be read and then a stone tied to the book and it would be sunk in the Euphrates River. Babylon would sink and not rise from the catastrophe the Lord would send.  (Jer 51.59-64)

595BC The Book of Baruch was written around this time. It is part of the Old Testament Apocrypa, that is not Scripture, but found in some Bibles and included in the ancient Greek translation, the Septuagint, used by many early Christians. The Book was written on the "fifth year, on the seventh day of the month, at the time when the Chaldeans took Jerusalem and burned it with fire" (Baruch 6.1-2) There are differnt views about the dating but it is assumed here that it was 595BC.

Baruch read the book to Jeconiah "King of Judah" and others in Babylon. They made an offering which they sent, with and with some Temple vessels, and a letter, to Jerusalem.

The letter rebuked Judah for sin and encouraged them to pray for King Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar.  There are thus some similarities to the letter Jeremiah wrote to the exiles in Jeremiah chapter 29.

Possible future talk on the Apocryphal Book of Baruch.

Talk 9 : Ezekiel's Visions



Ezekiel was 30 years old when he had his first vision in the 5th year of the exile of King Jehoiachin. Ezekiel himself had been taken into exile with the King and the vision occured by the River Chebar (Kebar) in Babylon. (Ezek 1.2)  He was sent to prophesy to the Jews in exile and was very distressed until the Lord reaffirmed the call (Ezek 2.1-3.27)

Following this Ezekiel had to lie on his side for over a year symbolising the siege of Jerusalem.

Chapters 1-6 are about this vision and the various things the Lord said to the prophet afterwards. He was also transported by the Spirti to Tel Aviv (not the modern city) near the Chebar River. The Lord spoke to the prophet about his duty as a watchman and how if he did not warn people their blood would be on his head.

Future sermon : Ezekiel and His First Vision (Ezek 1-2)

Future sermon : The Watchman (Ezek 3)

Ezekiel told to make a model and enact with it the siege of Jerusalem. He lay on one side for 390 days symbolising the years from the division of the Kingdom until the fall of Jerusalem (c975BC-586BC).

Ezekiel then to face the other way, towards the city for 40 days.  It is not clear what this means and neither Ussher nor most the commentaries say. Poole cites some saying it is the last 40 years of the 390.

Some say it represents the iniquity of Judah, which would take us back to 626BC, but that is in the middle of the reign of Josiah and doesn't seem to be a logical start point.

From the text it is the time of the siege, which would suggest it ends as things improve in Jerusalem. That might therefore suggest some alleviation about 546BC, a decade before Jews began to return to the city. (Ezek 4)


In the sixth year of his captivity Ezekiel was given a second vision in which he was shown events in Jerusalem.

He saw both the idolatry of the peole and the plagues coming on the city (Ezek 8 & 9).

He saw judgment on the people of Jerusalem, except those, marked by a man in linen, who had mourned for the detestable things don in the city (Ezek 9.1-11)

The glory of the Lord was beginning to leave.

Ezekiel was then to comfort the exiles in Babylon (Ezek 11.13-25).

Future sermon : Ezekiel's Second Vision (Ezek 11)

Future sermon : Delight Taken Away (Ezek 24)

Zedekiah's flight and the captivity of the Jews predicted by Ezekiel (Ezek 12.1-28)

Ezekiel 13-19 written. The prophecy also refers to Daniel's reputation for prayer (Ezek 14.12). The false prophets and prophetesses were strongly condemned (Ezek 13).

Ezek 17 describes how people will die for their own sins. This is found elsewhere but seems different to what the Lord said about visiting the sins of the fathers on the children.

Future sermon : God is Just (Ezek 18)


Sometimes Ezekiel chapter 20 is desribed as a seperate vision but is actually the Lord speaking to the prophet after the second vision in which he was shown the events in Jerusalem. Further mention is made of the people's sins, that they will be judged, but that the Lord will gather them again in the future.

Ezekiel sees how the King of Babylon will take the road to destroy Jerusalem (Ezek 21)


Ussher say that this was one of the Sabbatical years and is what was being referrd to in Jere 34.1-11 when King Zedekiah had the people make a covenant to free their slaves.  The people did as the King said but then went on to re-enslave the people again.

The command refers to the 7th year after 6 years of services.  Ordinarily that would seem to be  rolling thing. However, if they had not been follwing the command then this would seem to be a one-off event with different time span in order to bring them back into the proper cycle of years.  Therefore it need not be one of the proper Sabbatical years, just an event to compensate for them not being held at the right time.

Ussher quotes Josephus as saying that King Nebuchanezzar approached with his army and ravaged the city.

Talk 10 : The Final Siege



The final siege of Jerusalem began (late January).

And in the ninth year of his (Zedekiah) reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it.  So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. (2 Kings 25.1-2). (Similar words are used in Jer 39.1 & 52.4.)

Ezekiel, who was in Babylon, is told by the Lord that the siege of Jerusalem had begun.

Again, in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me, saying,  (Ezek 24.1)

His vision was a “parable to the rebellious house” involving a pot of meat. The meat was all corrupt, so it would be burned until all the corruption had gone. (Ezek 24.1-14)

His wife died that evening but he was told not to grieve. (Ezek 24.15-27)

Jeremiah was imprisoned for saying that the city had been given by God into the hand of the Babylonians. (Jer 32.1-5) This was the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar – the rest of chapter 32 describes the sin and judgment.

Sermon : Jeremiah 30. Good News (not recorded)

Talk 11 - A False Hope


Sermon : Jeremiah 38. In the Well (not recorded)

Talk 12 - The Fall of Jerusalem


Possible future talk on Lamentations

Further details to be added for the period after the fall of Jerusalem to the end of "The Return" including the remainder of the books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel as well as the books of Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah.

570BC onwards - The end of Nebuchadnezzar, his pride, fall and faith

555BC - First year of Belshazzar

553BC - Third year of Belshazzar

538BC - The writing on the wall - final year of King Belshazzar (Dan 5.21)


          First year of Darius the Mede

536-4BC - During reign of Darius the Mede

Last updated November 2022