the land into exile
In our last section we left the nation of Judah tottering on the brink of destruction. The nation of Israel, the northern kingdom, had already been obliterated by the Assyrian Army (722 BCE) and its peoples scattered.
Now it is the moment for Judah when they too will be sent into exile. Unlike Israel they will not vanish into the mists of time and legend. While a few people will be left behind to tend the land, most of the leadership will be sent into exile in Babylon.
The struggle for the people was how to theologically wrap their heads around the fact that not only was the nation defeated but that Jerusalem and the Temple of the Living God were destroyed as well. Did this mean that the gods of Babylon were greater than the God of Israel? Did it mean that the God of Israel could not be trusted?
The prophets bring to bear the words they received from God as a way of helping the exiles not only deal with the fall of Judah but also of giving them hope that God was not done with Israel; that God's promises were still intact.