First Exile – Beginning of the End

US Marines near the ruins of the biblical city of Babylon during the Iraq war, 2005

March 4 561 BCE – 27 Adar 3200

Thirty seven years after he’d been deposed as king of Judea and exiled with thousands of his subjects by Nebuchadnezzar, Evil Merodakh King of Babylon freed Jehoakhin from his prison. The exile of the aristocracy and artisans had been the first stage in the destruction of Jerusalem and the first Temple, and Jehoakhin’s restoration to a position of honor as head of the exiled community was the first small step in the direction of their return home under Cyrus, some thirty years later.