Seige on Jerusalem in 597 BCE
Today is the fast of Asarah B’Tevet (the tenth of Tevet) commemorating the beginning of the siege on Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The Bible (2 Kings 24) reports:
10At that time, the troops of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon marched against Jerusalem, and the city came under siege. 11King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon advanced against the city while his troops were besieging it. 12Thereupon King Jehoiachin of Judah, along with his mother, and his courtiers, commanders, and officers, surrendered to the king of Babylon. The king of Babylon took him captive in the eighth year of his reign. 13He carried off from Jerusalem all the treasures of the House of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace; he stripped off all the golden decorations in the Temple of the Lord—which King Solomon of Israel had made—as the Lord had warned. 14He exiled all of Jerusalem: all the commanders and all the warriors—ten thousand exiles—as well as all the craftsmen and smiths; only the poorest people in the land were left. 15He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon; and the king’s wives and officers and the notables of the land were brought as exiles from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16All the able men, to the number of seven thousand—all of them warriors, trained for battle—and a thousand craftsmen and smiths were brought to Babylon as exiles by the king of Babylon. 17And the king of Babylon appointed Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, changing his name to Zedekiah.
A series of texts called the Babylonian Chronicle tell the story of the history of Babylonia from 745 BCE until the mid-3rd century BCE. Chronicle 5 parallels the biblical account of the siege of Jerusalem and exile of the king.