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The Many Captivities of Israel

HOW MANY CAPTIVITIES HAS ISRAEL SUFFERED ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE?

Now many of you like to send a barrage of questions via email, not having read the rules in the FAQ. I do not engage in question and answer sessions where people just fire off questions and I rattle off answers, but I am all for meaningful discussions with an even exchange of ideas, thoughts, findings, etc., since we’re all capable of receiving an abundance of light directly from the Most High. And during this exchange, if a question pops up that I have been given light on, I’ll be glad to share. That said, I received an interesting email from a longtime subscriber named Charles L., who writes:

After Moses freed us from the Egyptian slavery. There were 6 more captivities of our Israelite people. Were we in slavery when Yahawashi was giving his teachings? I am in the middle of trying to research this question.

This was pretty much my response: Greetings, Charles! First off, captivity and slavery are two different things. Let's deal primarily with captivity though, as it is folded into slavery, and not the other way around (not all captives are made slaves, but all slaves are captives, if you get my meaning). And I'm not sure where you're getting 7 total captivities from. I've heard that tossed about here and there but that is another doctrine that is popularized among the Israelite community without actual scriptural backing. And because people don't study for themselves it continues to spread unabated. Scripture lays out more than 7 total captivities, and below are the ones I can point out from reading the usual accounts:

1. You already touched on the first one Exodus 1:6-11

2. Captivity under Cushites of Mesopotamia last 8 years (Judges 3:1-8)

3. Captivity under Moabites lasted 18 years (Judges 3:12-14)

4. Captivity under Canaanites lasted 20 years (Judges 4:1-3)

5. Captivity under Midianites lasted 7 years (Judges 6:1)

6. Captivity under Philistines and Ammonites lasted 18 years (Judges 10:6-9)

7. Captivity under Philistines lasted 40 years (Judges 13:1)

8. Captivity under Assyrians ended the Northern Kingdom (2 Kings 15:29; 17:5-6; 18:9-12)

9. Captivity under the Babylonians lasted 70 years (Jeremiah 25:9-14; Jer. 39; Daniel 1:1-2; Psalm 137)

10. Captivity under Medes & Persians (Daniel 5; Dan. 6:1-3)

11. Captivity under Greeks (Daniel 2:39; Dan. 8:19-22; 1 Maccabees 1)

12. Captivity under Romans (Daniel 2:40; Dan. 7:23-25; Luke 2:1-4)

13. Captivity under Arab nations (Joel 3:1-8)

14. Captivity under America and all gentile lands of the world (Deuteronomy 28:64; Luke 21:24)

This makes 14 captivities total, not 7. That's twice the amount! And all backed by Scripture. There are probably more but these are what I've found during a quick search.

But Why 14 Captivities?

While there may very well be more captivities these might also be all of them, for these are the captivities that are recorded for our informational benefit. Now we know what 7 represents: completion. In six days the world and everything in it was created and Yah rested on the Seventh day, proving an end to creation as it is. Note also that the first 7 captivities involve the full nation of Israel as one Kingdom being judged by other nations. The last 7 happen to a split kingdom, North and South, but mostly South, as the very first captivity in the second set of 7 effectively ends the nation of Israel (Northern Kingdom) leaving only Judah to be judged. The first 7 completed judgment as a unified nation, and the final 7 will complete judgment as a split nation, then the two nations will be unified once again according to Ezekiel 37:

15Again a message came to me from Yah: 16“Son of man, take a piece of wood and carve on it these words: ‘This represents Judah and its allied tribes.’ Then take another piece and carve these words on it: ‘This represents Ephraim and the northern tribes of Israel.’ 17Now hold them together in your hand as if they were one piece of wood. 18When your people ask you what your actions mean, 19say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Yah says: I will take Ephraim and the northern tribes and join them to Judah. I will make them one piece of wood in my hand.’ 20“Then hold out the pieces of wood you have inscribed, so the people can see them. 21And give them this message from the Sovereign Yah: I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered. 22I will unify them into one nation on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule them all; no longer will they be divided into two nations or into two kingdoms.

—Ezekiel 37:15-22

 

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