Thanks for the question. I have had to do a good bit of research to answer this one ( I didn’t know!). And anyone can spend many years studying all the kings, governors, rulers, etc. and the wars (one for 23 years) and the ‘Who’s Who’ of those 400 years. Really quite interesting. Amazing that 3,500 years ago any king, Pharaoh or the one in command, had to watch out for his back because there is always someone waiting to make him fall, or overpower him and take his place.
During those 400 years the Jews (Hebrews) were scattered around the world, because they had been very, very ‘naughty’, even evil, and God punished them by sending most of them into exile into foreign lands – mostly Babylon, now Iraq. God sent armies who ’sacked’ and burnt Jerusalem. They broke down the walls, desecrated it and carried off all of the important people (called the Diaspora). They also carried off the gold, silver and bronze. One person wrote that: “…there were Jews in every land and sea” in the world. Nebuchadnezzar also carried off all the golden lampstands, cups, snuffers, and goblets used in their religious ceremonies.
They were in ‘disgrace’ in God’s eyes and very little was written that was actually at God’s direction. Plenty of history is there but not Biblical history.
They had to first be accepted into Babylon and other lands, and later were allowed to build Synagogues. The only Scripture they had was ‘The Torah’ the five books (Scrolls) of Moses (Genesis, Exodus Leviticus Deuteronomy and Numbers), and leaders had to come forward to lead them too. Some were not too keen in a strange land. There is a quite popular song based on Psalm 137 which I hear on the radio named: By the Rivers of Babylon. The WWW has ten or fifteen versions of it and the Diaspora happened 2300 years ago!! The Bible tells of the good, the bad and the ugly!
It is a sorrowful dirge: “By the rivers of Babylon where we sat down,” and ”how can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”
King Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon and his officers told the Jews to sing the joyful songs of Israel for them. They were very sad.
This was 3,200 years ago and they had:v“Hung up their harps on the trees of Babylon,” and their captors told them to sing! (Psalm 137:1-9) ‘We don’t feel like singing,’ I reckon was their reply.
The final chapter in Jeremiah tell of the Jews being taken captive to Babylon. (Jer: 52:1-34)
For more see on www: Babylon, Ptolemies, Selucids, Antiochus 1V Epiphanes,The Romans, Septuagint (LXX), Apocrypha and The Dead sea Scrolls (it will keep you busy for days!!)