Ch. 13 - Conquest and Exile
We come to understand how the Deuteronomic curses (outlined in the Book of Deuteronomy) are fulfilled in both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms as they break the Old Covenant by committing the grave sin of idolatry. First, the Northern Kingdom (10 Tribes) is besieged, conquered, and exiled by Assyria in 722 B.C. The people who once inhabited the Northern Kingdom eventually lost their national identity when Assyria intermixed them among the foreign nations in their exile among those nations. Simultaneously, we read in 2 Kings 17 how Assyria imported 5 foreign conquered peoples into where the Northern Kingdom used to exist (i.e. Samaria), and the Israelites who remained in the land interbred with these foreigners creating halfbreeds who practiced a hybrid form of religion consisting of Torah and pagan idolatry. These people in Jesus' day were known as Samaritans.
The Southern Kingdom (2 Tribes) experienced the destruction of Jerusalem, its walls, and Solomon's Temple under the reign of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.. This Southern Kingdom is exiled to Babylon in three successive deportations. The Southern Kingdom only experienced exile in Babylon for around 70 years and were able to retain their national identity. When Medo-Persia conquered Babylon, the Persian King Cyrus decreed that the exiles could return to their homeland around 535 B.C.