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How Bad Was the Babylonian Exile?
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, sat and wept, as we thought of Zion.
There on the poplars we hung up our lyres.”
While the words of the psalmist capture the longing of some Judeans to return from the Babylonian Exile, the prophet Jeremiah exhorted Judah’s exiles to build houses, plant gardens, marry and have families—to engage in activities that would assure the stability and continuity of life and community in a foreign land (Jeremiah 29:5–7).

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