Exile: a life changing experience
Most people have lived in more than one home. Typically this is referred to as moving.
Hopefully “moving” is a willful choice possibly due to a better job or closer to family,
friends, school or Church. In the Old Testament God’s people were exiled many times.
What is the difference of moving compared to exile? Exile sometimes is not by choice,
sometimes it is by force. Sometimes exile means going into some form of slavery or
Let’s take a look at some of the definitions found on www.dictionary.com
Move, moved, mov·ing:
–verb (used without object)
to go from one place of residence to another:
–verb (used with object)
to change from one place or position to another.
a change of location or residence.
Dictionary.com defines exile as:
expulsion from one's native land by authoritative decree.
a person banished from his or her native land.
prolonged separation from one's country or home, as by force of circumstances: wartime exile.
anyone separated from his or her country or home voluntarily or by force of circumstances.
the Exile, the Babylonian captivity of the Jews, 597–538 b.c.
–verb (used with object)
to expel or banish (a person) from his or her country; expatriate.
to separate from country, home, etc.: Disagreements exiled him from his family.
Now, let’s look at some examples of exiles found in the Bible . . .
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of
and his brothers . . .
11 and Josiah the
father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the
time of the exile to
12 After the exile to
of Zerubbabel . . .
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from
David to the exile to
1 The word of the LORD came to me:
2 "Son of man, you are living
among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do
not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.
3 "Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they
watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps they will
understand, though they are a rebellious house.
4 During the daytime, while they watch, bring out your belongings packed for exile. Then
in the evening, while they are watching, go out like those who go into exile.
5 While they watch, dig through the wall and take your belongings out through it.
6 Put them on your shoulder as they are watching and carry them out at dusk. Cover your
face so that you cannot see the land, for I have made you a sign to the house of
7 So I did as I was commanded. During the day I brought out my things packed for exile.
Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands. I took my belongings out at
dusk, carrying them on my shoulders while they watched.
8 In the morning the word of the LORD came to me:
9 "Son of man, did not that rebellious house of
10 "Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: This oracle concerns the prince
11 Say to them, 'I am a sign to you.' "As I have done, so it will be done to them. They
will go into exile as captives.
12 "The prince among them will put his things on his shoulder at dusk and leave, and a
hole will be dug in the wall for him to go through. He will cover his face so that he
cannot see the land.
13 I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to
14 I will scatter to the winds all those around him—his staff and all his troops—and I will
pursue them with drawn sword.
15 "They will know that I am the LORD, when I disperse them among the nations and
scatter them through the countries.
16 But I will spare a few of them from the sword, famine and plague, so that in the
nations where they go they may acknowledge all their detestable practices. Then they
will know that I am the LORD."
17 The word of the LORD came to me:
18 "Son of man, tremble as you eat your food, and shudder in fear as you drink your
19 Say to the people of the land: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says about those
living in Jerusalem and in the land of Israel: They will eat their food in anxiety and
drink their water in despair, for their land will be stripped of everything in it because
of the violence of all who live there.
20 The inhabited towns will be laid waste and the land will be desolate. Then you will
know that I am the LORD.' "
21 The word of the LORD came to me:
22 "Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the
every vision comes to nothing'?
23 Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to put an end to this
proverb, and they will no longer quote it in
when every vision will be fulfilled.
24 For there will be no more false visions or flattering divinations among the people of
25 But I the LORD will speak what I will, and it shall be fulfilled without delay. For in
your days, you rebellious house, I will fulfill whatever I say, declares the Sovereign
26 The word of the LORD came to me:
27 "Son of man, the house of
now, and he prophesies about the distant future.'
28 "Therefore say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: None of my
words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the
Sovereign LORD.' "
- What is the difference between self-exile and the exile described in the Bible?
- Was there a benefit to the
- Did you know that Christ’s family line included an exile?
- What do you think happened after Ezekiel 12:28?
- Paul in Romans 1:1 refers to himself as a bondservant (a
servant of Christ
Jesus), what would be the difference?
Now the tough question – do you serve God by choice, by force, or by fear?
The books of Genesis-Exodus, Judges, and Daniel contain more about exile.
The following websites were referenced on March 8, 2007: