Q. I have seen the 70 years the Jews were in Babylon labeled as them being exiled, in captivity, and in servitude. Does it matter what it was called? Also there were a couple other times that they were also in similar predicaments. This is mixed up for me, can you sort out when, where and why they got themselves into trouble?
A. All three descriptions of the 70 years the Jews spent in Babylon are appropriate.
Prior to being taken to Babylon, Israel was disciplined for practicing idolatry thru subjugation by various foreign powers on six different occasions. They were Mesopotamia for 8 yrs (Judges 3:8) the Moabites for 18 yrs (Judges 3:12-14) The Canaanites for 20 years (Judges 4:2-3) the Midianites for 7 years (Judges 6:1), the Ammonites 18 for years (Judges 10:7-8), and the Philistines 40 years (Judges 13:1). In addition to another flirtation with idolatry the Babylonian captivity took them out of the land for 70 years because they had failed to observe the once every seven years Sabbath of the land for 490 years. God took all 70 sabbath years due him at once by sending them to Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:21).