Q. My understanding has been that the 70 years Israel spent in exile in Babylon had to do with the Sabbath years that the Lord had commanded them to observe when they came into the Promised Land. (Lev. 25:4) The time they spent in exile was to make up the years of rest that the land had been denied by the Israelites not observing this command from the Lord. Is this correct?
A. Israel had apparently failed to observe the land’s one-year-in-seven sabbath for 490 years, so the term of the Babylonian captivity was set at 70 years to make up the deficit. 2 Chron. 36:21 says, “The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.” This is a reference to Jeremiah 25:11.