The Jews in Babylon
Available sources make it possible to glean a limited amount of information about the Jews in exile in Babylon. As already noted, references have been found in Babylonian sources to Jehoiachin and his family, and these suggest that provision was made for the exiled king (cf. 2 Kgs. 25: 27–30 ). Jeremiah's ‘Letter to the Exiles’ and its repercussions (Jer. 29 ) suggest that communication was possible between Judah and Babylonia, and that the exiles were in a position to build houses, plant gardens, and get married. The Book of Ezekiel mentions ‘the exiles at Tel‐abib, who lived by the river Chebar’ (Ezek. 3: 15; cf. Ezek. 1:1–3 ), and refers to Ezekiel's own house where he was able to meet the elders of Judah (Ezek. 8: 1 ). So it seems that not all the exiles were harshly treated, and that some had a fair amount of freedom. On the other hand, Psalm 137 suggests that some who lived ‘by the rivers of Babylon’ were subjected to torment by their captors.