The Jews entered the land of Eretz Israel from exile in Egypt in the year 2488 From Creation (F.C.). The Jews remained in Eretz Israel until the year 3338 F.C. when the Temple was destroyed and the Jews were sent into exile in Babylonia. The Jews returned from exile in Babylonia to build the Second Temple in the year 3408 F.C. (Rashi on Vaykra 26:35)
- How long were the Jews in exile in Bablyonia?
- How long was the period between the entry to Erez Israel from the exile in Egypt to the exile in Babylonia?
- During the Yovel and Shmita years the Jews were not allowed to work the land. The Shmita is once ever seven years. After seven Shmita cycles there is a Yovel year (i.e. once every fifty years). How many years did the land have to lay fallow during each 50 years?
- Rashi said that the 70 years of exile in Bablyon were to make up for each of the years that the Jews failed to let the land lay fallow. If the Jews had failed to observe all of the Yovel and Shmita years between the return from Egypt and the exile to Babylonia how many years would the Babylonian exile have lasted?
- Rashi points out that since the exile was only 70 years because they only failed to keep Yovel and Shmita for 436 years. How many full Shmita / Yovel cycles take place in 436 years? How many years would be left over?
- Of the years remaining how many Shmita cycles would there be? How many years would be left over?
- 3408 FC – 3338 FC = 70 years
- 3408 FC – 2488 FC = 850 years
- 7 Shmita + 1 Yovel = 8 years fallow.
- 850 / 50 x 8 = 136.
- 436 /50 = 8 cycles with 36 remainder
- 36 / 7 = 5 years with 1 year left over. Rashi explains that there is one year left over because they started to ignore that Shmita cycle so it counted for an extra year of exile.