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BANISHMENT (, or , "hiddiaḥ," from ).

—Biblical Data:

In ancient Israel an exclusion, permanent or temporary, from the native land, as a divine punishment. Adam's Banishment from the garden of Eden (Gen. iii. 24) and Cain's from the presence of the Lord (Gen. iv. 16) were of this nature. It occurred in ancient times only as a divine, not as a human, punishment. "Karet" (excision of the soul from among the people; Gen. xvii. 14; Ex. xii. 19) was a divine punishment only and may perhaps have implied Excommunication, certainly not expulsion from the country. To be driven away from the land, the inheritance of Yhwh, seemed actually tantamount to saying, "Go, serve other gods" (I Sam. xxvi. 19; compare Deut. xxviii. 64). The flight of Absalom was regarded in this light, as "a destruction from the inheritance of the Lord (II Sam. xiv. 16), unless David would permit his return to the land. Similarly, Amos speaks in the name of God to the sin-laden people: "Thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land" (Amos vii. 17). The same view is expressed by Hosea ix. 3: "They shall not dwell in the Lord's land, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria "; and by Ezek. iv. 13: "Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them" —the reason being that, owing to the cessation of the sacrificial worship in the sanctuary, the relation to the God dwelling there was regarded as broken. Only the assurance that "when they are in the land of their enemies, the Lord will not cast them away nor break His covenant with them" (Lev. xxvi. 44), but "gather them and bring them again to the land of their fathers" (Deut. xxx. 4, 5), lent to Banishment the character of a temporary punishment, of a trial and test of faith; and the prayers offered on foreign soil were heard because they were directed toward the sacred dwelling-place, in order to meet with favor from the Lord in heaven (I Kings viii. 46-49; Dan. vi. 11).

J. Jr. K.—In Rabbinical Literature:

With reference to Hosea vi. 7 (Hebr.), "They, like Adam, have transgressed the covenant," the Banishment of Israel from the Holy Land is compared with the Banishment of Adam from paradise after his transgression, both being, as it were, a divorce subsequent to faithlessness in the conjugal union (Gen. R. xix.). Banishment("galut") is the name given in rabbinical law to the fleeing of the manslayer, in case of an unintentional murder, to one of the cities of refuge (Sifre, Num. 60; Mak. ii.-6). "Banishment as a divine punishment comes upon men on account of idolatry, incest, murder, and neglect of the year of release" (Ab. v. 9 based on Lev. xxvi. 30-34, xviii. 24-28). The Banishment (galut) spoken of by Abṭalion (Ptollion) in Ab. i. 11 as befalling the wise is an allusion to political events of the time. The Pharisees during the reign of Queen Salome Alexandra exerted "the power and authority of banishing and of bringing back [διώκειν τε καὶ κατάγειν] whomsoever they chose," says Josephus ("B. J." i. 5, § 2).

Emigration from the Holy Land, if a voluntary exile, is regarded a great sin by the Rabbis (Ket. 110b et seq.; B. B. 91a; Maimonides, "Yad," Melakim, v. 9-12). See Exile.

Bibliography:
  • Nowack, Lehrbuch der Hebräischen Archäologie, ii. 276.
J. Sr. K.
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