Bible Term: Exile

In the Bible, exile is generally used to refer to the forcible removal and relocation of a person or nation.

In the Old Testament, the nations of Israel and Judah were exiled on more than one occasion. This was part of God‘s planned punishment for their repeated disobedience and turning from him. In many cases, the exiled people are offered a second chance to repent and return home. (2 Chronicles 6:36-39 for an example of this type of exile.)

On some occasions, exile can be voluntary, as when Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath (Matthew 2:13-15).