In the Bible, exile refers to the forced removal of a group of people from their homeland and their subsequent captivity in a foreign land. The most well-known example of exile in the Bible is the Babylonian captivity, when the Babylonians conquered Judah and took many of its people, including King Zedekiah and the prophet Jeremiah, as captives to Babylon. This period of exile lasted for several decades before the Persians conquered Babylon and allowed the Jews to return to their homeland.
Exile is often seen as a punishment for disobedience to God in the Old Testament. The Israelites were warned that if they turned away from God and worshiped other gods, they would be exiled from their land (Deuteronomy 28:64-68). However, even in the midst of exile, God promised to be with his people and to one day restore them to their homeland (Jeremiah 29:10-14).
In the New Testament, exile can also refer to the experience of Christians who are living in a foreign land, separated from their true home in heaven. The apostle Peter addresses his letter to "God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia" (1 Peter 1:1). Christians are called to live as "aliens and strangers" in this world, keeping their focus on their eternal home with God (Hebrews 11:13-16).