Judah went into exile, orphaned from her land. (2 Kings 25)
Orphan: deprived of such protection or advantage
This is one of those interesting little verses.
Judah went into exile. Judah is the subject, being forcibly removedfrom her native country. So this means the people of Judah, not the land inside its borders.
Orphaned from her land. We associate orphan with the loss of parents; but for the people of Judah, separation from the land was worse than losing a parent.
In a time and culture connected "God" with their land, leaving their homes almost felt like leaving God. No wonder God told Jeremiah (who was among the people left in Jerusalem) reminded them, "Am I only a God nearby, and not a God far away?" (P,S. That's a nugget from a study I did on the questions that God asks us. Look at them some time.)
They had left their God. . .or so some of them felt.
They had left the land promised to them by God. Those who didn't believe they left God might have felt God had left them.
Whatever protection or advantage that Judah had from living in the country where God had chosen to dwell. . . gone. Stripped. They had seen God perform miracles over and over again, but none of Josiah's descendants had the same faith he did, to stall exile for a few more years. They had filed their final appeal, and the court had ruled against them.
You know, come to think of it, I could feel "orphaned" here in the nursing home. It certainly isn't my promised land.
But instead, this space has become a place of blessing for me. Abundant, packed down and flowing over. (in between bouts of pain and allergies, that is. or in spite of.)
And Babylon became like that for Judah, as well. The end of 2 Kings (chapter 25) reports that Jehoichin, Judah's final king, was released from prison and was given a higher place of honor in exile.
God is indeed a God far away, the one true God whom the exiles learned to obey in meticulous detail. (all 613 rules)