The Israelites were never freed from Assyrian captivity. They adapted their religious beliefs to those of their captors and gradually blended into the culture that surrounded them, losing their ethnic identity. Their modern-day descendants are probably among the Iraqis, Syrians and other Middle Eastern peoples.

The Judahites, former inhabitants of Judah, were freed from Chaldean (Babylonian) captivity by King Cyrus of Persia, and allowed to return to Judah.

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