Netziv makes us understand that the main purpose of exile is not punishment. Hence part of the exile’s timing depended on the gentiles’ potential appreciation for the light of the Jews at any given time. From such a perspective, we can easily understand the Jews being exiled at a period of great religious and cultural flux in the Roman Empire (something which obviously also allowed emergent Christianity to be so successful at that very same time). See more at the Jewish Press.
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