The exile of the people of Israel in Babylon in one of the defining events in the history of the people.
Biblical scholars talk about the pre and post exhilic periods of the history of Israel.
Babylon carries off all of the people with education and skills and leaves the poor behind.
The division of the people, the changes in the way that they approach the laws of God and the struggle to reintegrate as a nation after the exile mark the third era of the history of Israel, and the results of that echo down even to the time of Christ.
The tug of war between the group that focuses on the strict obedience to all of the details of the law and those who focus on spirit of the law rather than the specific observance can be seen in the discussions between Jesus and the Pharisees. Those two points of view come directly out of the experiences in the exile - and 500 years later they are still influencing the nation of Israel.