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Kingdom of Judah

See History of ancient Israel and Judah.

Kingdom of Judah

When the disruption took place at Shechem, at first only the tribe of Judah followed the house of David. But very soon after the tribe of Benjamin joined the tribe of Judah, and Jerusalem became the capital of the new kingdom (Josh. 18:28), which was called the kingdom of Judah.

For the first sixty years the kings of Judah aimed at re-establishing their authority over the kingdom of the other ten tribes, so that there was a state of perpetual war between them. For the next eighty years there was no open war between them. For the most part they were in friendly alliance, co-operating against their common enemies, especially against Damascus. For about another century and a half Judah had a somewhat checkered existence after the termination of the kingdom of Israel till its final overthrow in the destruction of the temple (586 B.C.) by Nebuzar-adan, who was captain of Nebuchadnezzar's body-guard (2 Kings 25:8-21).

The kingdom maintained a separate existence for three hundred and eighty-nine years. It occupied an area of 8,900 km2 (3,435 square miles).

The kings of Judah

928-913 Rehoboam
913-911 Abijam
911-871 Asa
871-848 Jehoshaphat
848-843 Jehoram
843-842 Ahaziah (Killed at a feast in Jezreel, Israel by Jehu)
842-836 (Queen Mother) Athaliah[?]
836-798 Jehoash[?] (Joash, son of Ahaziah).
In the first regnal year of Joash (836/798 BC) the High priest of Baal, Mattan was killed (2 Chronicles, 24: 17). Refer to the chronology of the Phoenicians for this event.

798-769 Amaziah
769-733 Uzziah = Azariah
(Georgios Syncellus wrote that the First Olympiad[?] took place in his 48th regnal year.)

751-743 Jotham
743-726 Ahaz
726-688 Hezekiah
See details for absolute dating under him. He was contemporary with King Sennacherib of Assyria, and Merodach-Baladan king of Babylonia. However, the latter kings cannot provide a reliable absolute date for his reign: Al-Biruni and Bar Hebraeus mention a "King Sennacherib the Less" as well. Furthermore, there was another king named Merodakh Baladan ben Baladan, also known as Mardokempad. Ptolemy assumed, without any reason, that Mordac Empadus was contemporary with King Hezekiah.) These two Baladans remained pretenders during Sennacherib's reign, therefore it is not easy to identify their regnal years as Ptolemy attempted. This ancient scholar frequently attributed some observations to certain years of some kings for the sake of simplicity in his tabulation, but those were not part of the original observations. Also, he often arbitrarily fudged astronomical data in order to support his own theories. Refer to Robert R. Newton, The Crime of Claudius Ptolemy, 1977. Unfortunately many authorities still accept his list of rulers as the base of a perfect chronology.

688-642 Manasseh
642-640 Amon
640-609 Josiah

King Josiah died in the chronology accepted by most scholars in 609 BC in battle against Necho II of Egypt

609-609 Jehoahaz
609-597 Jehoiakim
597-597 Jehoiachin. (Perhaps from March to May as Chronicles 36: 10 allows.)
597-586 Zedekiah

Zedekiah rebelled twice, in the first rebellion (597 BC) Jerusalem was taken and most of its leaders were taken. In the second rebellion in 586 BC Jerusalem was taken, the temple burnt, the king taken and Judah utterly lost its independence to Nebuchadnezzar II.

605 or 604 commonly used for the accession of Nebuchadnezzar.

The kings of Israel (for cross-reference)

925-907 Jeroboam I
907-905 Nadab (Last of Jeroboams line)
905-883 Baasha
883-881 Elah
881-881 Zimri (Son, ruled for 7 days)
881-870 Omri (Khumri in some foreign records, founded a new dynasty)
870-848 Ahab (Defeated the Assyrians at Qarqar)
848-847 Ahaziah
851-842 Joram
842-814 Jehu
General, staunch supporter of Jahweh, called by Elijah to end Ahab's dynasty. He was a contemporary of the Assyrian King Shalmaneser III (858-824) (Ahab died in battle against Shalmaneser), and paid tribute to him.

814-800 Jehoahaz
800-783 Jehoash or Joash.
He paid tribute to King Adad-nirari III of Assyria (810-783).

783-748 Jeroboam II (Israel was at the height of its power)
748-748 Zachariah
748-748 Shallum
748-738 Menahem
738-733 Pekahiah
733-732 Pekah

Pekah was deposed in 732 BC by:

732-722 Hosheah

Hosheah paid tribute to the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V[?] (727-722) but rebelled in 728 BC. Shalmaneser besieged the capital, Samaria. He died shortly before the fall of the city Shalmaneser died and his brother Sargon II (722-705) completed the siege with success in 722, making Judah the sole Hebrew kingdom. The ten tribes were migrated to other parts of the Assyrian Empire and never heard from again. A small group of peolpe fled south to assimilate into Judah.



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