The unified nation or Kingdom of Israel was ruled by only three kings for a total of 120 years. These kings were Saul (reigned from 1050 to 1010 B.C.), King David (1010 - 970) and David's son Solomon (970 - 930). Soon after the death of Solomon the Kingdom divided into two separate pieces with each possessing their own line of rulers. Ten of the tribes formed the Northern Kingdom (also known simply as the Kingdom of Israel in the Bible) with rulers descended from Jeroboam I (reigned 930 to 909 B.C.). Two of the tribes (Benjamin, Judah), along with the tribe of Levi (the priests who served the temple), created the Southern Kingdom or Kingdom of Judah. Their rulers were the descendants of King David. Rehoboam (930 to 913 B.C.) was the first King of the Jews.
The Northern or Kingdom of Israel lasted from 930 to 723 B.C. (about 208 years) until, because of their sins and rebellion against God, He allowed them to be conquered by the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians, led by Shalmaneser, captured the Israelite capital of Samaria in 723 B.C. Assyria ultimately took the vast majority of poeple in the land as captives.
The Southern or Kingdom of Judah lasted as an independent Kingdom from 930 to 597 B.C. (about 334 years). Sadly, like her northern counterpart, Judah's sins and refusal to obey God led Him to allow the Babylonian empire under Nebuchadnezzar to take Jerusalem, its capital, in 597 B.C. He pillages the temple and takes Judah's king as captive, as well as many of the people including the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel. Zedekiah is set up as a puppet king over Judah by the Babylonians. In 586 Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Judah and Jerusalem one last time, destroying the city and burning Jerusalem's temple completely to the ground.
Lost and Found
The history of the twelve tribes of Israel has been obscured by artificial gaps in their migratory history. The first gap occurs with the fall of the Northern kingdom. Historical accounts imply that this entire kingdom "suddenly disappeared" into Asia, or became "lost." At the same time, however, we have Scythians, Parthians, Gauthei, and related peoples "suddenly appearing" in Asia with Hebrew names and customs.
The next artificial gap occurs in the third century A.D. when history texts (if they mention Parthia at all) depict the Parthians as disappearing from their Asian homelands. This idea is promoted even though there are records the Parthians fled northwest.
Prior to the fall of the Parthian Empire (224 A.D.), we find many Semitic tribes living within its borders and in the Scythian regions of South Russia. Many of these tribes (the Sacae or Scythians), Kermans (Germanii), Jats, and Alani migrated out of Asia into Europe via the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea region of the Getae (or Gauthei) after the empire fell. In Europe, many of these migrating tribes were called the Saxons, Germans, Jutes, Alani (Alans) and Goths.