Israel's bloody rulers
Baasha, in 908 B.C., designs a conspiracy to take the throne away from King Nadab, the son of Israel's first ruler Jeroboam. He uses Nadab's attack of the city of Gibbethon as a distraction to assassination him. Baasha then, after assuming the throne, quickly murders all of Jeroboam's descendants. This bloody act, a fulfillment of prophecy (1Kings 15:27 - 29), insures that no one from Jeroboam's bloodline would ever again rule over God's people.
Zimri was a powerful military commander captain under King Elah. In 885 B.C., he carries out a secret plot to take Elah's crown by murdering him when he is stinking drunk (1Kings 16:9 - 10). He then quickly proceeds to strike down all those of the house of Baasha. His coup insures Israel's second ruling family comes to a bloody end.
Then it came to pass when he (Zimri) began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, he killed all the house of Baasha. He did not leave him one who pissed against a wall (males), nor of his kinsmen, nor of his friends (1Kings 16:11, HBFV throughout).
Jehu, an army commander, is secretly anointed Israel's king (2Kings 9:1 - 3) in order to carry out God's vengeance against the house of Ahab.
And you (Jehu) shall strike the house of Ahab your master so that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord at the hand of Jezebel, for the whole house of Ahab shall perish (2Kings 9:7 - 8).
Jehu first conspires to take the life of Israel's King Joram, one of Ahab's many sons. Joram, while being visited by Judah's King Ahaziah, is taken completely by surprise when Jehu kills him with an arrow through the heart (2Kings 9:24).
Jehu then quickly turns his attention to King Ahaziah whom he also has killed (2Kings 9:27). Ahaziah, through his mother Athaliah, is one of Ahab's grandsons. Jehu completes the mandate given him by having Jezebel (2Kings 9:30 - 37), Ahab's seventy sons (10:1 - 7), Ahab's close relatives (verse 17), as well as those of Ahaziah (verses 12 - 14), all killed.
In 752 B.C. a man named Shallum initiates a conspiracy against King Zechariah which ultimately leads to his public murder (2Kings 15:10, 15). Shallum then seizes the throne but rules for only one month (verses 13 - 14).
Pekah, in 752 B.C., sets up a rival throne to Israel's King Menahem. These two thrones coexist throughout Menahem's reign (2Kings 15:17). Pekah then conspires to become sole sovereign when Menahem's son Pekahiah takes the throne (verse 25). Two years later Pekah murders him in Samaria.
Hoshea, the last monarch over Israel, comes to power in 732 B.C. when his conspiracy leads to the murder of Pekah (2Kings 15:30). Ironically, Hoshea's own reign is shorten when he is accused of treachery! The Assyrians, to whom he has paid tribute money, accuses him of secretly conspiring with Egypt to foster a rebellion (2Kings 17:4). The empire, weary of the resistence, conquers Israel and takes the people captive into Assyria (verses 5 - 6).
Judah's righteous treason
Queen Athaliah was the daughter of Israel's notoriously evil Ahab and Jezebel. After both her husband, King Jehoram, and their son, King Ahaziah, die in the same year, she quickly carries out her conspiracy to seize unchallenged power over the Kingdom of Judah.
In 841 B.C., Athaliah murders all those of royal blood except one. Ahaziah's one-year-old son, Joash, escapes death by being hid in the temple by Ahaziah's sister (2Kings 11:1 - 3).
Jehoiada the High Priest, who is married to Ahaziah's sister, conspires to place Joash on the throne when he is seven years old. He secretly solicits the help of army officers and the temple guard, some of which he arms with spears and shields (2Kings 11:10). They then all gather in the temple, crown Joash as king, and begin to shout "God save the king!" (verse 12).
Athaliah, hearing the noise of the crowd, runs to the temple and sees Joash crowned as the new ruler. Her cries of treason (2Kings 11:14) are in vain, as the High Priest commands she be immediately killed outside the temple.
The servants of Judah's King Joash conspire against him for his role in the death of the High Priest's son Zechariah (2Chronicles 24:25 - 26). The conspirators assassinate Joash on his bed in 796 B.C. after which his son Amaziah assumes the throne.
Amaziah, after only a few short years as ruler, decides to pick a fight with Israel's King Jehoash. After initially rejecting Amaziah's attempt to bait him (2Kings 14:8 - 10) Jehoash invades the Kingdom of Judah. He soundly defeats its army and takes Amaziah as prisoner (verses 11 - 14)! Amaziah, although he gains his freedom ten years later, is not warmly welcomed in Jerusalem. Over time, a conspiracy forms to kill him. Although he flees to Lachish for safety, a band of assassins pursues and kills him in the city (2Chronicles 25:25 - 28).
King Amon of Judah, after just two years on the throne, is murdered by his servants. When the people find out about the conspiracy, they hunt down and kill the perpetrators, then make Josiah the new ruler (2Kings 21:23 - 24, 2Chronicles 33:21 - 25).