Kings of Israel and Judah

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Who were the kings of ancient Israel and Judah? How long did they rule? Which ones were good, bad or downright evil?

God ruled over Israel in the Promised Land from the time of Joshua (1405 B.C.) to Samuel and his sons (1050). Saul then becomes the first anointed human king when the people reject the Lord's rule over them (1Samuel 8 - 9). His reign ends when, after wounded in battle, he takes his own life on Mount Gilboa (1Samuel 31:1 - 6, 2Samuel 1:1 - 5). Three of his sons also die in battle.

A short time later God informs David to go to Hebron where he is anointed king over the tribe of Judah (2Samuel 2:1 - 4). Abner, Saul's general, works to make Ishbosheth (Saul's remaining son) ruler of all of Israel's tribes (2Samuel 2:8 - 9) except Judah, possibly during a period of five to five and one half years. Ishbosheth ultimately reigns over Israel for two years (verse 10), his reign cut short when two of his captains murder him in bed (4:1 - 7).

 

King David rules over Judah for seven and one-half years then over a united Israel for thirty-three (2Samuel 2:4, 5:1 - 5, 1Chronicles 3:4, 29:27). Solomon, his son, reigns for forty years, after which God's people split into two distinct kingdoms (see 1Kings 11:9 - 11, 29 - 39).

Date
Name
Rating

1050 - 1010

Saul

Bad

1010 - 970DavidBest

1005 - 1003?

Ishbosheth

?

970 - 930SolomonSo - so

The Divided Kingdom


Date
Israel King
Rating

930 - 909

Jeroboam I

Bad

909 - 908
Nadab
Bad

908 - 886

Baasha

Bad

886 - 885
Elah
Bad

885

Zimri

Bad

885 - 880Tibni *?

885 - 874

Omri *

Extra Bad

874 - 853
Ahab
Worst

853 - 852

Ahaziah

Bad

852 - 841
Joram
(Jehoram in KJV,
2Kings 3:1)
Bad mostly

841 - 814

Jehu

Bad mostly

814 - 798
Jehoahaz
Bad


Date
Israel King
Rating

798 - 782

Jehoash

Bad

793 - 753
Jeroboam II
(c.r. 793 - 782)
Bad

753

Zechariah
(Zachariah KJV,
2Kings 15:8)

Bad

752
Shallum
Bad

752 - 742

Menahem**

Bad

752 - 732
Pekah**
Bad

742 - 740

Pekahiah**

Bad

732 - 723
Hoshea
Bad

Notes

* After the death of Zimri in 885 B.C. Tibni ruled half the nation and Omri ruled the other half (1Kings 16:21 - 22). Except for this brief mention in Scripture nothing else is known about Tibni. After Tibni's death Omri became sole king of the Northern kingdom in 880 B.C.

** Pekah began as a ruling rival of Menahem in 752 B.C. This rivalry lasted ten years (2Kings 15:17) until Menahem's death in 742. From 742 to 740 Pekah and Pekahiah maintained rival thrones (15:23), with Pekah beginning his sole rule of the Northern kingdom in 740 B.C. with his assassination of Pekahiah. Pekah's reign ended when he was assassinated by Hoshea in 732 (2Kings 15:30).

The twenty kings who reigned over the Kingdom of Israel came from ten distinct bloodlines! These ten sets of related rulers who governed God's people are the following.

1) Jeroboam I and son Nadab.

2) Baasha and son Elah.

3) Zimri

4) Tibni

5) Omri, Ahab (Omri's son), Ahaziah (son of Ahab), Joram (son of Ahab also called Jehoram in KJV).

6) Jehu, Jehoahaz (son of Jehu), Jehoash (son of Jehoahaz), Jeroboam II (son of Jehoash), Zechariah (son of Jeroboam II also called Zachariah in KJV).

7) Shallum

8) Menahem and son Pekahiah

9) Pekah

10) Hoshea

In 723 B.C. Samaria, the capital of the Northern Ten Tribes of Israel, falls to Assyrian King Shalmaneser V. This causes the Israelites to go into Assyrian captivity.


Date
Judah King
Rating

930 - 913

Rehoboam

Bad mostly

913 - 910
Abijah
Good

910 - 869

Asa

Good

872 - 848
Jehoshaphat
(c.r. 872 - 869)
Good

853 - 841

Jehoram
(c.r. 853 - 848)

Bad

841
Ahaziah
Bad

841 - 835

Queen Athaliah

Devilish

835 - 796
Joash
Good mostly

796 - 767

Amaziah *

Bad

792 - 740
Azariah (Uzziah)
(c.r. 792 - 767)
Good


Date
Judah King
Rating

750 - 735

Jotham **
(c.r. 750 - 740)

Good

735 - 715
Ahaz **
Wicked

715 - 686

Hezekiah

Best

696 - 642
Manasseh
(c.r. 696 - 686)
Worst

642 - 640

Amon

Worst

640 - 609
Josiah
Best

609

Jehoahaz

Bad

609 - 598
Jehoiakim
Wicked

598 - 597

Jehoiachin

Bad

597 - 586
Zedekiah
Bad

Notes

* Amaziah began his reign in 796. Because he was taken prisoner by Israel's King Jehoash in 792 the people of Judah made his sixteen year old son Azariah ruler in his stead (2Kings 14:11 - 14, 21). Amaziah likely did not return to Jerusalem until after the death of Jehoash in 782. Although he would live another 15 years (2Kings 14:17), Amaziah likely did not return to his throne.

** King Jotham of Judah ruled from 750 to 735 B.C. Although Ahaz took the throne from him in 735, Jotham was allowed to live until 732 (see 2Kings 15:30) and died at the age of 44. Ahaz, although technically not the sole ruler from 735 to 732, nevertheless wielded power as though he were.

With the exception of Queen Athaliah (daughter of Israel's King Ahab and Jezebel), who seized power and ruled for six years, the Kingdom of Judah always had a descendant of David sitting on the throne.

In 586 B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Jerusalem a third time. He destroys the city and burns its temple. The destruction of the temple starts on the 9th of Ab (Hebrew month) and completes on the 10th.

Recommended Articles
Cities in Ancient Israel Map!
Who Were Israel's Bloodiest Rulers?
The Life of King Hezekiah
Attacks on Jerusalem Timeline
The Life of David
What Are Jerusalem's Seven Hills?
Where Did Israel Go into Captivity?
Important Old Testament People

Notes
C.R. stands for coregency, which is
the period of rule when a son sits
on the throne with his father.


References
Holy Bible, a Faithful Version
Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings



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