Kingdom of Judah

Kingdom of Judah

  1. Rehoboam, the First King. Solomon was succeeded by his son, Rehoboam ( 1 Kings 12:43 ). Upon his elevation to the throne a deputation of his countrymen waited upon him, requesting relief from oppressive taxation. He forsook the counsel of the old men and followed the counsel of the young men, and refused to grant their request ( 1 Kings 12:1-15 ; 2 Chronicles 10:1-15 ). His ungenerous treatment caused ten of the tribes to rebel against his authority. He undertook to suppress the rebellion, but was warned of God not to make war against his brethren ( 1 Kings 12:16-24 ; 2 Chronicles 10:16-19 ). Rehoboam took up his residence in Jerusalem, built cities and fortified strongholds ( 2 Chronicles 11:5-12 ). On account of the apostasy of Jeroboam and Israel, the priests, Levites and other true worshippers remaining in Israel repaired to Jerusalem to worship God, and they therefore strengthened the king ( 2 Chronicles 11:13-17 ). Rehoboam had many wives in violation of the law of Moses ( Deuteronomy 14:14-18 ; 2 Chronicles 11:18-23 ). After he established himself upon the throne, he forsook the law of the Lord and was greatly punished by Shishak, king of Egypt ( 2 Chronicles 12:1-12 ). There was war between Jeroboam and Rehoboam continually ( 1 Kings 15:6 ). He reigned seventeen years ( 2 Chronicles 12:13 ) and was contemporary with Jeroboam ( 1 Kings 12:1-20 ; 1 Kings 14:20 ).

  2. Shemaiah the Prophet. Shemaiah, the prophet, flourished during the reign of Rehoboam and communicated to him the command of the Lord not to go to war against the ten tribes when they rebelled against his authority ( 1 Kings 12:22-24 ).

  3. Abijam, the Second King. Rehoboam was succeeded by his son Abijam. He walked in the ways of his father and sinned against God ( 1 Kings 15:1-5 ). The war that had begun between the two kingdoms was continued during the reign of Abijam, and finally resulted in the defeat of Jeroboam ( 2 Chronicles 13:1-20 ). During the latter part of Abijam's reign he waxed fat and married fourteen wives ( 2 Chronicles 13:21 2 Chronicles 13:22 ). He reigned three years contemporaneously with Jeroboam ( 1 Kings 14:20 1 Kings 15:1 1 Kings 15:2 ).

  4. Asa, the Third King. Abijam was succeeded by his son Asa ( 1 Kings 15:8 ). Immediately upon his accession to the throne he inaugurated a reformation; he removed the sodomites out of the land; he removed all the idols his father had made; he removed his mother from being queen, and destroyed her idol. His heart was perfect toward the Lord, and the things his father had dedicated, he brought into the house of the Lord ( 1 Kings 15:9-15 ). There was war between Asa and Baasha, and success seemed to attend Baasha for a time, but finally Asa induced Benhadad to make a league with him which resulted in favor of Asa ( 1 Kings 15:16-22 ). Asa greatly improved his military equipments, and greatly increased the army ( 2 Chronicles 14:1-8 ). He gained a victory over the mighty host of Zerah the Ethiopian ( 2 Chronicles 14:9-15 ). After this victory he was met by the servant of God who strengthened and encouraged him ( 2 Chronicles 15:1-7 ). He was also greatly encouraged by Oded, the prophet, and, as a result of his words, pushed his reforms and gathered his people together at Jerusalem, where many sacrifices were offered and a covenant entered into to seek and serve the Lord ( 2 Chronicles 15:8-19 ). Asa was severely rebuked by Hanani because he had relied on the Syrians to assist him in war. The prophet assured him that in this he had done foolishly, for the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth in order to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are perfect toward Him. The king was angry at the seer and imprisoned him, and he also oppressed some of the people ( 2 Chronicles 16:7-10 ). Asa's closing years were clouded by disease and sorrow; he sought the physicians and not the Lord, and he slept with his fathers, and his countrymen buried him with distinguished honors in the city of David ( 2 Chronicles 16:11-14 ). Asa reigned forty-one years ( 2 Kings 15:8-10 ), and was contemporary with seven of the kings of Israel:
    1. Jeroboam two years ( 1 Kings 14:20 1 Kings 14:31 ; 1 Kings 15:1 1 Kings 15:2 ; 2 Chronicles 12:13 );
    2. Nadab, two years ( 1 Kings 14:20 ; 1 Kings 15:25 );
    3. Baasha, twenty-four years ( 1 Kings 15:33 );
    4. Elah, two years ( 1 Kings 16:8 );
    5. Zimri, seven days ( 1 Kings 16:8-10 1 Kings 16:15 );
    6. Omri, six years ( 1 Kings 16:23 1 Kings 16:28 1 Kings 16:29 );
    7. Ahab, three years ( 1 Kings 16:29 ).

  5. Azariah, Oded, and Hanani the Prophets. The prophets Azariah ( 2 Chronicles 15:1 2 Chronicles 15:2 ), Oded ( 2 Chronicles 15:8 ; flourished during the reign of Asa ( 2 Chronicles 15:1-8 ; 2 Chronicles 16:7-10 ).

  6. Jehoshaphat, the Fourth King. Asa was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat ( 1 Kings 15:24 ). He continued the work inaugurated by his father by fortifying the land and destroying the remains of idolatrous worship. He also appointed Levites to go throughout the cities of the country and teach the people the law of the Lord ( 2 Chronicles 17:1-9 ). Fear fell upon the surrounding nations and Jehoshaphat's reign was one of peace ( 2 Chronicles 17:10 ). He assisted Ahab in a campaign against Ramothgilead, which resulted in the death of the king of Israel ( 2 Chronicles 18:1-34 ). The latter part of his reign was distinguished by,
    1. the rebuke of the prophet on account of his association with the ungodly king of Israel;
    2. the inauguration of numerous reforms for the benefit of the people ( 2 Chronicles 19:1-11 );
    3. a great victory over his enemies;
    4. peace and unfortunate commercial operations ( 2 Chronicles 20:1-37 ).

    Jehoshaphat reigned twenty-five years ( 2 Chronicles 20:31 ), and was contemporary with Ahab seventeen years ( 1 Kings 16:29 ; 1 Kings 22:41 1 Kings 22:50 1 Kings 22:51 ), Ahaziah two years ( 1 Kings 22:51 ), Jehoram six years ( 2 Kings 3:1 ;

  7. Jehu and Jahaziel the Prophets. The prophets Jehu, the son of Hanani ( 2 Chronicles 19:1-3 ), and Jahaziel flourished during the reign of Jehoshaphat ( 2 Chronicles 20:14-17 ).

  8. Jehoram, the Fifth King. Jehoshaphat was succeeded by his son Jehoram ( 2 Chronicles 21:1 ). His reign was characterized by murder, war, devastation and great trouble, and his departure caused not regret ( 2 Chronicles 21:1-20 ). He reigned eight years ( 2 Chronicles 21:1 2 Chronicles 21:5 ; contemporary with Jehoram, king of Israel ( 1 Kings 22:42 ; 2 Kings 3:1 ; 2 Kings 9:29 ).

  9. Ahaziah, the Sixth King. Jehoram was succeeded by Ahaziah. His reign was distinguished on account of his wickedness ( 2 Chronicles 22:1-4 ). He went to Jezreel to visit Joram, king of Israel, who had been wounded in war with the Syrians, where he was slain by Jehu, the son of Nimshi ( 2 Chronicles 22:5-9 ). Ahaziah reigned contemporaneously with Jehoram one year ( 2 Kings 3:1 ; 2 Kings 8:24-26 ).

  10. Athaliah, the Usurper. As soon as the mother of Ahaziah discovered that he was dead, she attempted to destroy all the royal seed, and succeeded him as king ( 2 Kings 11:1-3 ; 2 Chronicles 22:10-12 ). She reigned contemporaneously with Jehu about six years ( 2 Kings 9:1-12 ; 2 Kings 10:36 ; 2 Kings 11:1-4 ).

  11. Jehoash, the Seventh King. Athaliah was succeeded Jehoash, the son of Ahaziah. He was saved at the time of the destruction of the royal seed, by Jehosheba, and kept in concealment for six years ( 2 Kings 11:1-3 ). In the seventh year, led by Jehoiada, the priest, the people made him king and slew Athaliah ( 2 Kings 11:4-16 ). At his coronation the people destroyed and broke down the house of Baal, destroyed idols and slew the idolatrous priest ( 2 Kings 11:17-21 ). The young king, under the instruction of Jehoiada, the priest, honored the Lord ( 2 Kings 12:1 2 Kings 12:2 ). The most important event in the reign of Jehoash was the repairing of the house of the Lord ( 2 Kings 12:4-18 2 Chronicles 24:1-4 ). After the death of Jehoiada, the people and king departed from the Lord. The Lord sent prophets to them, but they would not hear. Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, was stoned to death ( 2 Chronicles 24:15-22 ). The closing years of his reign were characterized by suffering and sorrow, and he was finally assassinated by his own servants ( 2 Kings 12:20 2 Kings 12:21 ; 2 Chronicles 24:23-26 ). Jehoash reigned forty years ( 2 Kings 12:1 ). He was contemporary with Jehu about twenty-one years ( 2 Kings 10:36 ; 2 Kings 12:1 ), Jehoahaz seventeen years ( 2 Kings 13:1 ; about two years ( 2 Kings 13:10 ).

  12. Zechariah the Prophet. Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, the prophet, flourished during the reign of Jehoash ( 2 Chronicles 24:15-22 ).

  13. Amaziah, the Eighth King. Jehoash was succeeded by his son Amaziah ( 2 Chronicles 24:27 ). Amaziah's reign was a mixture of good and evil, but the evil finally triumphed. He made great military preparations and defeated the Edomites in battle. Subsequently he challenged the king of Israel to war and was ingloriously defeated ( 2 Chronicles 25:1-28 ). Amaziah reigned twenty-nine years ( 2 Kings 12:19-21 ; 2 Kings 14:1 2 Kings 14:2 ). He was contemporary with Joash fourteen years ( 2 Kings 13:10 ; 2 Kings 14:1 2 Kings 14:2 ) and Jeroboam the Second fifteen years ( 2 Kings 14:23 ).

  14. Interregnum. There was an interregnum of twelve years between the death of Amaziah and the succession of Uzziah ( 2 Kings 14:1 2 Kings 14:2 2 Kings 14:23 2 Kings 15:1 2 Kings 15:2 ).

  15. Azariah or Uzziah, the Ninth King. Amaziah was succeeded by his son Uzziah. His reign was similar to his predecessors. He had a large standing army, and was successful in war because the Lord helped him ( 2 Chronicles 26:1-15 ). On account of his great success he became disobedient to the law of God, and attempted to perform the duties of priest, and the Lord sent upon him the terrible disease of leprosy ( 2 Chronicles 26:16-21 ). Uzziah reigned fifty-two years ( 2 Kings 15:1 2 Kings 15:2 ; 2 Chronicles 26:1 2 Chronicles 26:3 ). He was contemporary Jeroboam the Second fourteen years ( 2 Kings 14:3 ; 2 Kings 15:1 2 Kings 15:2 ), Zachariah six months ( 2 Kings 15:8 ; month ( 2 Kings 15:13 ), Menahem ten years ( 2 Kings 15:23 ; one year ( 2 Kings 15:27 ).

  16. Amos and Joel the Prophets. The prophet Amos flourished during the reigns of Uzziah king of Judah and Jeroboam the Second, king of Israel ( Amos 1:1 ). It is thought that the prophet Joel also flourished about this time ( Joel 1:1 ). The most important prophecy of Joel is that which relates to the beginning of the gospel ( Joel 2:28-32 Acts 2:1-41 ).

  17. Jotham, the Tenth King. Uzziah was succeeded by his son Jotham, whose reign was distinguished by internal improvements and a successful contest with the Ammonites. His success is attributed to his fidelity to the Lord his God ( 2 Chronicles 27:1-7 ). Jotham reigned sixteen years contemporaneously with Pekah ( 2 Kings 15:27 2 Kings 15:32 2 Kings 15:33 ).

  18. Ahaz, the Eleventh King. Jotham was succeeded by his son Ahaz, whose reign was distinguished by the most appalling acts of wickedness known to the history of Judah ( 2 Chronicles 28:1-27 ). Ahaz reigned sixteen years ( 2 Kings 16:1 2 Kings 16:2 ). He was contemporary with Pekah four years ( 2 Kings 15:27 ; 2 Kings 16:1 ) and Hoshea four years ( 2 Kings 17:1 ;

  19. Hezekiah, the Twelfth King. Ahaz was succeeded by his son Hezekiah ( 2 Kings 18:1 ). He followed in the footprints of his father David ( 2 Kings 18:1-3 ). His reign was distinguished for,
    1. the destruction of high places, images, groves and the brazen serpent Moses had made ( 2 Kings 18:4 );
    2. the opening of the house of the Lord ( 2 Chronicles 29:1-18 );
    3. the subjugation of the Philistines ( 2 Kings 18:8 );
    4. the captivity of Israel ( 2 Kings 18:9-12 );
    5. the comfort brought him by Isaiah the son of Amoz when he was greatly troubled on account of the threats of Rabshakeh the servant of the king of Assyria, and the final throwing off of the Assyrian yoke by the destruction of the army by the Angel of the Lord ( 2 Kings 18:13-37 ; 2 Kings 19:1-37 );
    6. his miraculous restoration to health--the backward movement of the shadow on the dial ( 2 Kings 20:1-11 );
    7. his mistake in showing his treasures to the ambassadors of the king of Babylon ( 2 Kings 20:12-19 );
    8. the keeping of the passover of the Lord ( 2 Chronicles 30:1-27 );
    9. he fortified and improved Jerusalem ( 2 Chronicles 32:1-31 ).

    Hezekiah reigned twenty-nine years ( 2 Kings 18:1 2 Kings 18:2 ), and was contemporary with Hoshea about six years ( 2 Kings 17:1 ; 2 Kings 18:1 2 Kings 18:2 ).

  20. Isaiah, Hosea, Micah and Nahum the Prophets. The prophets Isaiah, Hoshea, Micah and Nahum flourished during the reigns of the last three or four kings ( Isaiah 1:1 ; Hosea 1:1 ; Micah 1:1 ; Nahum 1:1 ). The chief events in the life of Isaiah were
    1. the beginning of his public ministry in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, by the denunciation of the wickedness of Judah and Israel ( Isaiah 1:1-31 );
    2. he predicted that the word of the Lord should go out from Jerusalem, and that finally the nations would beat their implements of war into implements of peace and learn war no more ( Isaiah 2:1-4 );
    3. his vision of the glory of God ( Isaiah 6:1-12 );
    4. he comforted Ahaz, the king of Judah, and assured him that a virgin should conceive and bring forth a son whose name should be Immanuel ( Isaiah 7:1-16 );
    5. he predicted the birth of Jesus Christ and the triumphs of his kingdom ( Isaiah 9:1-7 );
    6. he predicted the gathering again of Israel ( Isaiah 10:20-27 ; Isaiah 11:11-16 ; Isaiah 14:1-3 );
    7. he predicted the downfall of Babylon ( Isaiah 13:1-22 );
    8. he predicted the destruction of Moab ( Isaiah 15:1-9 ; Isaiah 16:1-14 );
    9. he predicted the downfall of Damascus ( Isaiah 17:1-3 );
    10. he predicted the downfall of Egypt ( Isaiah 19:1-25 );
    11. he comforted Hezekiah, and predicted the overthrow of the Assyrians ( 2 Kings 19:6-37 ; Isaiah 37:6-38 );
    12. his prediction respecting the sickness and restoration of Hezekiah and the sign given him ( 2 Kings 20:1-11 ; Isaiah 38:1-8 );
    13. he condemned Hezekiah for showing his treasures to the ambassadors of the king of Babylon and predicted the captivity of the people of Judah ( 2 Kings 20:12-19 ; Isaiah 39:1-8 );
    14. he predicted the coming of the harbinger of the Lord ( Isaiah 40:1-8 );
    15. he predicted the restoration of the captives and the rebuilding of the temple under Cyrus ( Isaiah 44:28 ; Isaiah 45:1-13 );
    16. he predicted the humiliation and sufferings of the Messiah ( Isaiah 53:1-12 );
    17. he predicted the call of the Gentiles ( Isaiah 54:1-4 ; Isaiah 60:1-11 );
    18. he heard with prophetic ear the glorious invitation of the gospel ( Isaiah 55:1-5 ; Matthew 11:28-30 );
    19. he predicted the giving of the new name ( Isaiah 62:1-4 ; Acts 11:1-26 );
    20. he described the conquering march of the Messiah ( Isaiah 63:1-9 ).

    The most important feature of Hosea's prophecy is his denunciation of the sins of his countrymen and the cause of all their troubles--the lack of knowledge ( Hosea 4:1-6 ).

    Micah

    1. predicted the proclamation of the word of the Lord from Jerusalem and the destruction of the implements of war ( Micah 4:1-5 )
    2. and also predicted the birth of Messiah at Bethlehem ( Micah 5:2 ).

    Nahum predicted the destruction of Nineveh ( Nahum 1:1-3:19 ).

  21. Manasseh, the Thirteenth King. Hezekiah was succeeded by his son Manasseh ( 2 Kings 20:21 ). The early part of this reign was distinguished by the restoration of the idolatrous practice that had been destroyed by Hezekiah ( 2 Chronicles 33:1-10 ). As a punishment the Lord allowed the king of Assyria to carry Manasseh a prisoner in fetters into Babylon. During his sojourn there he became humble in sight of God to his throne, and the latter part of his reign was an honor to himself and the Lord ( 2 Chronicles 33:11-20 ). Manasseh reigned fifty-five years ( 2 Kings 21:1 ).

  22. Amon, the Fourteenth King. Manasseh was succeeded by his son Amon, who reigned in wickedness two years ( 2 Kings 21:18-22 ; 2 Chronicles 33:20-24 ).

  23. Josiah, the Fifteenth King. Amon was succeeded by his son Josiah ( 2 Kings 21:26 ). Many years before his birth, the prophet of the Lord had predicted that he would be a reformer ( 2 Kings 13:1 2 Kings 13:2 ). Josiah lived and worked in strict obedience to the law of God. In the eighteenth year of his reign, he began to repair the house of the Lord. During the work Hilkiah, the priest, discovered the book of the law and Shaphan, the scribe, read it before the king, who, upon hearing it, expressed with great emphasis his sorrow over the condition of Israel and his fear of the judgments of God. The Lord however gave him assurance that he should live and die in peace ( 2 Kings 22:3-20 ). After this Josiah pushed the work of reformation with great zeal and success, and he finally destroyed that altar at Bethel and burned the bones of the priests according to the predictions of the Prophet ( 2 Kings 23:1-20 ). After the land had been purged of idolatry, Josiah kept the feast of the passover ( 2 Chronicles 35:1-19 ). Josiah was killed in a battle with Pharaoh Necho, the king of Egypt, and he was buried in Jerusalem amid great mourning and lamentation ( 2 Kings 23:29 2 Kings 23:30 2 Chronicles 35:20-27 ), Josiah reigned thirty-one years ( 2 Kings 21:26 ; 2 Kings 22:1 ;

  24. Zephaniah and Habakkuk the Prophets. The prophet Zephaniah flourished during Josiah's reign ( Zephaniah 1:1 ); and it is thought that Habakkuk flourished also at this time ( Habakkuk 1:1 ).

  25. Jehoahaz, the Sixteenth King. The people of the land made Jehoahaz king in his father's place. He reigned three months after which he was dethroned by the king of Egypt ( 2 Chronicles 36:1-3 ).

  26. Jehoiakim, the Seventeenth King. Jehoahaz was succeeded by Jehoiakim, whose wicked reign lasted eleven years. He was finally taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon ( 2 Chronicles 36:5-8 ).

  27. Jehoiachin, the Eighteenth King. Jehoiakim was succeeded by Jehoiachin, whose wicked reign lasted three months and ten days, after which he was carried into captivity by the king of Babylon ( 2 Chronicles 36:9 2 Chronicles 36:10 ).

  28. Zedekiah, the Nineteenth King. Jehoiachin was succeeded by his brother Zedekiah, who reigned in wickedness eleven years. He made a unsuccessful attempt to throw off the Babylonish yoke. The corruptions that had prevailed for centuries culminated in the destruction of the house of the Lord and the captivity of his people ( 2 Chronicles 36:11-21 ).

  29. Jeremiah and Obadiah the Prophets. The prophets Jeremiah and probably Obadiah flourished during the closing years of the kingdom of Judah ( Jeremiah 1:1-3 ; Obadiah 1:1 ). The chief events of the life of Jeremiah were,
    1. he was called to the prophetic office in the days of Josiah ( Jeremiah 1:1 Jeremiah 1:2 );
    2. he denounced Jerusalem and Judah on account of their sins ( Jeremiah 2:1-37 ; Jeremiah 3:1-10 );
    3. he announced to the people the Lord's willingness to receive them if they would repent ( Jeremiah 3:11-25 );
    4. he was cast into prison by Pashur ( Jeremiah 20:1 Jeremiah 20:2 );
    5. he announced to Zedekiah his impending doom ( Jeremiah 21:1-10 );
    6. he predicted the coming of a righteous king ( Jeremiah 23:5 Jeremiah 23:6 );
    7. he foretold the seventy years' captivity ( Jeremiah 25:11 Jeremiah 25:12 );
    8. he fled from Jehoiakim to Egypt ( Jeremiah 26:12-21 );
    9. he condemned the false prophet Hananiah ( Jeremiah 28:1-16 );
    10. he predicted the restoration of Judah and Israel ( Jeremiah 30:1-3 );
    11. he predicted the establishment of a new covenant ( Jeremiah 31:31-34 );
    12. he was imprisoned by Zedekiah ( Jeremiah 32:1-12 );
    13. he predicted the captivity of Zedekiah ( Jeremiah 34:1-7 );
    14. his rescue from the dungeon by Ebedmelech ( Jeremiah 38:1-13 );
    15. the downfall of Jerusalem according to his own prediction ( 2 Chronicles 36:11-21 ; Jeremiah 39:1-10 );
    16. he was kindly treated by Nebuzaradan ( Jeremiah 39:11-14 ; Jeremiah 40:1-5 );
    17. he departed into Egypt with a few of his countrymen ( Jeremiah 43:5-7 );
    18. he predicted the overthrow of Egypt by the king of Babylon, and the destruction of all the jews who went into Egypt except a small remnant ( Jeremiah 43:8-13 ; Jeremiah 44:1-28 );
    19. he predicted the downfall of Babylon ( Jeremiah 50:1-46 ; Jeremiah 51:1-64 ).

    The burden of the prophecy of Obadiah was against Edom ( Obadiah 1:1-21 ).