Definitions

israel, kingdom of

Kingdom of Judah

Judea is a term used for the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel.

The Kingdom of Judah (c.930–586 BCE) was one of the successor states to the "United Monarchy" often known as the Kingdom of Israel. It is often referred to as the Southern Kingdom to distinguish it from the Northern Kingdom (of Israel). According to the Hebrew Bible, the Kingdom of Judah first emerged after the death of Saul the King, when the tribe of Judah elevated King David to rule over them. The area of Har Yehudah (=the mountain (district) of the gorge(s)) seems to have originally been occupied by Kenites, Calebites, Othnielites, and in Jerusalem Jebusites. The tribe of Judah was Biblically initially the only one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel to follow the house of David to found the Southern Kingdom. Soon after, the tribe of Benjamin joined the tribe of Judah. According to the 2 Samuel (5:6&7), Jerusalem became the capital of the new kingdom.

After the death of Saul's son Ish-bosheth, David came to rule the other tribes of Israel, creating a united Kingdom of Israel. David's grandson Rehoboam was rejected by ten of the twelve Tribes of Israel during the disruption at Shechem, leaving only the Kingdom of Judah ruled by the Davidic line. The Northern Kingdom fell to the Assyrian Empire c. 720 BCE but the Kingdom of Judah survived for almost 350 years until it was conquered in 586 BCE by the Babylonian Empire under Nebuzar-adan, captain of Nebuchadnezzar's body-guard.(2 Kings 25:8-21). This event coincided with the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem and with the Babylonian Captivity.

History

The United Monarchy was formed out of the territories of the twelve Hebrew tribes living in the area in and around modern Israel and Palestine. It existed from around 1030-920 BCE.

After the death of King Solomon, the son of King David, the ten northern tribes of the Kingdom of Israel revolted against the Davidic line, refusing to accept Rehoboam son of Solomon and instead chose as king Jeroboam who was not a member of King David's family.

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 (Joshua 18:28), which was called the kingdom of Judah. The Second Book of Chronicles (2 Chronicles 15:9) also says that members of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon "fled" to Judah during the reign of Asa.

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 following 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.

The Kingdom of Israel, or Northern Kingdom, existed as an independent state from about 930 BCE until around 720 BCE when it was conquered by the Assyrian Empire. The Bible relates that all Israelites were exiled, becoming known as the The Ten Lost Tribes. However, it is estimated that only a fifth of the population (about 40,000) were actually resettled out of the area during the two deportation periods under Tiglath-pilaser III and Sargon II. Nevertheless, many Israelites fled south to Jerusalem, which appears to have expanded in size by 500% during this period, requiring a new wall to be built, and a new source of water (Siloam) to be provided by King Hezekiah.

After the destruction of Israel, Judah continued to exist for about a century and a half until being overthrown by the Babylonians.

King Hezekiah of Judah (727-698 BCE) is noted in the Bible for initiating reforms that enforced Jewish laws against idolatry (in this case, the worship of Ba'alim and Asherah, among other traditional Near Eastern divinities). In his reign is also dated the Siloam inscription in Old Hebrew alphabet.

Manasseh of Judah (698-642 BCE), sacrificed his son to Molech, . He and his son Amon (reigned 642-640 BCE) reversed Hezekiah's reforms and officially revived idolatry. According to later rabbinical accounts, Manasseh placed a grotesque, four-faced idol in the Holy of Holies.

The reign of king Josiah (640-609 BCE) was accompanied by a religious reformation. According to the Bible, while repairs were made on the Temple, a 'Book of the Law' was discovered (possibly the book of Deuteronomy).

In 586 BCE, the Babyloníans, under king Nebuchadnezzar II, seized Jerusalem. The First Temple was destroyed; the date was the 9th of Av, or Tisha B'Av.

In the wake of this conquest much of the population of the Kingdom of Judah was deported from the land and dispersed throughout the Babylonian Empire.

Culture

Notable Personalities

Prophets Active in the Kingdom of Judah

Extent of the Kingdom

The Kingdom of Judah was the nation formed from the territories of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin, and was named after Judah, son of Jacob (Israel).

Its capital was Jerusalem.

The kingdom maintained a separate existence for three hundred and eighty-nine years. It occupied an area of about .

The Kings of Judah


For this period, most historians follow either of the older chronologies established by William F. Albright or Edwin R. Thiele, or the newer chronologies of Gershon Galil or Kenneth Kitchen, all of which are shown below. All dates are BCE.

Albright Thiele Galil Kitchen Common/Biblical name Regnal Name and style Notes
The House of David
1000–962   1010–970 1010–970 David דוד בן-ישי מלך ישראל
David ben Yishai, Melekh Ysr’el
Reigned over Israel & Judah in Jerusalem for 33 years and 7 years in Hebron, 40 years in total. Death: Natural causes
962–922   970–931 971–931 Solomon שלמה בן-דוד מלך ישראל
Shelomoh ben David, Melekh Ysr’el
Reigned over Israel & Judah in Jerusalem for 40 years. Death: Natural Causes
Son of David by Bathsheba, his rights of succession were disputed by his older half-brother Adonijah
922–915 931–913 931–914 931–915 Rehoboam רחבעם בן-שלמה מלך יהודה
Rehav’am ben Shlomoh, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 17 years. Death: Natural Causes
915–913 913–911 914–911 915–912 Abijam אבים בן-רחבעם מלך יהודה
’Aviyam ben Rehav’am, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 3 years. Death: Natural Causes
913–873 911–870 911–870 912–871 Asa אסא בן-אבים מלך יהודה
’Asa ben ’Aviyam, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 41 years. Death: Severe foot disease
873–849 870–848 870–845 871–849 Jehoshaphat יהושפט בן-אסא מלך יהודה
Yehoshafat ben ’Asa, Melekh Yahudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 35 years. Death: Natural Causes
849–842 848–841 851–843 849–842 Jehoram יהורם בן-יהושפט מלך יהודה
Yehoram ben Yehoshafat, Melekh Yahudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 8 years. Death: Severe Stomach disease
842–842 841–841 843–842 842–841 Ahaziah אחזיהו בן-יהורם מלך יהודה
’Ahazyahu ben Yehoram, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 1 year. Death: Killed by Jehu, who usurped the throne of Israel
842–837 841–835 842–835 841–835 Athaliah עתליה בת-עמרי מלכת יהודה
‘Atalyah bat ‘Omri, Malkat Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 6 years. Death: Killed by the troops assigned by Jehoiada the Priest to protect Joash.
Queen Mother, widow of Jehoram and mother of Ahaziah
837–800 835–796 842–802 841–796 Jehoash יהואש בן-אחזיהו מלך יהודה
Yehoash ben ’Ahazyahu, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 40 years. Death: Killed by his officials namely: Zabad, son of Shimeath, a Moabite Woman, and Jehozabad, son of Shimrith, a Moabite Woman.
800–783 796–767 805–776 796–776 Amaziah אמציה בן-יהואש מלך יהודה
’Amatzyah ben Yehoash, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 29 years. Death: Killed in Lachish by the men sent by his officials who conspired against him.
783–742 767–740 788–736 776–736 Uzziah
(Azariah)
עזיה בן-אמציה מלך יהודה
‘Uziyah ben ’Amatzyah, Melekh Yehudah
עזריה בן-אמציה מלך יהודה
‘Azaryah ben ’Amatzyah, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 52 years. Death: Tzaraas
George Syncellus wrote that the First Olympiad took place in Uzziah's 48th regnal year.
742–735 740–732 758–742 750–735/30 Jotham יותם בן-עזיה מלך יהודה
Yotam ben ‘Uziyah, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 16 years. Death: Natural Causes
735–715 732–716 742–726 735/31–715 Ahaz אחז בן-יותם מלך יהודה
’Ahaz ben Yotam, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 16 years. Death: Natural Causes
The Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III records he received tribute from Ahaz; compare 2 Kings 16:7-9
715–687 716–687 726–697 715–687 Hezekiah חזקיה בן-אחז מלך יהודה
Hizqiyah ben ’Ahaz, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 29 years. Death: Natural Causes
Contemporary with Sennacherib of Assyria and Merodach-Baladan of Babylon.
687–642 687–643 697–642 687–642 Manasseh מנשה בן-חזקיה מלך יהודה
Menasheh ben Hizqiyah, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 55 years. Death: Natural Causes
Mentioned in Assyrian records as a contemporary of Esarhaddon
642–640 643–641 642–640 642–640 Amon אמון בן-מנשה מלך יהודה
’Amon ben Menasheh, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 2 years. Death: Killed by his officials, which were killed later on by the people of Judah.
640–609 641–609 640–609 640–609 Josiah יאשיהו בן-אמון מלך יהודה
Yo’shiyahu ben ’Amon, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 31 years. Death: He was shot by archers during the battle against Neco of Egypt. He died upon his arrival on Jerusalem.
609 609 609 609 Jehoahaz
(Ahaz)
יהואחז בן-יאשיהו מלך יהודה
Yeho’ahaz ben Yo’shiyahu, Melekh Yehudah
אחז בן-יאשיהו מלך יהודה
’Ahaz ben Yo’shiyahu, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 3 months. Death: Neco, king of Egypt, dethroned him and was replaced by his brother, Eliakim. Then he was carried off to Egypt, where he died.
609–598 609–598 609–598 609–598 Jehoiakim יהויקים בן-יאשיהו מלך יהודה
Yehoyaqim ben Yo’shiyahu, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 11 years. Death: Natural Causes
The Battle of Carchemish occurred in the fourth year of his reign (Jeremiah 46:2)
598 598 598–597 598–597 Jehoiachin
(Jeconiah)
יהויכין בן-יהויקים מלך יהודה
Yehoyakhin ben Yehoyaqim, Melekh Yehudah
יכניהו בן-יהויקים מלך יהודה
Yekhonyahu ben Yehoyaqim, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 3 months & 10 days. Death: King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon sent for him and brought him to Babylon, where he lived and died.
Jerusalem was captured by the Babylonians and Jehoiachin deposed on 16 March, 597 BCE. Called Jeconiah in Jeremiah and Esther
597–587 597–586 597–586 597–586 Zedekiah צדקיהו בן-יהויכין מלך יהודה
Tzidqiyahu ben Yo’shiyahu, Melekh Yehudah
Reigned over Judah in Jerusalem for 11 years. Death: Unknown.
His reign saw the second rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar (588-586 BCE). Jerusalem was captured after a lengthy siege, the temple burnt, Zedekiah blinded and taken into exile, and Judah reduced to a province.

From the end of the kingdom to the present

After the end of the ancient kingdom the area passed into foreign rule, apart from brief periods, under the following powers:

*1948-1967 the West Bank was occupied by, and in 1950 annexed to, Jordan. Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt
*1967 to present: the West Bank and Gaza Strip occupied by Israel in the Six Day War, since :1994 a semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority governs territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

References

See also

External links

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