RULERS OF JUDAH AND THEIR QUEEN MOTHERS (Gebirah)

from 930BC'587/6BC: one ruling family = the House of David
(dates from New Jerusalem Bible translation)

Do you not know that Yahweh, God of Israel, has given eternal sovereignty of Israel to David and his sons by an inviolable covenant? 
2 Chronicles 31:5

RULER & DATE FATHER & MOTHER SCRIPTURE
1. Rehoboam
930-913
Son of Solomon
Mother: Naamah the Ammonite
1 Kings 11:42-14:31
2 Chronicles 9:31-12:16
2. Abijam (Abijah)
913-911
Son of Rehoboam
Mother: Maacah (Micaiah) descendant of David's son Absalom
1 Kings 14:31-15:8
2 Chronicles 13:1-23
3. Asa
911-870
Son of Abijam
Gebirah = grandmother Maacah
1 Kings 15:8-24
2 Chronicles 13:23-16:14
4. Jehoshaphat
870-848
Son of Asa
Mother: Azubah
1 Kings 15:24' 22"41-51
2 Chronicles 17:1-21:1
5. Jehoram
848-841
Son of Jehoshaphat
Mother: ?
2 Kings 8:16-24
2 Chronicles 21:1-20
6. Ahaziah
841
Son of Jehoram
Mother: Athaliah
2 Kings 8:24-29; 9:14-26
2 Chronicles 22:1-12
7. Athaliah (Queen Mother)
841-835
Daughter of Ahab and Jezebel of Israel 2 Kings 11L1-20
2 Chronicles 22:1-15
8. Jehoash (Joash)
835-796
Grandson of Athaliah and son of Ahaziah;
Mother: Zibiah (Beersheba)
1 Kings 11:1-12:21
2 Chronicles 22:10-23; 24:27
9. Amaziah
796-781
Son of Jehoash
Mother: Jehoaddan
2 Kings 14:1-22
2 Chronicles 26:1-23
10. Uzziah
781-740
Son of Amaziah
Mother: Jecoliah
2 Kings 15:1-7
2 Chronicles 26:23-27:9
11. Jotham
740-736
Son of Uzziah
Mother: Jerushah
2 Kings 15:32-38
2 Chronicles 26:9-27:9
12. Ahaz
736-716
Son of Jotham
Mother:?
2 Kings 15:38-16:20
2 Chronicles 27:9-28:27
13. Hezekiah
716-687
Son of Ahaz
Mother: Abijah
2 Kings 16:20; 18:1-20:21
2 Chronicles 28:27-32:33
14. Manasseh
697-642
Son of Hezekiah
Mother: Hephzibah
2 Kings 21:1-18
2 Chronicles 32:33-33:20
15. Amon
642-640
Son of Manasseh
Mother: Meshullemeth
2 Kings 21:18-26
2 Chronicles 33:20-25
16. Josiah
640-609
Son of Amon
Mother: Jedidiah
2 Kings 21:26-23:30
2 Chronicles 33:25-35:27
17. Eliakim/Jehoahaz
609
Son of Josiah
Mother: Hamutal
2 Kings 23:30-34
2 Chronicles 36:5-8
18. Jehoiakim Brother of Eliakim
Mother: Zebidah
2 Kings 23:34-24:6
2 Chronicles 36:5-8
19. Jehoiachin
598-597
Son of Jehoiakim
Mother: Nehusta
2 Kings 24:6-17
2 Chronicles 36:8-10
20. Mattaniah/Zedekiah
597-587/6
Parental uncle of Jehoiachin and son of Jehoiakim
Mother:  Hamital
2 Kings 24:17-25:30
2 Chronicles 36:10-13;
Ezekiel 17:13-16

The Gebirah, the Queen Mother of the Kingdom of Judah, was an official position held by the mother of the Davidic kings.  She was the most important and influential woman in the royal court and the king's chief councilor.  The Hebrew word gebirah is found 15 times in the Old Testament and can be translated as "Queen Mother," or "Great Lady" [Genesis 16:4, 8, 9, 1 Kings 11:19 (used for the Egyptian Queen Mother); 15:13; 2 Kings 5:3; 10:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16; Psalm 123:2; Proverbs 30:23; Isaiah 24:2; 47:5, 7; Jeremiah 13:18; 29:2].  In Sacred Scripture the mother of the Davidic king is listed along with her son in the books of 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles when he assumes the throne.  The only queen mother not listed are those of King Jehoram, who married wicked Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel of Israel [2 Kings 8:17-18]; King Ahaz [2 Kings 16:2-3]; and King Asa [1 Kings 15:10].  In the case of Jehoram and Ahaz, their mothers may have died prior to their sons assuming the throne of David, and in the case of Asa, his grandmother is named as the Gebirah, his mother having died or perhaps his grandmother, the former Gebirah, did not relinquish her power and authority upon the succession of her grandson.  Scripture indicates that the Gebirah assumed a throne alongside her son [see 1 Kings 2:19] and exercised her role as counselor [2 Chronicles 22:3] and intercessor to the king [1 Kings 2:13-21].  In times of conquest, both the king and his mother represented royal power [2 Kings 24:12].  The Gebirah was clearly the most important woman in the Kingdom of Judah; a king had many wives, but only one mother.  The Gebirah of the eternal Davidic Kingdom of Jesus Christ is Mary of Nazareth.  She appears in this role in Revelation 12:1.  The institution of the Gebirah was not practiced in the Northern Kingdom.  The mothers of those kings are not listed in Scripture.

Additional information on the institution of the Davidic Gebirah may be found in these resources:

  1. Birth of the Messiah, Father Raymond Brown, New York: Doubleday, 1993.
  2. Ancient Israel, Father R. De Vaux, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961.
  3. Queen Mother: A Biblical Theology of Mary's Queenship, Edward Sri, Steubenville, Ohio: Emmaus Road Publishing, 2005.

Michal Hunt Copyright © 1991, revised 2004, 2007(on the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.