Abape Bible Studies

The Kings of Judah and the Kings of Israel

A COMPARISON OF THE REIGNS OF THE KINGS OF JUDAH AND ISRAEL DURING THE PERIOD OF THE DIVIDED MONARCHY
THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH
(Tribes of Judah and Benjamin)
930 587/6BC
1 ruling family: The House of David
THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL
(10 Northern Tribes)
930 722BC
9 ruling families
Rehoboam 931/930 913 Jeroboam I 931/930 910
Abijam (Abijah) 913 911 Nadab 910 909
Asa 911 870 Baasha 909 884
  Elah 886 885
  Zimri 885
  Omri 885 874
Jehoshaphat 870 848 Ahab 874 853
  Ahaziah 853 852
Jehoram 848 841 Jehoram (Joram) 852 841
Ahaziah 841 Jehu 841 814
Queen Athaliah (daughter of Ahab of Israel) 841 835  
Jehoash 835 796 Jehoahaz 814 798
Amaziah 796-781 Jehoash 798 -783
Uzziah (Azariah) 781 740 Jeroboam II 783 743
  Zechariah 743
  Shallum 743
Jotham 750 736 Menahem 743 738
  Pekahiah 738 737
Ahaz 736 716 Pekah 737 732
Hezekiah 716 687 Hoshea 732 724
Manasseh 687 642 Assyrian conquest and fall of Samaria, (capital of Northern Kingdom); 10 tribes taken into exile, 722BC
Amon 642 640 5 foreign tribes from the east are moved into the territory of the Northern Kingdom. They will become the Samaritans (2 Kings 17:24)
Josiah 640 609  
Jehoahaz 609 (first deportation of exiles to Babylon)  
Jehoiakim 609 598  
Jehoiachin 598 597 (second deportation of exiles to Babylon 597)  
Zedekiah 598 587/6 (third deportation of exiles to Babylon 587/6)  
Babylonian conquest; destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and exile for citizens of Judah, 587/6BC (70 years of exile)  

Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2007 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.

All dates are from New Jerusalem Bible; dates may vary according to source.

Archaeological evidence which supports the Biblical record:

  1. The discovery of Pharaoh Siamun's relief: Pharaoh Siamun, a contemporary of Israel's King Solomon, ordered a triumphal relief commemorating his campaign against the Philistines c. 970-960. The Bible records that a pharaoh conquered the Philistine city of Gezer and gave it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife in 1 Kings 9:16.
  2. The discovery of Pharaoh Shoshenq's triumphal relief at Karnak and stela at Silisila: These artifacts commemorate the pharaoh's campaign in Israel 925 and in Judah 924BC during King Rehoboam's reign recorded in 1 Kings 14:25-26; 2 Chronicles 12:1-9.
  3. Annals of Shalmaneser III (853/52): The Assyrian annals mention King Ahab of Israel by name.
  4. Annals of Shalmaneser III (841/40): The Assyrian annals mention King Jehu of Israel by name.

SOLVING AN APPARENT DISCREPENCY IN THE BIBLICAL RECORD:

The Assyrian annals put 12 years between King Ahab of Israel and King Jehu. However, the Biblical record records 14 years between the reigns of these two kings with two kings between them, Ahaziah who ruled for two years and Jehoram who ruled 12 years ( 1 Kings 22:51; 2 Kings 3:1). What at first glance appears to be a discrepancy can be easily explained by historians. Ancient kingdoms had different ways of recording reignal years. The Assyrians and Babylonians credited the entire year when a king died to his reign, even if he died in the beginning of the year and his successor ruled 11 months of that year. That first year for the new king would be designated his "ascension year" and the new king's "Year #1" did not begin until the first day of the following year. Historians call this method the "accession year" system or the "post-dating" system.

Additional resource: see the document in the Documents/ Old Testament section "Dating the Reigns of the Kings of Judah and the Kings of Israel"

Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2007 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.

Resources and suggested reading:

  1. Ancient Near Eastern Texts, ed., James Pritchard, Princeton University Press, 1950.
  2. The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, E.R. Thiele, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1986.
  3. The Chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah, Gershon Galil, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1996.
  4. "How We Know When Solomon Ruled," Kenneth A. Kitchen, Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2001.