Background Information to the Divided Kingdom


God’s Nation was a United Kingdom under her first three Kings: Saul, David and Solomon.

After the death of Solomon, a new era for God’s people began with the dividing of the kingdom into two parts (Israel and Judah).  You can read about how the kingdom is divided in the story God’s Nation Divides.

The Kingdom of Israel never had good kings.  The first king established an alternative place to worship instead of the temple at Jerusalem, and things went from bad to worse.  Although God sent many prophets to steer them back to Him, they were eventually taken away into Assyrian captivity and ceased to exist.  The prophets who prophesied to Israel were Elijah, Elisha, Hosea, and Amos.

Judah was the smaller kingdom after the division.  Some of Judah’s leaders were good but eventually, one leader after another turned away from God.  God sent prophets to speak to the Kingdom of Judah like He had Israel.  The prophets who prophesied to Judah were Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Micah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

Jerusalem and the Temple were eventually destroyed, and the people of Judah were taken away into captivity to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.  But even in captivity, there was always a remnant of Jews who followed God.  Daniel and Ezekiel were prophets of God, while the Jews were in Babylonian captivity.

Eventually, the Jews in Babylonian captivity were allowed to return to their homeland.  They rebuilt the Temple (Ezra) and the Walls (Nehemiah) in Jerusalem 70 years after it had been destroyed.

It becomes a little tricky to stick with a chronological approach to Bible Stories at this point.  I have not yet written a lesson on the actual fall and captivity of either Kingdom (hopefully, I will have time to do that in the future), but I have covered a number of lessons concerning the captivity and return in Kingdom Ends, The Captivity and the Return and the Prophets.

Below, you will find a list of the Rulers of Israel and Judah.  I’ve listed their reign as “Good” or “Bad”.  “The biblical writers were not as interested in a king’s abilities as an administrator as they were in the king’s desire to follow God’s commands.  Kings that followed God’s law and those who outlawed the altars to foreign gods, the high places, and idol worship were designated as good.  Those who did not, were evil.  The Bible uses the phrase ‘He did evil in the eyes (or sight) of the Lord,’ to evaluate the king’s reign.  In secular history, one of the important kings was Omri of Israel, who conquered the Moabites; but in the Bible this evil king’s victories go unmentioned.” (from Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines, RW Research, Inc. Rose Publishing, Inc.

Ruler Kingdom Reign Scripture(s)
Rehoboam Judah Good→Bad 1 Kings 12:1-24; 14:21-31
Jeroboam Israel Bad 1 Kings 12:25-14:20
Abijah Judah Bad 1 Kings 15:1-8
Asa Judah Good→Bad 1 Kings 15:9-24
Nadab Israel Bad 1 Kings 15:25-31
Baasha Israel Bad 1 Kings 15:32-16:7
Elah Israel Bad 1 Kings 16:8-14
Zimri Israel Bad 1 Kings 16:15-20
Tibni Israel Bad 1 Kings 16:21-22
Omri Israel Bad 1 Kings 16:23-28
Ahab Israel Bad 1 Kings 16:29-22:40
Jehoshaphat Judah Good 1 Kings 22:41-50
Ahaziah Israel Bad 1 Kings 22:51- 2 Kings 1:18
Joram Israel Bad 2 Kings 1:17 and 3:1-8:15
Jehoram Judah Bad 2 Kings 8:16-24
Ahaziah Judah Bad 2 Kings 8:25-29 and 9:29
Jehu Israel Bad 2 Kings 9:30-10:36
Athaliah (Queen) Judah Bad 2 Kings 11
Joash Judah Good→Bad 2 Kings 11-12
Jehoahaz Israel Bad 2 Kings 13:1-9
Jehoash Israel Bad 2 Kings 13:10-25
Amaziah Judah Mostly Good 2 Kings 14:1-22
Jeroboam II Israel Bad 2 Kings 14:23-29
Azariah/Uzziah Judah Good 2 Kings 15:1-7
Zechariah Israel Bad 2 Kings 15:8-12
Shallum Israel Bad 2 Kings 15:13-15
Menahem Israel Bad 2 Kings 15:16-22
Pekahiah Israel Bad 2 Kings 15:23-26
Pekah Israel Bad 2 Kings 15:27-31
Jotham Judah Good 2 Kings 15:32-38 and 15:30
Ahaz Judah Bad 2 Kings 16
Hoshea Israel Bad 2 Kings 15:30 and ch.17
Hezekiah Judah Good 2 Kings 18:1-20:21
Manasseh Judah Bad→Good 2 Kings 21:1-18
Amon Judah Bad 2 Kings 21:19-26
Josiah Judah Good 2 Kings 22:1-23:30
Jehoahaz Judah Bad 2 Kings 23:31-33
Jehoiakim Judah Bad 2 Kings 23:34- 24:7
Jehoiachin Judah Bad 2 Kings 24:8-17
Zekekiah Judah Bad 2 Kings 24:18- 25:26


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