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 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.
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. www.rose-publishing.com)
|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|
- A collection of online resources for United and Divided Kingdom stories can be found at http://pinterest.com/ldzave/bible-united-divided-kingdoms/.
- Chart: Kings of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) at http://biblecharts.org/oldtestament/kingsofthenorthernkingdomisrael.pdf
- Chart: Kings of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) at http://biblecharts.org/oldtestament/kingsofthesouthernkingdomjudah.pdf
- Chart: Reigns of Divided Kingdom Kings (good parallel chart of the two kingdoms) at http://biblecharts.org/oldtestament/reignsofdividedkingdomkings.pdf
- Charts: Prophets of Israel and Judah
Part 1 at http://biblecharts.org/oldtestament/prophetsofisraelandjudahone.pdf
Part 2 at http://biblecharts.org/oldtestament/prophetsofisraelandjudahtwo.pdf
Part 3 at http://biblecharts.org/oldtestament/prophetsofisraelandjudahthree.pdf
- Chronology of the Prophets before the Fall of Samaria (Israel) at http://www.biblecharts.org/oldtestament/chronologyoftheprophetsbeforethefallofsamaria.pdf
- Chronology of the Prophets after the Fall of Samaria (Israel) in 722 B.C. – Part 1 at http://www.biblecharts.org/oldtestament/chronology%20oftheprophetsafterthefallofsamariaone.pdf
- Chronology of the Prophets after the Fall of Samaria (Israel) in 722 B.C. – Part 2 at http://www.biblecharts.org/oldtestament/chronologyoftheprophetsafterthefallofsamariatwo.pdf
- Map: 12 Tribes of Israel (Benjamin and Judah became “Judah”) at http://www.ebibleteacher.com/sites/default/files/images/1/Twelve%20Tribes%20of%20Israel%201024.JPG
- Map: Divided Kingdom at http://www.ebibleteacher.com/sites/default/files/images/1/Divided%20Kingdom%20of%20Israel%201024.JPG
- “Time of the Judges” on Pinterest.