The southern kingdom of Judah, essentially the tribes of Judah and Benjamin that remained loyal to Rehoboam, son of King Solomon, maintained its capital in Jerusalem and enjoyed three-and-a-half centuries of Davidic kings upon the throne. Perched on a hill, Judah was limited to producing cereal crops, vines, olives, and sheep. With no access to the sea, trade was restricted.
The last years of Judah were spent between the fall of the north to Assyria in 722 B.C. and the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon in 586 B.C. Israel, the old northern kingdom, was now an Assyrian province. Assyria remained strong early in this period, annexing Egypt in 664 B.C. under Ashurbanipal. Shortly after the end of Ashurbanipal’s reign, however, the Neo-Babylonians, aided by the Medes, crushed the Assyrians and established their own empire under Nebuchadnezzar, sacking Nineveh in 612 B.C.
– In 598 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar marched against Jerusalem, occupied the city, and deported the fruit and flower of the population to Babylon, including King Jehoiachin and the royal family. Zedekiah became a puppet king for the Babylonians.
– In 589 B.C.E., the Judeans rebelled again. Babylon returned in 588 B.C., devastating Judah, and
– In 586 B.C.E., Jerusalem itself was destroyed and the temple burned. Zedekiah was forced to witness the execution of his sons immediately before his eyes were gouged out and he, along with many Judeans, was deported to Babylon. Thus, the kingdom of Judah came to an end.
Of 20 kings ruled Judah… Generally speaking 8 were good and 12 were bad. We can look at it differently below.
– 6 kings were good (Asa, Jehoshaphat, Azariah (Uzziah), Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah)
– 2 were mostly good (Joash and Amaziah)
– 2 were mostly bad (Rehoboam and Abijah)
– 5 were bad (Jehoram, Ahaziah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah)
– 4 were worst (Ahaz, Manasseh, Amon, and Jehoiakim)
– 1 Devilish (Queen Athaliah)
Biblical book covering history of Judah:
KINGS: 1 Kings 12-22, 2 Kings, and THE BOOK OF CHRONICLES: 2 Chronicles 10- 36 Chapters.
1. Though the books of KINGS and CHRONICLES alike in content, they offer 2 different historical perspectives.
2. The authorship of the books of Kings is attributed to Jeremiah; the authorship of the books of Chronicles is
attributed to Ezra.
3. The books of Kings deal with the kings of Israel and Judah; whereas the Books of Chronicles talk about the kings
of Judah only.
4. While Kings were written to those who were in exile, the Books of Chronicles address the post-exilic
5. The purpose of the books of Kings is to show those who are in exile that the punishment by captivity to foreign pagan nations was the inevitable consequence of the persistent violation of God’s covenant with them. Kings was written to move the exile people to reflect on their history and return to the LORD. The purpose of the books of Chronicles was to provide encouragement and exhortation to those who had returned to Jerusalem. Also, for the remnant that was left needed encouragement to keep their faith alive in the midst of difficulty, and they needed hope for future.
6. The emphasis of books of Kings was the disobedience by breaking the law of God, whereas Books of Chronicles is on their spiritual heritage of David, Solomon, and the Temple.
7. The emphasis on Temple and priesthood was a refreshing reminder that God was faithful and He would not forget His promises to David and to His people. Chronicles do not take away the Mosaic covenant and ritual but call to adhere to those. It also calls to hope in the LORD based on Davidic covenant.
8. While Kings presents prophetical outlook, Chronicles operates from a priestly vantage point.
9. The books of Chronicles is not mere historical book, but rather theology in the form of a historical narrative.