This page contains the index to recently posted series of A.S.K. articles about the History of Israel and Judah. The articles are listed in Chronological order with the most recent article listed first followed by prior articles listed in chronological order. To follow the chronological timeline, start with the first article in the series: Number 1 Saul and David. Simply click on an article title link or graphic to read the entire content.
For additional articles dealing with prophecy click the Prophecy Archives graphic.  

Current Israel and Judah History Series Article:

  Israel and Judah: 42. Judah's Last Kings, 1 - February 2022

King Josiah has just died, three to four years before the collapse of the Assyrian Empire. He was the last good king of Judah. After he died, Josiah's reforms were repealed, idolatry quickly returned because that was what the kings and religious leaders wanted. The last four kings of Judah followed after their evil ancestors, even though God's prophets warned them about the horrors to come. In addition to the books of Kings and Chronicles, there is a great amount of historical information in the writings of Jeremiah.

Previous Articles:

  Israel and Judah: 1 Saul and David - August 2014

The experiences written in the Old Testament are written for you (and for all of us), as the apostle Paul says. "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning [instruction], [why?] that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4, KJV). All the Old Testament writings are for us today. Therefore, it is useful for us to study the complete word of God, including the historical books. Prophecy cannot be fully comprehended until the history of Israel and Judah is better understood. This article begins a multi-part study of that history.

  Israel and Judah: 2. David as King - September 2014

The people of the twelve tribes of Israel had a form of unity when confronted with a common enemy such as the Amalekites near the border of Egypt (1 Samuel chapter 15). Armies from both the ten northern tribes as well as from the territory of Judah fought in that battle. However, King Saul did not have complete sovereignty over the twelve tribes. Samuel the prophet was commanded by God in 1 Samuel chapter 16 to anoint King David to replace Saul at some future time. The people of Judah also anointed David as king. Others desired Saul's descendants to be king.

  Israel and Judah: 3. David, Philistines, & Uzzah - October 2014

In this portion of the history of Israel and Judah, King David continues to consolidate the kingdom given him by God (2 Samuel 5:2 and 1 Chronicles 11:2). This presentation begins with a mention that Hiram, a powerful King of Tyre recognizes David's authority as King, and looks favorably upon him, offering help to construct a new palace. Then, David's sons and daughters born in Jerusalem are listed. Next come accounts of Philistine attacks on the new kingdom. Lastly, King David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, with tragedy occurring on the journey.

  Israel and Judah: 4. The Ark Arrives in Jerusalem - November 2014

In this portion of the history of Israel and Judah, King David continues his attempt to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He is successful, but the details are important. Psalms are interwoven into the narratives of Samuel-Kings and Chronicles. The administrators and officials operating the sacrificial system of the Ark are identified. The nations received God's notice in expressing the importance of the Ark coming to Jerusalem. David's first wife Michal also comes back into the narrative as problems arise with her reaction to David's personal mode of celebration.

  Israel and Judah: 5. David Desires to Build a Temple - December 2014

This installment will cover one chapter of Second Samuel and one chapter of First Chronicles. Portions of Psalms give other information about these events. All these passages center on King David's desire to construct a permanent structure, a Temple, to contain the Ark of the Covenant, designating the presence of God, and to embellish the place where YHWH has placed His name, Jerusalem. God's response was very unexpected and in fact, He warned David he should prepare to die, because God would take David's life. David replied quickly and with great fear.

  Israel and Judah: 6. David's Foreign Wars - January 2015

God? covenant with David said that YHWH would give David rest from his enemies. Israel? war against the Philistines made them ?ubmissive?to David? rule. This does not mean that David ruled over the other cities of Philistia directly, but rather that the Philistine leaders ruled their own lands, but were required to pay regular tribute of money, goods, and foodstuffs to the kingdom of Israel, and particularly to King David.

  Israel and Judah: 7. Conspiracy and War - March 2015

King David and Israel's armies had been victorious in several battles because "Yahweh saved David everywhere he went" (2 Samuel 8:6, 14; 1 Chronicles 18:6, 13). The enemies of Israel next began to conspire with Hadadezer, the former king of Zobah and other enemies of Israel. They organized and gathered their forces for battle. But first, King David took care of "old business" in the persons of potential rivals, the last living heirs of King Saul. This is an example of the adage, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

  Israel and Judah: 8. Bathsheba and Rabbah - April 2015

King David and Israel's armies were victorious in several battles because "Yahweh saved David everywhere he went" (2 Samuel 8:6, 14; 1 Chronicles 18:6, 13). The Ammonites precipitated a war, although other, more powerful conspirators used them for their own purposes. A grand alliance of enemies formed to attack Israel on two occasions, God continued to give Israel the victory. The enemies were defeated and the Ammonites retreated to their capital of Rabbah (2 Samuel 10:6-14). Joab was sent to attack Rabbah. David stayed in Jerusalem and encountered Bathsheba.

  Israel and Judah: 9. Rape and Murder - May 2015

A new story arc begins in the book of Second Samuel. It involves Absalom, King David's son. This entire narrative is the fulfillment of the punishment promised by God because of David's adultery and murder of Uriah the Hittite. The story arc begins with an incident involving David's firstborn son, Amnon, and his daughter by another wife, Tamar. She was Amnon's half-sister, and Absolom's full sister. Amnon rapes Tamar; David's response is interesting, as is Absalom's response. Then things turn worse for David and his kingdom.

  Israel and Judah: 10. The End of Absalom - June 2015

Absalom made himself king and entered the capital of Jerusalem. King David fled Jerusalem, crossed the Kidron Valley, and went over the Mount of Olives. He, his troops, and followers continued east toward the Jordan River. People in Israel and Judah begin to choose which king to give their allegiance: Absalom or to God's anointed, King David. All these events are part of the prophet Nathan's declaration of God's punishments for David's adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband, Uriah the Hittite.

  Israel and Judah: 11. David's Restoration as King - July 2015

THE SITUATION: We do not know if David knew about all the events of 2 Samuel 18:1-18. David probably knew his army was victorious over the army of Israel led by Absalom. He knew this because none of his soldiers fled from the enemy. But David did not know his beloved son had died. What would be David's reaction to Absalom's death? Giving David such bad news in the past had been dangerous. David's next problem was to reconcile the leaders and people of Israel to David's kingship and reward those who were loyal. Then, of course, another rebellion occurred.

  Israel and Judah: 12. David's Special Song - September 2015

In 2 Samuel chapter 22, a long psalm by King David is presented. It gives a retrospective look at David's life and particularly all the help God has provided for him throughout his life, his intrigues, his political career, and especially the many battles he fought to defend and expand the territory of God's people to the extent promised to Abraham. Several references are made about David being saved by God from impending death. Psalm 18 repeats most of the same words from this end-of-life reflection of David.

  Israel and Judah: 13. Mighty Men and the Census - October 2015

Last time we ended by considering 2 Samuel 23:1-7 containing the last words of King David. That section interrupted the sequence of events in David's life. Now we come to another section about David's heroes that supported him from before he became King of Judah. The infamous census that David conducted is the last text in the Book of Second Samuel, but that brings us only half way through the Book of Kingdoms. As David's story approaches its end, important information still needs to be conveyed from the biblical texts.

  Israel and Judah: 14. David's Life Nears its End - December 2015

King David is frail and nearing the end of his life. Those around him begin to position themselves to keep or improve their political power with the new king after the great King of Israel is unable to rule or dies. As usual, David is underestimated even in his infirmity. Advocates of Solomon as the heir to the throne appeal to David. He gives orders that crush all opposition. David advises Solomon, prepares for the Temple construction, and designates officers for the administration of the kingdom and religious affairs.

  Israel and Judah: 15. David Organizes for Solomon - January 2016

King David continues to arrange the kingdom to hand over an efficient and powerful government to Solomon. David focuses on the religious structure of his kingdom in 1 Chronicles chapters 23-26. The religion from the Law of God given to Moses, is central to the life of Israel; it is its social and constitutional backbone of Israelite society. In chapter 27 David focuses on the military, tribal, and civil organizations. David's preparations for Solomon's construction of the Temple after David's death are discussed in chapters 28 and 29.

  Israel and Judah: 16. David Dies, Solomon Reigns - March 2016

THE SITUATION: We begin with 1 Chronicles 29 verse 10. In verses 1-9 David tells the leaders and people of Israel that God chose Solomon to be his successor as King of Israel. One of the first major tasks for him as king was to construct the Temple of God that David was not permitted to build. David collected all that was needed for that construction. First Chronicles and the early chapters of First Kings now give differing (but compatible) narratives regarding King David of Israel and the approach of his death. Let us look at the final prayer and blessing by David.

  Israel and Judah: 17. Solomon's Early Reign - April 2016

Solomon is the sole ruler of the united Kingdom of Israel. Solomon inherits much from David - a vast empire with kings who owe fidelity to him as their superior, great wealth from David's conquests, a nation with a growing population and, as we shall read, great celebrity because of his wisdom. He also begins to fulfill the commission given to him from YHWH as told by his father King David. For this we have two accounts, one in First Kings and the other in Second Chronicles, but they parallel each other less than usual.

  Israel and Judah: 18. Temple Interior and Dedication - June 2016

THE SITUATION: The narratives of the description of the interior of God's Temple built by Solomon, and the accounts of his dedication of that Temple, are presented in the books of 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles. There were reasons the descriptions were so detailed. Like the details given to Moses for the construction of the tabernacle, the pattern of the Temple and its manufacture was given to Solomon by his father King David, who received those details in God's own handwriting (1 Chronicles 28:19). Every indication is that Solomon followed God's pattern precisely.

  Israel and Judah: 19. Solomon's Glory and Death - August 2016

Solomon's sole reign is progressing. Temple construction was completed, the Ark of the Covenant installed, and the Temple dedicated. YHWH accepted the dedication prayer of Solomon for the Temple by bringing fire down upon the altar and the sacrifices. The glory of YHWH filled the Temple (2 Chronicles 7:1-3). After a great celebrations of 7 days, Solomon dismissed the people and all returned home filled with awe of God's power and love for His people. YHWH remained active in the affairs of Solomon.

  Israel and Judah: 20. Civil War and Division - October 2016

The Situation: Solomon has died. He left the kingdom of Israel with wealth and power. When great rulers die, subservient foreign nations test the new ruler. They delay payment of their tribute, which often puts the treasury of the new great ruler into deficit, especially if many nations stop paying tribute. Solomon's son Rehoboam has ascended the throne. He has many challenges, foreign and domestic. God has plans for the people of Israel because their sins, particularly the idolatry of their leaders.

  Israel and Judah: 21. Good Kings, Bad Kings - December 2016

THE SITUATION: Rehoboam, King of Judah and son of Solomon, has died. Rehoboam's son Abijah is anointed to rule from the throne of David fulfilling YHWH's prophecy up to Abijah's time (2 Samuel 7:13-16, "forever" means "for the age"). Abijah attacked Jeroboam, King of the northern Kingdom of Israel (also called Samaria). Jeroboam still rules and he is antagonistic and at war with Judah to the south. While wars and battles are highlighted in these biblical texts, they occur for a reason. There are also long periods with no great wars and times of peace.

  Israel and Judah: 22. Evil Kings of Israel - February 2017

Following the order of texts in the books of Kings and Chronicles, in this article the focus is on four kings of the northern Kingdom of Israel only during the long 40+ year reign of their contemporary "good" King Asa of Judah. Great disruptions takes place during a period of 12+ years, with usurpers rising one after another. The kingdom of Israel began with Jeroboam I, founder of the first dynasty, followed by his son Nadab who ruled for two years. He was assassinated by Baasha who ruled for 12 years. Baasha's son Elah reigned—but not for long.

  Israel and Judah: 23. King Ahab's Decline - April 2017

The prophet Elijah challenged hundreds of false prophets to prove whether Baal and Asherah, or YHWH, was the true God. The false gods Baal and Asherah did not respond. YHWH responded, honoring Elijah's challenge. Fire came down from heaven to consume the sacrifice on the altar. Elijah ordered the people to kill the false prophets. They obeyed because YHWH showed Himself to be the true God of Israel (1 Kings 18:20-40). Elijah prayed for the drought to end, YHWH answered Elijah's prayers with rain (1 Kings 17:1-7 and 18:41-46).

  Israel and Judah: 24. Jehoshaphat and Ahab's Death - June 2017

Ahab is still King of Israel, proceeding with his evil pagan religious agenda in spite of many prophets giving warnings of judgment to him, his family, and the people of Israel, while YHWH continues to show His power and love for His people. Jehoshaphat was one of the "good" Kings of Judah who instituted great religious reforms, and had the Word of God taught to the people by high court officials. We should contrast the two rulers: the end of an evil ruler and the reign of a good one. This month's article takes us through the death of Ahab and beyond.

  Israel and Judah: 25. Jehoshaphat and Other Kings - August 2017

Ahab, King of Israel, has died, succeeded by his son Ahaziah who reigns for a short time. Ahaziah is followed by his brother Jehoram. All performed evil and idolatry in the eyes of God. Jehoshaphat continues his reign as a good King of Judah reverent toward YHWH. During this time, the prophet Elijah leaves the scene and Elisha, his successor, begins his prophetic ministry. Some miraculous events of Elisha's are reported. Of course, wars are continually brewing.

  Israel and Judah: 26. God's Miracles Through Elisha the Prophet - October 2017

This entire article involves Elisha the Prophet, his work, and exploits. God used Elisha as His agent to perform twice as many miracles as Elijah did. Several are presented in this article. Elisha also preached to the people of the Kingdom of Israel, and taught "the sons of the prophets" about the Law of Moses. Elisha succeeded Elijah and took his position to became a teacher of teachers. There are no biblical writings by Elisha, only narratives about him performing God's deeds as His agent.

  Israel and Judah: 27 Elisha and the Rise of Jehu - December 2017

This episode of the biblical history of Israel and Judah begins with a good story of the beneficial effect of the work of Elisha the prophet. Then things turn dark when the kings of Israel and Judah become the subjects. Two anointings occur, one to have an evil result, and the other with Jehu, a soldier of Israel, being anointed King of Israel by Elisha. Elijah the prophet (Elisha's mentor and predecessor) shows he is still alive in the flesh when he sends a document to the King of Judah with an indictment from God, proclaiming his doom. Elisha gives Jehu his marching orders.

  Israel and Judah: 28. The Reign of King Jehu of Israel - February 2018

YHWH had Elisha the prophet anoint Jehu as the next King of Israel. Joram, the current King of Israel was in the city of Jezreel recuperating from a war wound he received in battle against the Syrian army. Ahaziah, the King of Judah, was staying with Joram during his recovery. Joram's mother, the lovely Queen mother Jezebel, was also in Jezreel. This episode opens with Jehu leaving the fortress city of Ramoth-gilead and traveling by chariot to Jezreel to confront Joram.

  Israel and Judah: 29. Athaliah and Joash of Judah - April 2018

Athaliah was the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, who ruled just one year, recently assassinated by King Jehu of Israel along with several of Ahaziah's relatives who traveled to Israel to visit their king. In Jerusalem Athaliah takes control of the throne and consolidates her power. She was the only female to rule in Jerusalem, although she is not counted as one of the Kings of Judah. We begin with the aftermath in Jerusalem of Athaliah's seizing power. Then we soon learn of another king of Judah, who was known by two names: Jehoash/Joash.

  Israel and Judah: 30. Kings Amaziah & Uzziah of Judah - June 2018

Both Amaziah and Uzziah were judged to be "good kings" by the writers or compilers of Second Kings and Second Chronicles. The two kings were "good" compared to the consistently evil kings of Israel and most kings of Judah. Below is a chart of the reigns of these two kings of Judah. Their reigns of 81 years, add up to one year more than the combined rule of David and Solomon.

  Israel and Judah: 31. Prophets, Writings, and Kings - August 2018

This episode begins the interplay of three prophets with the Kings of Israel and Judah. Those three prophets wrote books of the Bible. Their relationship and interaction with the Israel and Judah saga is examined. Then the reigns of the last six kings of the Kingdom of Israel over 42 years are given in just 34 verses. Dated from the reign of Azariah (Uzziah) of Judah, the kings and people of Israel fell deeper into disobedience and idolatry. YHWH? patience ended as His prophets were rejected.

  Israel and Judah: 32. Jotham and Ahaz of Judah - October 2018

King Uzziah (Azariah) of Judah has died. Uzziah's reign was peaceful and he was a good king, except he made the serious mistake of entering the Temple. YHWH punished Uzziah with leprosy. His son Jotham now reigns as a good king. Judah is a prosperous kingdom, with Jotham as its powerful king, peace with its neighbors continues during most of his 16-year reign. Jotham's death gives way to one of the most evil kings, Ahaz of Judah, who also rules 16 years.

  Israel and Judah: 33. Isaiah and the Death of Ahaz - December 2018

Ahaz of Judah, one of the most evil kings of Judah, continues his 16-year reign. Ahaz and Judah have survived the onslaught of the armies of Syria and Israel, but the Kingdom of Judah is badly damaged. The Assyrians enter the picture as noted in the last episode "Israel and Judah: 32. Jotham and Ahaz of Judah." Yet YHWH has chosen Ahaz to receive a most important prophecy. True to form, he rejects wanting to learn about the prophecy and then offends YHWH even more.

  Israel and Judah: 34. Death of the Kingdom of Israel - April 2019

King Pekah of Israel and Rezin, king of Syria, invaded, devastated, and seized the wealth of the Kingdom of Judah. The prophet Isaiah told King Ahaz of Judah that Rezin would die and Israel would cease to exist (Isaiah 7:4?). Hoshea murdered Pekah and usurped his throne (2 Kings 15:30). Hoshea was the last king of Israel, an independent kingdom for 240+ years. In this article, we focus on the northern Kingdom of Israel, their sins, the many reasons for God's severe judgment, which He now fully inflicts upon them ?eliminating them from the kingdoms of men.

  Israel and Judah: 35. Reforms of King Hezekiah - August 2019

King Hezekiah became the ruler of the Kingdom of Judah during the last days of the Kingdom of Israel. Judah was a vassal of Assyria when Hezekiah's father Ahaz died. Hezekiah immediately initiated religious reforms that reversed pagan religious practices demanded, paid for, and spread by Ahaz. During the first years of his reign, Hezekiah renewed YHWH's covenant with the people of Juda and with some of the people of Judah. Hezekiah's reforms were not popular with the pagan religious authorities of Judah, the Judean nobles, and many of the people.

  Israel and Judah: 36. King Hezekiah and Assyria - November 2019

King Hezekiah became ruler of the Kingdom of Judah during the last years of the northern Kingdom of Israel. Judah was a vassal kingdom of Assyria when Hezekiah's father Ahaz died and he initially continued Judah's subordination to Assyria. He cleansed the Temple, restarted the sacrifices, and reversed his father's pagan practices. Hezekiah's reforms were not popular with the pagan religious authorities of Judah, some of the Judean nobles, and many of the common people.

  Israel and Judah: 37. Hezekiah and God's Salvation - March 2020

THE SITUATION: The Kingdom of Judah is occupied by the Assyrian army. Most of Judah's army is dead or scattered throughout the land while King Hezekiah, the prophet Isaiah, the nobles of the kingdom, and the people in the capital of Jerusalem are surrounded by the Assyrian army. The Assyrians have not attacked yet, but Jerusalem was offered more chances to escape devastation. The rabshakeh, a spokesman for Sennach?rib, calls for Jerusalem's surrender. Hezekiah's messengers report to their king.

  Israel and Judah: 38. Hezekiah's Reign Ends - August 2020

The Kingdom of Judah is saved. God destroyed the Assyrian army besieging Jerusalem, accomplished by a mysterious plague. Every one of the Assyrians surrounding the city died. The Assyrian king Sennacherib returned (most likely he fled in terror) to Assyria where years later he was murdered. Most of Judah's army is dead or scattered while King Hezekiah, the prophet Isaiah, the nobles of the kingdom, and the people in Jerusalem survived the siege.

  Israel and Judah: 39. Kings Manasseh and Amon - November 2020

King Hezekiah has died and Manasseh his son became ruler of Judah (2 Kings 20:21 and 2 Chronicles 32:33). Manasseh had a long reign ?fifty-five years. Manasseh was more evil than any king who ruled the people of Judah or Israel. Manasseh was followed by his son Amon. He too was evil and ruled only two years. The reigns of these kings were not good for the people of Judah. YHWH's anger increased, and the harshest of judgments of YHWH upon Judah became inevitable. Judah would suffer for violating their covenant with YHWH.

  Israel and Judah: 40. Josiah and Discovery of the Law - March 1921

Young King Josiah was anointed as a "good" King of Judah at age 8. This episode examines Josiah's early reign and gives background to a significant discovery made in God's Temple. This all took place during the prophetic ministries of Jeremiah and Zephaniah.

  Israel and Judah: 41. Josiah, His Renewal, and Death - August 1921

King Josiah of Judah has grown in knowledge and wisdom. Discovery of the Scroll of the Law in the Temple surprised everyone in the Kingdom. The king, nobility, priests, and people all have failed to obey Israel's covenant with YHWH. Severe judgments will be the penalty. Josiah takes responsibility and takes action to lead the people to renew their Covenant with YHWH. Will God change His mind as He has done in the past?

Number of articles: 42

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