2. From the Kingdom of Israel to the Exile

The United Kingdom of Israel and Judah (the ‘United Kingdom’) lasted a brief eighty years, under the rule of Saul, David and Solomon, from c.1012 to c.931BC. For eighteen of these years, however, the kingdom was anything but ‘united’. The kingdom was permanently divided into two at the death of Solomon.

The northern kingdom of Israel - with its capital initially at Shechem, then at Tirzah and finally at Samaria - existed for 209 years until it was overthrown by the Assyrians in 722BC. The southern kingdom of Judah – with its capital at Jerusalem - lasted a further 135 years before the Babylonian conquest in 587BC. The exiles began returning from Babylonia fifty years later, in 537 BC, but the restored walls of Jerusalem were not completed until 445BC.


The United Kingdom of Israel and Judah      c.1012BC - c.931BC

c.1012-c.1011 BC      Saul becomes King of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah

c.1011-c.1004 BC       Ishbosheth becomes King of Israel; David becomes King of Judah

c.1004-c.971 BC         David becomes King of the re-united Kingdom of Israel

c.995-c.984 BC           Absalom becomes King of Israel; David rules in exile at Mahanaim

c.984-c.971 BC           David defeats Absalom and returns to Jerusalem

c.971-c.931 BC           Solomon reigns as King of Israel

Many of the Psalms, the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Songs and the Book of Ecclesiastes are written around this time


c.1012 BC                   Saul defeats the Ammonites at Bezek

c.1012 BC                   Saul beats the Philistines at Gibeah

c.1012 BC                   Saul defeats the Amalekites of Havilah

c.1012 BC                   David kills the Philistine champion Goliath of Gath

c.1011 BC                   Saul is killed by the Philistines at the Battle of Gilboa

c.1011 BC                   Ishbosheth, Saul's son, becomes King of Israel

c.1011 BC                   David becomes King of Judah at Hebron

c.1004 BC                   Ishbosheth is murdered and David becomes King of Israel and Judah

c.1004 BC                   David captures Jerusalem

c.1004 BC                   David defeats the Philistines at Baal Perazim

c.1004 BC                   David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem

c.999 BC                     David has an affair with Bathsheba and defeats the Ammonites

c.998 BC                     David defeats the Arameans at Helam

c.995 BC                     David’s son Absalom rises in revolt and claims the throne

c.984 BC                     David defeats Absalom at the Battle of Ephraim

c.982 BC                     David purchases the land on which the Temple is later built

c.972 BC                     Adonijah, David's eldest surviving son, claims the throne

c.971 BC                     David dies and his son Solomon becomes King of Israel

c.968 BC                     Solomon begins to build the Temple in Jerusalem

c.961 BC                     Solomon finishes building the Temple

c.948 BC                     Solomon finishes building his palace in Jerusalem

c.947 BC                     Solomon’s ships set out for Ophir

c.946 BC                     Solomon’s Egyptian queen dies

c.945 BC                     The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon in Jerusalem

c.939 BC                     Ramesses II of Egypt fights the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh

c.938 BC                     King Rezon of Damascus rebels against Solomon

c.931 BC                     Solomon dies and is succeeded by his son Rehoboam

c.931 BC                     Israel rebels against Rehoboam. Jeroboam becomes King of Israel.
      Rehoboam continues to rule as King of Judah


The Divided Kingdom     c.931BC - 722BC

The Kingdom of Judah                                The Kingdom of Israel

c.931-c.914 BC    Rehoboam                        c.931-c.911 BC    Jeroboam I

c.914-c.913 BC    Abijah                                  c.911-c.910 BC    Nadab

c.912-c.871 BC    Asa                                        c.910-c.887 BC    Baasha

                                                                                       c.887-c.886 BC    Elah

                                                                                       c.886 BC              Zimri

                                                                                       c.886-c.883 BC   Tibni

                                                                                       c.886-c.874 BC    Omri

c.871-849 BC    Jehoshaphat                       c.874-852 BC   Ahab

                                                  855-853 BC     Ahaziah

849-842 BC    Jehoram                                    853-842 BC     Joram (Jehoram)

842 BC            Ahaziah

842-835 BC    Athaliah                                     842-813 BC     Jehu

835-795 BC    Joash                                          813-797 BC     Jehoahaz

795-767 BC    Amaziah                                   797-783 BC     Jehoash

767-737 BC    Azariah (Uzziah)                 782-741 BC    Jeroboam II

747-731 BC    Jotham                                     741-740 BC    Zechariah

                                                                                     740 BC            Shallum

                                                                                     740-731 BC    Menahem

                                                                                     739-737 BC    Pekaniah

                                                                                     737-730 BC    Pekah

731-716 BC    Ahaz                                         730-722 BC    Hoshea


c.931 BC                     Jeroboam I of Israel fortifies Shechem and Penuel

c.927 BC                     Jerusalem is attacked by Israel’s ally Pharaoh Ramesses II of Egypt

c.914 BC                     King Abijah succeeds Rehoboam. Judah is at war with Israel

c.910 BC                     King Baasha of Israel fortifies Ramah then moves to Tirzah

c.887 BC                     King Baasha of Israel is succeeded by his son Elah

c.886 BC                     King Elah of Israel is assassinated by Zimri

c.886 BC                     Omri is installed as King of Israel by a military coup

c.881 BC                     The capital of Israel is transferred from Tirzah to Samaria

c.874 BC                     King Ahab of Israel and Queen Jezebel introduce Baal worship

c.870 BC                     The prophet Elijah tells Ahab about the forthcoming drought

c.867 BC                     Elijah defeats the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel

c.857 BC                     King Ben-Hadad III of Aram (Damascus) lays seige to Samaria

c.856 BC                     King Ahab seizes Naboth's vineyard to extend his palace

853 BC                     King Ahab & King Ben-Hadad III fight King Shalmaneser III of Assyria at the Battle of Karkar

853 BC                     Elijah is taken up to heaven and is succeeded by Elisha

852 BC                     King Ahab is killed in the battle for Ramoth Gilead

849 BC                     King Joram of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah attack Moab

848 BC                     Elisha helps King Joram to defeat the King of Syria at Dothan

842 BC                     Hazael murders Ben-Hadad III and becomes King of Syria

842 BC                     Jehu defeats King Joram of Israel and kills his mother Jezebel

842 BC                     Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, grabs power in Judah

835 BC                     Joash is proclaimed King of Judah by Jehoiada the priest

811 BC                     King Hazael of Syria attacks Gath and Jerusalem

802 BC                     Pharoah Shoshenk I defeats the Arameans and rescues Israel

785 BC                     King Jehoash of Israel defeats King Amaziah of Judah

782 BC                     King Jeroboam II of Israel recaptures all the land east of the Jordan

Amos and Hosea denounce social injustice in Israel between 760BC and 725BC


747 BC                     King Azariah (Uzziah) of Judah is struck by leprosy

741 BC                     King Zechariah of Israel is assassinated by Shallum who is murdered

Micah speaks against both Israel and Judah between 747 and 722BC

Isaiah prophesies the destruction of Israel and Judah between 737BC and 716BC

Jonah preaches a message of judgement to Ninevah before the defeat of Israel in 722BC.


733 BC                     King Tiglath-Pilesar of Assyria invades Israel and captures Galilee

732 BC                     The Israelites from Galilee and Napthali are deported to Assyria

731 BC                     Tiglath-Pilesar captures Damascus and kills King Rezin of Syria

724 BC                     Shalmaneser V of Assyria seizes Hoshea and lays seige to Samaria

722 BC                     Samaria and the northern kingdom of Israel fall to the Assyrians

721 BC                     The defeated Israelites are led into exile in Assyria


The Kingdom of Judah    722BC - 586BC

727-699 BC    Hezekiah

698-644 BC    Manassah

644-642 BC    Amon

642-610 BC    Josiah

610 BC               Jehoahaz

610-598 BC    Jehoiakim

598-597 BC    Jehoiachin

597-587 BC    Zedekiah


711 BC                     Isaiah heals King Hezekiah’s boils with a poultice of figs

705 BC                     King Hezekiah builds a tunnel to secure Jerusalem’s water supply

702 BC                     King Sennacherib of Assyria destroys Lachish and attacks Jerusalem

702 BC                     Prince Taharka of Egypt attacks but is unable to defeat the Assyrians

698 BC                     Manasseh becomes King of Judah and re-builds the altars to Baal

642 BC                     King Amon is assassinated by his royal officials

624 BC                     Hilkiah re-discovers the Book of the Law in the Temple

624 BC                     King Josiah destroys the pagan altars and celebrates Passover

612 BC                     The Babylonians conquer Nineveh, the capital of Assyria

Nahum celebrates the destruction of Ninevah by the Babylonians in 612BC

Jeremiah & Zephaniah warn the people of Jerusalem prior its fall in 587BC that it will be judged for its unfaithfulness to God

Habbakuk asks why God apparently allows the cruel Babylonians to succeed.


610 BC                     Pharaoh Neco of Egypt defeats King Josiah at Megiddo

610 BC                     Neco deposes Josiah's son Jehoahaz and installs Jehoiakim as King of Judah

606 BC                     Neco is defeated by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Carchemish

605 BC                     Nebuchadnezzar invades Judah and Jehoiakim becomes a vassal king

602 BC                     Neco re-takes Gaza and Jehoiakim rebels against Nebuchadnezzar

598 BC                     Nebuchadnezzar beseiges Jerusalem. King Jehoiachin surrenders

597 BC                     Jehoiachin is taken to Babylon and Zedekiah is installed as king

597 BC                     Ten thousand captives (including Ezekiel) are taken to Babylonia

Ezekiel  predicts the fall of Jerusalem and speaks about the return of the exiles to Israel.

Daniel is in exile in Babylon at the same time as Ezekiel. He is persecuted for his faith between 598 and 539BC.


589 BC                     Zedekiah rebels and Jerusalem is beseiged for over a year and a half

587 BC                     Jerusalem falls and the population is taken to exile in Babylonia

586 BC                     The Temple and royal palace are burnt and the walls are demolished

The Book of Lamentations is a collection of five poems lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem in 587BC.

Obadiah decries Edom after it takes advantage of Jerusalem's fall in 587BC.

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