An History Of The Kings Of Judah
The history of the Kings of Israel is a long one. The first King of Israel, Saul was made king because the people demanded it. Samuel, the last judge of Israel, anointed him. But when he disobeyed and rebelled against God, the kingship was taken from him and the tribe of Benjamin and given to David of the tribe of Judah.
David was the first king of the tribe of Judah. He was recognized by Judah as king before all Israel recognized him and so those from Judah always followed his line. After David united Judah and Levi with the other eleven tribes, (remember Levi was not counted as a tribe as they were a tribe for the Lord) he ruled as king of Israel, Judah included. His son Solomon took the throne after him and his reign was one that was most peaceful and quiet.
However, when Solomon's son Rehoboam came into power, he would not heed the elders as to how to rule the people. This was the will of God for He wished to split the kingdom and give Israel to Jeroboam the son of Nebat for the sins of Solomon. Thus Rehoboam ruled over Judah. The rest of Israel followed Jeroboam.
In Rehoboam's reign Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord. The built altars in high places, and they did countless abominations.( See 1 Kings 14) He reigned for seventeen years and during that time Shishak came up from Egypt and took all the gold treasure from the temple and Rehoboam made bronze treasures to replace them.
When Rehoboam died his son Abijam took over. He only reigned for three years until he died. Abijam's son was Asa. Asa was a good king of Judah. It says in 1 Kings 15 that he did what was right in God's eyes. He reigned for forty-one years. But when he got old, he became diseased in his feet.
Asa's son was Jehoshaphat. He reigned for twenty-five years and he did as his father Asa did and was pleasing to God. But he did not take down the high places nor did his father before him.
When Jehoshaphat died, his son Jehoram/Joram reigned in his place. He reigned for eight years and he is not to be confused with Joram, king of Israel. (see 2 Kings 8) He was wicked for he married Ahab, the King of Israel's daughter.
Jehoram's son Ahaziah became king. He was twenty-two when he began to reign and his mother was Athaliah a truly wicked woman. He was evil and did not do right in the eyes of the Lord. And he was killed by Jehu the son of Nimshi.
Then Athaliah killed all of her grandchildren, Ahaziah's children, for she wanted to rule Judah. But one was saved from her evil plot and that was Joash. When Joash came of age, the priest Jehoiada rallied the people and they were able to overthrow her and kill her. Joash/Jehoash was only seven when he became king and he ruled for forty years. One day, his servants conspired against him and murdered him. (See 2 Kings 12)
Amaziah was the son of Joash and he took the throne at twenty-five years. He was one of the good kings of Judah. He served Judah for twenty-nine years. He was conspired against as well and his son Azariah/Uzziah then became king. He was around for fifty-two years and he did good things in Judah as his father did.
Then Jotham, Uzziah's son became King of Judah and he followed his father and grandfather in the right way. He ruled for sixteen years and his son Ahaz became king in his place. Ahaz ruled for sixteen years also but he was wicked. So sixteen years of good were followed by sixteen years of bad.
Ahaz's son was Hezekiah. He was one of the memorable kings of Judah. In the book of Kings it is written that no other king was quite like Hezekiah. (See 2 Kings 18) It was he who was threatened by Sennacherib and he who was told it was time to die by the Lord's prophet. But when Hezekiah prayed, the Lord heard and added fifteen years to his life.
Hezekiah's son was Manasseh. Manasseh was one of the wickedest kings of Judah ever. He sacrificed his son on an altar to an idol. He practiced witchcraft and did all sorts of evil. He was warned of his evil ways and at the end of his life he did repent. (see Chronicles)
Amon reigned when Manasseh died. And he was there for just two years. he was wicked and conspired against by his servants and killed.
His son was Josiah. Josiah was the king who found the words of the book of the law and took it to the people and declared that it was to be obeyed. He destroyed all the things that he found that were against the law of God. (See 2 Kings 23) He was killed by Pharaoh Necho.
Jehoahaz ruled then and was evil. Egypt had control of Judah in those days and the Pharoah took him away to Egypt and placed his brother Eliakim on the throne instead naming him Jehoiakim. He ruled for eleven years but was wicked and rebelled against the captivity which was God's will. The followed Jehoiachin who was carried into captivity into Babylon. The king of Babylon took the throne from him and gave it to his brother, Mattaniah. He changed his name to Zedekiah.
Zedekiah was evil and disobedient and his children were killed in front of him right before his eyes were dug out.
After that Gedeliah was put in charge of Jerusalem but he was not a king of the tribe of Judah.
The last king of the tribe of Judah has an eternal throne and cannot be moved. Can you guess who He is?
The kings of Judah in order:
- Athaliah (the self proclaimed and only queen of Israel)
Counting Saul who came before, and ruled Israel as a whole, the number of kings would be 23.
- A History Of The Kings Of Israel
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