An History Of The Kings Of Israel
Israel came under the rule of kings when the people asked Samuel the priest and last judge of Israel to give them a king to rule over them as the other nations had. Samuel was angry because in effect they were saying that they would rather have a man rule over them than God, but the Lord said that He would grant their request and anoint a king over them. But He promised that the children of Israel would feel regret over having a king. Thus the first king of Israel was anointed. His name was Saul the son of Kish of the tribe of Benjamin.
Saul was a good king up until the time he disobeyed God. The kingdom was taken from him and given to David. When Saul knew that his anointing left him and that David had become the Lord's anointed, he sought to kill David and yet David loved Saul and truly grieved at his death. His attitude to his enemy was proof as to why he was called a man after God's own heart.
Now after Saul's death David ruled over Judah but the rest of Israel was given to Ishbosheth the son of Saul. So Israel was divided for the first time. It was not to be the last time either. He ruled for two years. When he was weakened, he was slain by two while laying on his bed. They took his head to David expecting his gladness. But David was angry and had them killed for their deed against the son of Saul.
Then David ruled over all of Israel inclusive of Judah. He reigned for seven and a half years over Judah and for thirty-three years over Israel and Judah. Then he died and rested with his fathers and his son Solomon became king of Israel.
Solomon has the reputation of being the wisest man on earth having asked the Lord for the gift of wisdom. People from far and wide would come to the court to hear the King speak and he was great in the eyes of the world at that time. His wisdom is still spoken of today. Solomon ruled Israel for forty years and then he died.
His Son Rehoboam became king. But his rule began unwisely and instead of being merciful to the children of Israel he ruled them sternly. So the kingdom of Israel was taken from him and was given to his servant Jerobaom the son of Nebat. And Jeroboam did evil in the sight of the Lord, so much so that the evil that kings did after him was often compared to his evil deeds. He ruled for twenty-two years and after he died Nadab his son took his place as king of Israel.
Nadab reigned for just two years over Israel when he was slain by Baasha. And Baasha became king of Israel killing all of the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
Now Baasha reigned for twenty-four years over the kingdom of Israel and he did as Jeroboam did and did many a wrong thing in the sight of God. The Bible says that he made Israel sin. (see 1 Kings 15) Then Baasha died and Elah his son took his place as king.
Elah reigned for two years and then his servant Zimri conspired against him and killed him and made himself king of Israel. He made certain to kill all of the relatives of Baasha leaving no survivors. Zimri, for all that he did to make certain that the throne was not taken from him, unknowingly fulfilled the prophecy of the Lord concerning Baasha and his house, however, he ruled for just seven days as king of Israel. The people of Israel made Omri the king and they went up to take the city of Tirzah and Zimri, seeing the city taken, lit the king's house on fire and died within its burning walls.
For awhile, half of the people followed Tibni and half followed Omri, but Omri's side was more powerful and he became the true king of Israel and Tibni died. Omri reigned for six years. The Bible says that Omri was worse than all the kings before him (see 1 Kings 16) because he did as Jeroboam did and he provoked God to anger. Then Omri died and his son Ahab reigned.
If it was possible, which it was, Ahab was worse than his father, Omri, making him the worst king Israel had seen yet. He did many an evil thing in the sight of the Lord. His wife's name was Jezebel and it is from her that many a scarlet woman gets their nickname from. He worshiped Baal and he provoked God's anger more than the past kings of Israel. Jezebel even wanted to kill Elijah the prophet. And Ahab was killed in battle and his son Ahaziah ruled in his place.
Ahaziah ruled for two years over Israel and he was an evil king as well. (Israel had a lot of them) He served Baal and worshiped idols and was a lot like Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Then he died of an illness and Jehoram his brother ruled in his place.
Jehoram was the son of Ahab and he ruled Israel for twelve years. He did wrong in the sight of God but he did not worship Baal like his parents did. But he did do the sins that Jeroboam did and he made Israel sin. (See 2 Kings 3) And Jehoram was slain by Jehu son of Nimshi and was placed in Naboth's vineyard because of the sins of his father Ahab. And Jehu slew all of the house of Ahab and ruled as king of Israel. And when after twenty- eight years of rule he died his son, Jehoahaz ruled in his place.
For seventeen years Jehoahaz was king over Israel, and guess what? He was as Jeroboam the son of Nebat and repeated many of his sins. Nevertheless, Jehoahaz cried out to the Lord and He heard him. (See 2 Kings 13) He died and his son Jehoash took his place for sixteen years. He was like his fathers before him and waked in the way of Jeroboam. Then Jeroboam (not the son of Nebat) became king.
Jeroboam was king of Israel for forty-one years. He did wrong in the sight of God but God still helped Israel and had mercy on them. When he died, his son Zachariah became king. He ruled for six months. Shallum the son of Jabesh plotted against him and killed him and took the throne for his own. He was king for a month before he was overthrown. Menahaim the son of Gedi came up and did the same as was done to him and ruled in his place.
Menahaim ruled for ten years and did sin in the sight of God. He paid taxes to Assyria and took the money from the people. His son Pekahiah became king when he died.
Pekahiah was king over Israel for two years. He was conspired against by Pekah the son of Remaliah who killed him and then took the throne. He had the throne for twenty years when he too succumbed to traitors in his midst. Hoshea the son of Elah was the plotter who killed him and took away his throne.
Hoshea was king for nine years. He did evil like the kings before him and became the servant of Assyria and was eventually imprisoned by the king of Assyria. He was the last king of Israel.
The kings of Israel in order:
- Jeroboam the son of Nebat
So the kingship of Judah and Israel ended divided or so it would seem. The Bible says that the kingdom of Israel as well as Judah will have one King and that He will unite the two to be one kingdom again. He will be from the tribe of Judah and His kingdom will have no end.
- A 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...