Southern Kingdom (Judah)

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
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Pillar-base figurines were common in the Iron IIC (after the fall of Samaria) in Judah. There are two types of pillar-base figurines: holding breasts; or holding a frame-drum. Pillar-base figurines are most often found in domestic contexts. Also, model shrines were prevalent -- they were like miniature temples with little figurines.

KingTimeDescription

Rehoboam

10th cent. BC

Judean King Rehoboam ruled from Jerusalem (1 Kings 14:21-24). After his crushing loss that led to the fractionation of the United Monarchy, he built fortresses throughout Judah. In ~925 BC, Shishak (Sheshonq) invades and attacks town in Israel and Judah (1 KIngs 14:25-28).

Abijam

Asa

Jehoshaphat

Jehoram

Ahaziah

Athaliah

Joash

837-800 BC

Joash (aka Jehoash) stripped the temple to pay off Hazael, thus sparing Jerusalem preventing further damage to Judah (2 Kings 12 12:17). Also, Assyria attacked (and distracted) the Arameans and was thus seen as a savior of Judah (2 Kings 13:4).

Amaziah

Uzziah

Uzziah (aka Azariah).

Jotham

Ahaz

Hezekiah

727-698 BC

Hezekiah led massive religious reforms that oppressed Canaanite cults and favored Yahwism. Hezekiah's faith gave him the courage to rebel against Assyria, eventually regaining Judah's independence after a failed first attempt. A growth in literacy began under Hezekiah and continued through Josiah, as evidenced by an increase in inscribed items such as ostraca (shards used for quick notes), pottery (descriptive notes on the shoulders), inscribed weights, seals and bullae, amulets and inscriptions (monuments and tombs).

Sennacherib's Campaign

701 BC

In 701 BC, Assyrian king Sennacherib (704-681 BC) underwent an extensive invasion of Judah. This resulted in his locking Hezekiah into Jerusalem like "a bird in a cage" as attested in Sennacherib's hexagonal prism.

Rise of the Edomites

After the Assyrian conquest, Edomites entered Judah in hopes of exploiting its land.

Manasseh

698-642 BC

Migrants from the destroyed Northern Kingdom brought their Canaanite culture into the Southern Kingdom. Despite Hezekiah's reforms, there was a flourish of astrology, Ba'al worship (Ba'al is a traditional Canaanite deity) and other Canaanite characteristics. Also, the name Manasseh itself is from the Northern Kingdom, which is unusual considering Hezekiah's Yahwism. Manesseh grew desperate as Edomites and Assyria exerted pressure on Judah, even going so far as to perform the Phoenician practice of sacrificial infanticide.

Amon

642-640 BC

Josiah

639-609 BC

His reforms were massive. Josiah rebelled against Babylonians so they came and destroyed Jerusalem. Josiah died at Megiddo in 609.

Jehoahaz II

609 BC

Son of Josiah; deported by Neco after only 3 months on the Judean throne (2 Kings 23:31).

Judah's Demise

608-586 BC

The destruction of Megiddo -- armageddon -- was in 609 BC under Josiah's reign (2 Kings 23:29-30) and marked the beginning of the end of Judah.

Jehoiakim

609-598

Jehoiakim (born Eliakim and son of Josiah) was installed as king of Judah by Neco. Judah became a vassal to Babylonians for 3 years and Judah was beset by its neighbors (including the Edomites).

Jehoiachin

598/597

Jehoiachin (aka Jeconiah) surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar during siege of Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:8). He was deported to Babylon, ending his reign prematurely at only 3 months. The Temple was stripped yet again and 10,000 Judeans were deported from Jerusalem. Jehoiachin was released from prison when he was 37, but he remained in Babylon (as attested by Babylonian sources).

1st Deportation

597 BC

King Jehoiachin and Prophet Ezekiel were exiled to Babylon. Zedekiah was placed on throne.

Zedekiah

597–587 BC

Zedekiah (born Mattaniah and uncle of Jehoiachin) was installed as king of Judah by Babylon (2 Kings 24:18). However, he rebelled against Babylonian control and Jerusalem was besieged. Records indicate the onset of starvation within 6 months of the siege, and the city burned thereafter. Zedekiah was exiled to Babylon.

2nd Deportation

586 BC

The Temple was destroyed and elites (craftsmen, administrators, etc) and the general populace were exiled. Many Judeans fled to Egypt (Jeremiah 42–44). The deportations are detailed in 2 Kings 24-25. This was a watershed event, a major blow to the Israelites, who had come to believe that Jerusalem was impregnable when it repulsed the Assyrian onslaught, and much ensuing Biblical literature concerns the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, where God had resided, and the Israelite's loss of the land of Canaan.

3rd Deportation

581 BC

Babylonia performed a third and final deportation of Judeans.

Gedaliah

586-? BC

Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar installed Gedaliah as governor of Judah (ruling from Mizpah) immediately after Judah's 586 BC demise, but Gedaliah was assassinated there (2 Kings 25:22).

Sheshbazzar

538 BC

Governor of Judah.

Zerubbabel

520-510 BC

Governor of Judah. Zerubbabel, a Davidide, constructed a temple.

Tattenai

518-502 BC

Tattenai was a governor of Beyond the River satrapy.

Elnathan

510-490 BC

Governor of Judah.

Yehoezer

490-470 BC

Governor of Judah.

Ahzai

470-? BC

Governor of Judah.

Nehemiah

Governor of Judah.

Belshunu

407–401 BC

Belshunu (aka Belesys I) was a governor of Beyond the River satrapy.

Belshunu

369-345 BC

Belshunu (aka Belesys II) was a governor of Beyond the River satrapy.

Mazaeus

343–332 BC

Mazaeus was a governor of Beyond the River satrapy.