Southern Kingdom (Judah)Comments
parentDivided Monarchy
siblingsMoabite StoneNorthern Kingdom (Israel)Samaria
subpagesJudean king HezekiahJudean king JehoiachinJudean king JosiahJudean king ManessehLachishLMLK seal

Southern Kingdom (Judah)

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.

Rehoboam10th cent. BCJudean 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).
Joash837-800 BCJoash (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).
UzziahUzziah (aka Azariah)
Hezekiah727-698Hezekiah 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 Campaign701 BCIn 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 EdomitesAfter the Assyrian conquest, Edomites entered Judah in hopes of exploiting its land.
Manasseh698-642 BCMigrants 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.
Amon642-640 BC
Josiah639-609 BCHis reforms were massive. Josiah rebelled against Babylonians so they came and destroyed Jerusalem. Josiah died at Megiddo in 609.
Jehoahaz II609Son of Josiah; deported by Neco after only 3 months on the Judean throne (2 Kings 23:31).
Judah's Demise608-586 BCThe 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.
Jehoiakim609-598Jehoiakim (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).
Jehoiachin598/597Jehoiachin (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 Deportation597 BCKing Jehoiachin and Prophet Ezekiel were exiled to Babylon. Zedekiah was placed on throne.
Zedekiah597–587 BCZedekiah (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 Deportation586 BCThe 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 Deportation581 BCBabylonia performed a third and final deportation of Judeans.
Gedaliah586-? BCBabylonian 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).
Sheshbazzar538 BCGovernor of Judah.
Zerubbabel520-510 BCGovernor of Judah. Zerubbabel, a Davidide, constructed a temple.
Tattenai518-502 BCTattenai was a governor of Beyond the River satrapy.
Elnathan510-490 BCGovernor of Judah.
Yehoezer490-470 BCGovernor of Judah.
Ahzai470-? BCGovernor of Judah.
NehemiahGovernor of Judah.
Belshunu407–401 BCBelshunu (aka Belesys I) was a governor of Beyond the River satrapy.
Belshunu369-345 BCBelshunu (aka Belesys II) was a governor of Beyond the River satrapy.
Mazaeus343–332 BCMazaeus was a governor of Beyond the River satrapy.