Northern Kingdom (Israel)

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
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EventTimeDescription

Jeroboam I

After leading the 930 BC coup that led to his control of Israel (the Northern Kingdom), Jeroboam established a capital at Tirzah in Shechem (1 Kings 12:25). Jeroboam also created public temples with shrines to golden calves (Canaanite god Ba'al) at Bethel and Dan (1 Kings 12:26-33) to service the northern and southern parts of the kingdom, respectively. Jeroboam was given divine approval to secede, but not to build these other temples at Dan and Bethel which will route worshippers from Jerusalem, which would lead to the damning of his dynasty. According to 1 Kings 12:26-31, Jeroboam appeased Ba'al worship because he was afraid otherwise his citizens would head to Jerusalem and wind up reverting to obliging the Davidic Dynasty continued by Rehoboam; in Israel, worship of the Canaanite god Ba'al eclipsed reverence to Yahweh. Jeroboam continued to build additional bamot (high places), public shrines reminiscent of Canaanite tradition. In ~925 BC, Shishak (Sheshonq) invaded and attacked towns in Israel and Judah (1 Kings 14:25-28).

Capital at Tirzah

930-880 BC

Capital is at Tirzah in Shechem.

Omride Dynasty
EventTimeDescription

Omri

885-873 BC

Dynastic unrest had plagued prior kings of Israel. Omri, commander of the Israelite army, had his opponents killed so he could establish the Omride Dynasty. From 885-880 BC, he ruled from Tirzah. In 880 BC, he bought the field of Shemer and founded Samaria as his capital. During this time, Judah was weak and may have actually been a vassal to Israel.

Capital at Samaria

880-720 BC

Capital is at Samaria. Has a collection of ostraca and ivories, as well as a pool and a palace.

Ahab

873-851 BC

Marries Jezebel, daughter of Sidonian king Ethbaal. Built temple to Ba'al at Samaria. Built Jezreel. Ben-Hadad I of Aram Damascus invaded Israel after being bribed by Asa of Judah with temple gold (1 Kings 15:16–20). Aram Damascus was a major threat that kept Ahab engaged until he was killed in a battle. Ben-Hadad II of Damascus (with 32 kings) unsuccessfully besieged Samaria.

Jehoram

849-843 BC

In 850 BC he joined Jehoshaphat of Judah (874-850 BC) and king of Edom against Mesha of Moab (2 Kings 3); Mesha supposedly defeated (2 Kings 3). Ben Hadad (II) besieges Samarai (2 Kings 6:24ff) but siege lifted after a period of time. Battles with Hazael and is wounded (2 Kings 8:28ff).

Jehu

843-816

In 843 BC, Jehu led a coup d'etat against the Omride Dynasty (2 Kings 9-10). His coup was facilitated by Hazael of Damascus, who attacked Israel (Tel Dan destroyed) to create a diversion. Jehu was aided by the prophet Elisha, who anointed him king (2 Kings 9:1ff) and thus ended the Omride Dynasty. Jehu killed Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah at Jezreel. Also, Jehu killed Jezebel (wife of Ahab) in Jezreel. Sons of Ahab and all of House of Ahab were executed. In addition, Jehu slaughtered priests of Ba'al. In 841 BC, Jehu paid tribute to Assyrian king Shalmanesser III, as noted in the Black Obelisk.

Jehoahaz

816-800 BC

Jeroboam II

785-745 BC

Assyrian Incursions

745-720 BC

Beginning under Assyrian king Tighlath-Pileser III, the Assyrians conquer Damascus (Syria), Phoenicia (Lebanon) and Galilee (Northern Israel). Then under Assyrian king Shalmaneser V, the Assyrians incur further into the Levant, picking off more and more Israelite territory. This culminates when Assyrian king Sargon II captures all Israel and deports the population.

Zechariah

Shallum

Menahem

Under Tiglath-Pileser III (Biblical Pul), in 740 BC Menahem again renders tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III. In 738 BC, Menahem again renders tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III (2 Kings 15:10).

Pekahiah

Pekah

Hoshea

Israel's Demise

720 BC

The Assyrians conquered Israel. Under Assyrian king Shalmaneser V, in 722 BC (the 5th year of his reign) Samaria and the Northern Kingdom both fall (2 Kings 17:6). In 720 BC, Assyrian king Sargon II recaptured and exiled the populations of the civilizations that collapsed under Assyrian pressure (2 Kings 17:6 and the annals of Sargon).