The Kings of Israel and Judah

This timeline tracks the rulers of Israel and Judah in parallel with other ancient events.

Dating the Kings of Israel and Judah is a complicated task. The biblical data must be reconciled with external data from archeology and other written sources. The dates in this timeline follow Mordecai Cogan in “Chronology,” from the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary.

0586 BC-01-01 02:03:00

Nebuchadnezzar II destroys Jerusalem

In response to Judah's rebellion, Nebuchadnezzar's forces besieged and conquered Jerusalem, destroying the temple and forcing more Judeans into exile. The defeat and subsequent exile are poetically memorialized in the biblical book of Lamentations. This marked the end of Judah as a kingdom.

0596 BC-02-01 08:48:24

Zedekiah

Zedekiah, Jehoiachin's uncle, was placed on the throne after Babylon exiled Jehoiachin and most of his court. After a troubled reign as Babylon's vassal, he decided to rebel against their rule. As a result, the Neo-Babylonians conquered and sacked the nation, making Zedekiah the last king to reign over Judah.

0597 BC-02-01 08:48:24

Jehoiachin

Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim, ruled for only three months before being deposed and exiled to Babylon. He lived there with his family in relative comfort; Babylonian records list the generous rations distributed to him. Some Judeans may have viewed him as their legitimate ruler, despite the Babylonian's appointment of Zedekiah as king.

0605 BC-01-01 02:03:00

Battle of Carchemish

The allied Egyptians and Assyrians were soundly defeated by Neo-Babylonian forces, effectively ending Neo-Assyria's reign as a significant world power. The Bible documents the defeat poetically in Jeremiah 46:1-12.

0608 BC-06-15 16:07:27

Jehoiakim

Jehoiakim, a son of Josiah, was appointed king by the Egyptians; Judah remained an Egyptian vassal for the first half of his reign. After Neo-Babylonian victories ensured their dominance of the region, he shifted allegiance to Babylon for a few years, rebelling against them in his final years. The prophet Jeremiah criticized his reign harshly for injustice and idolatry.

0609 BC-06-15 16:07:27

Jehoahaz

Jehoahaz was the fourth son of Josiah, but the Judeans chose him as king, perhaps because of his anti-Egyptian stance. After Jehoahaz had ruled for only three months, however, Pharaoh Neco II exiled him to Egypt and appointed his brother Jehoiakim king instead.

0609 BC-09-15 16:23:13

Rule of Pharaoh Necho II

Necho (Neco in the Bible), king of Egypt, came to power at a time when the waning Assyrian empire was under the threat of Babylonian forces. In an effort to assist the Assyrians, Necho sent Egyptian forces to northern Syria in 609 B.C.E.; 2 Kings 23:29 relates that Necho's forces killed king Josiah of Judah in battle at Megiddo during this campaign.

0612 BC-01-01 02:03:00

Fall of Nineveh

A coalition of Near Eastern forces besieged and conquered the Assyrian capitol city of Nineveh, paving the way for the Neo-Babylonian empire to achieve dominance.

0612 BC-03-01 13:10:50

Neo-Babylonian Empire

The Babylonians struggled against the decaying Neo-Assyrian empire and ultimately asserted dominance under Nabopolassar. His Neo-Babylonian Empire became the dominant world power for a century.

0639 BC-06-15 16:07:27

Josiah

Josiah took the throne at age 8, after his father Amon's death. After purportedly uncovering a scroll in the temple, Josiah led the nation in a major religious revival, following the example of Hezekiah. (The scroll has been linked to the Book of Deuteronomy.) Meanwhile, civil war in Mesopotamia allowed him to expand Judah's territory and independence. Josiah was ultimately killed by Pharaoh Neco II, who was on the path from Egypt to assist Assyria.

The Kings of Israel and Judah

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