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.

0641 BC-06-15 16:07:27

Amon

The son of Manasseh, he ruled for only two years before being assassinated for unclear reasons. The conspirators were killed, allowing his young son Josiah to take the throne.

0698 BC-06-15 16:07:27

Manasseh

Manasseh's reign was long but much less eventful than his father Hezekiah's. He undid many of Hezekiah's religious reforms, a fact for which 2 Kings condemns him harshly. The account in 2 Chronicles portrays a more nuanced situation, however, and the supposed wickedness and idolatry that made him infamous in 2 Kings may be exaggerated.

0700 BC-01-18 17:04:58

Siloam Inscription

This inscription, found below Jerusalem, describes the completion of Hezekiah's tunnel, which provided the city with fresh water while under siege.

0701 BC-01-01 02:03:00

Sennacherib attacks Jerusalem

Assyria attempted to conquer Judah, despite Hezekiah's sending tribute to King Sennacherib. 2 Kings 18:13–19:37 portrays a Judean victory in which the Assyrians withdrew; Neo-Assyrian sources (the Prism of Sennacherib) describe it as an Assyrian victory, with Hezekiah imprisoned in Jerusalem "like a bird in a cage."

0722 BC-01-01 02:03:00

Fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel to Assyria

After Hoshea resisted Assyria's rule, the empire swept in and decimated the nation, turning it into one of its provinces. Many Israelites were deported to elsewhere in the Assyrian Empire, while other foreign people were resettled into Israel, effectively destroying the Northern Kingdom.

0727 BC-06-15 16:07:27

Hezekiah

Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, had a lengthy reign notable for three aspects: his religious reforms, his political struggles with Assyria, and the diverse extrabiblical evidence now available about his reign. The biblical authors praise Hezekiah for his reforms, which included destroying various "idolatrous" sacred sites and restoring the temple. Meanwhile, Hezekiah resisted two major Assyrian encroachments, both led by King Sennacherib, and allied himself with Egypt. In response to Sennacherib's attacks, King Hezekiah defended and fortified Jerusalem. While he kept the Assyrian forces out of Jerusalem, the Judean nation suffered significantly from the attacks. Modern archaeology has supported the Bible's claims of Hezekiah as a religious reformer and capable civic administrator.

0732 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Hoshea

After a coup overthrew the anti-Assyrian Pekah, Hoshea, backed by the Assyrian empire, took control of Israel. (The Assyrian records claim that Assyria installed Hoshea, but the Bible indicates that he emerged triumphant from internal divisions.) In 724, however, Hoshea switched his allegiance to Egypt and cut ties with Assyria; as a result, the Neo-Assyrians invaded Israel, captured Hoshea, and ultimately destroyed the kingdom. Hoshea was the last king of Israel.

0735 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Pekah

After taking the throne in a coup, Pekah rejected the nation's relationship with Assyria and joined in an anti-Assyrian coalition with Syria. The coalition attempted to add Judah to their ranks, but their plan backfired when the Judean King Ahaz called on Assyrian support to defeat them. As a result, Israel lost significant territory to Assyria, and Pekah was killed in a pro-Assyrian conspiracy.

0737 BC-03-01 00:00:00

Pekahiah

Pekahiah, the son of Menahem, only ruled briefly before he was killed in a revolt by Pekah, one of his captains.

0743 BC-11-17 00:24:46

Ahaz

Ahaz, the son of Jotham, allied himself with the Assyrian Empire, which allowed Judah to withstand the catastrophic invasion that destroyed the Northern Kingdom in 722. The Bible condemns him, however, for giving temple treasures as Assyrian tribute, and for allowing non-Yahwistic worship in Judah.

0744 BC-04-01 00:00:00

Tiglath-Pileser III Becomes King of Assyria

Tiglath-Pileser III strengthened the Neo-Assyrian Empire and expanded its borders across the known world. Tiglath-Pileser's policy of forced resettlement helped prevent rebellion in conquered areas.

0747 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Shallum

After assassinating King Zechariah, Shallum reigned for a single month before being killed.

0747 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Zechariah

Zechariah was the son of Jeroboam II and the last king of the lineage of Jehu; he was assassinated after only six months of rule.

0747 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Menahem

After seizing power from Shallum, Menahem managed to hold the throne for a decade. He maintained his rule partly thanks to the Assyrian Empire, whom he paid to provide him with military support.

0753 BC-04-21 16:09:17

Rome Founded (Legend)

According to Roman legend, the city of Rome was founded in this year by the brothers Romulus and Remus, who were famously raised by a she-wolf. The Roman Republic would not be founded for another two centuries.

0759 BC-01-31 04:03:45

Jotham

Jotham took over part of the royal duties for the latter part of his father's reign after Uzziah acquired a skin disease. He presided over a period of relative prosperity in Judah.

0785 BC-01-01 04:03:45

Azariah (Uzziah)

Uzziah, also called Azariah, had a successful reign partly overshadowed by Jeroboam's achievements to the north. After he contracted a skin disease, which the Bible attributes to his impiety, he turned over much of his power to his son Jotham.

0788 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Jeroboam II

The reign of Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, was characterized by military success and economic prosperity. He expanded Israel's borders considerably through conquest. The contemporary oracles of Amos and Hosea condemn the economic stratification during his lengthy reign.

0798 BC-04-01 00:00:00

Amaziah

The son of Joash, Amaziah succeeded in a campaign against Edom, killing 20,000 Edomite soldiers. Bolstered by his success, he attempted to attack Israel for unclear reasons. His army was thoroughly defeated, however, and the Israelites looted the temple. Amaziah was ultimately assassinated.

0800 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Jehoash

The son of Jehoahaz, Jehoash attained military victories against Aram (as prophesied by Elisha in 2 Kings 13:14–19) and Judah. His successes were aided by Assyrian victory over Aram.

0800 BC-07-01 00:00:00

Tel Dan Stela

In this Aramean inscription, King Hazael describes his victories over the "king of Israel" and the "king of the house of David" (though the latter term is sometimes disputed). It provides some of the earliest archaeological evidence for a kingdom of Judah ruled by a Davidic dynasty.

0817 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Jehoahaz

Jehoahaz was the son of Jehu. During his reign, Israel came under increasing attack from the Arameans, reflecting the strife between Aram and Assyria. By the end of his reign, the Bible records that the Israelite army contained only fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen due to Israel's continual conflict with the king of Syria.

0836 BC-01-01 04:03:45

Joash (Jehoash)

According to the biblical account, Joash, King Ahaziah’s infant son and remaining heir, escaped Queen Athaliah's massacre of his extended family in her bid to hold the throne. Raised in the temple for six years by Jehoiada, he was crowned king at age seven in a coup that killed Athaliah, his grandmother. (Some scholars have questioned his real lineage, noting the convenient appearance of a Davidic heir to the throne.) Joash enjoyed a lengthy reign marked mostly by financial crises around maintenance of the temple. He was killed by two of his servants.

0840 BC-07-01 00:00:00

Victory Stela of Mesha, King of Moab

This inscribed stone discusses the victories of King Mesha over the Omride dynasty of Israel. It contains some of the earliest extrabiblical references to Israelite kings and to Yahweh as Israel's deity, and it parallels the biblical account in 2 Kings 3.

0842 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Jehu

Jehu began his reign with blood, killing the Israelite king Joram, the queen mother Jezebel, the remaining members of the Omride dynasty, the chief priests and prophets of Baal, and the Judahite king Ahaziah along with many members of the Davidic dynasty in Judah. His coup was framed as a Yahwistic reaction sanctioned by a disciple of the prophet Elijah against the Baal worship that had grown under the patronage of Queen Jezebel. As a result of his deeds, Jehu lost the diplomatic ties that had protected Israel, and soon submitted to Assyrian dominance for the rest of his reign.

0842 BC-01-31 04:03:45

Athaliah

Athaliah was the only queen to rule in ancient Israel or Judah. The daughter or sister of Ahab, and the wife of Jehoram of Judah, she promoted the worship of Baal. She seized power after Jehu's coup killed King Ahaziah and destroyed most of the Davidic dynasty. She was killed in a rebellion that enthroned her 7-year-old grandson Joash.

0843 BC-07-01 00:00:00

Ahaziah

Ahaziah formed an alliance with Joram of Israel against Hazael of Syria. He had reigned for barely a year when he went to visit the wounded Joram and was killed by Jehu as part of Jehu's coup in Israel. Jehu's motives for killing him are unclear, as he did not seize control of Judah afterwards.

0851 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Joram (Jehoram)

Joram was another son of Ahab. He unsuccessfully attempted to suppress King Mesha of Moab's revolt against Israel during his reign. Moab's victory is recorded on the Mesha Inscription. He formed a coalition with Ahaziah of Judah against the Syrian king Hazael. Joram was wounded in this battle, and while he was recovering, he was assassinated in a coup by his field commander, Jehu. In the recently discovered Tel Dan inscription, Hazael claims to have killed Joram.

0851 BC-01-01 04:03:45

Jehoram

Jehoram of Judah began ruling Judah before the death of his father Jehoshaphat (perhaps due to illness). His success was mixed; he was unable to quell a rebellion in Edom, and his wife Athaliah (Ahab's daughter) sustained Baal worship in Judah, which the biblical authors condemned.

0852 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Ahaziah

Ahaziah reigned for two years after the death of his father Ahab. Moab rebelled against Israel during his reign. He died following a fall from his upper chamber.

0853 BC-08-19 04:49:55

The Battle of Qarqar

The Battle of Qarqar was an attempt by united Syrian and Palestinian forces to stop the Assyrian invasion of their lands. On a memorial stela known as the Kurkh Monolith, King Shalmaneser III of Assyria mentions "Ahab the Israelite" as one of his enemies in the battle. Although the royal propaganda on the monolith claims victory for the Assyrians, the battle marked the end of their campaign in the region.

0870 BC-03-01 23:42:48

Jehoshaphat

Jehoshaphat's long and successful reign was notable for reforms of the judicial system and religious piety, for which the biblical authors praise him, and for alliances with Israel and Phoenicia. In order to cement his alliance with Israel, Jehoshaphat married his son Jehoram to Athaliah, the daughter (or possibly sister) of King Ahab.

0873 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Ahab

Ahab was one of the most notorious Israelite kings, largely due to his religious beliefs. He married Jezebel, a Phoenician princess and worshiper of Baal. The religious pluralism of his reign put him in conflict with the Yahwistic prophet Elijah. Politically, Ahab responded skillfully to a number of external threats. In the face of border skirmishes with the Arameans, he strengthened alliances with Phoenicia and Judah and defended Israel's borders. When Assyria threatened the entire region, Ahab joined forces with the Arameans to repel the Assyrian army led by Shalmaneser III in the Battle of Qarqar.

0878 BC-04-29 10:58:48

Ithobaal I Rules Phoenicia

Ithobaal I was a king of Tyre who significantly expanded Phoenicia's area of rule. His daughter Jezebel married Israel's King Ahab.

0882 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Zimri (Rival to Omri)

One of Elah's commanders, he assassinated king Elah and tried to seize power. He was defeated shortly thereafter by Omri's troops. Zimri responded by burning the royal palace, immolating himself.

0882 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Tibni (Rival to Omri)

A king supported by "half of Israel" in the struggle after Elah's death (1 Kings 16:21); Omri defeated him in a civil war, and Tibni ultimately died, giving Omri uncontested rulership.

0882 BC-01-02 00:00:00

Omri

The commander of Elah's army, probably of non-Israelite lineage, who ultimately won the struggle for the throne after Elah's assassination. Omri became the founder of a dynasty that ruled Northern Israel for many years. He founded the capitol city Samaria and had much military success, as documented by surrounding nations. The Bible criticizes him strongly, however, perhaps for his religious policy that tolerated both Israelite and Canaanite worship.

0883 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Elah

Elah reigned for only two years before being assassinated by Zimri, one of his chief commanders, while Elah was intoxicated.

0906 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Baasha

Baasha was not noble-born, but he wrested the Northern Kingdom from the family of Jeroboam, slaughtering all their descendants. He had a lengthy reign of power, marked by ongoing skirmishes with the Southern Kingdom.

0907 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Nadab

The son of Jeroboam I, Nadab's reign was cut short when he was killed by Baasha in a coup.

The Kings of Israel and Judah

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