Introduction to the Northern Kingdom

by | Oct 16, 2020 | 02 Library, Background & History, Introductions

After the death of King Solomon, two of his sons, Rehoboam and Jeroboam, fought for the throne. When Rehoboam harshly raised taxes on the people, the 10 northern tribes rebelled and installed Jeroboam as their king, creating the northern kingdom of Israel. The two southern tribes, Benjamin and Judah, remained with Rehoboam and became the kingdom of Judah.

Scripture: 1Kings 12 – 2 Kings 17; Amos; Hosea

  • 971-931 – Solomon reigns 40 years
  • 996-959 BC – Temple built
  • 931 BC – Solomon dies; kingdom splits
  • 931-586 BC – Divided Kingdom (90 years)
  • 586 BC – Fall of Samaria (capital of north)

The Division

  • Seeds of disaster were sown under Solomon. Solomon increased taxes, forced labor, enlarged the army, enlarged the government and took foreign wives.
  • Rehoboam’s harshness (1Kings 12) made the political and economic situation worse than Solomon’s.
  • The northern tribes were displeased with the hereditary monarchy. (Saul was from the North.) The northern tribes were angered by the de-emphasis on northern worship sites in favor of the Jerusalem temple
  • The northern tribes rebelled and formed the kingdom of Israel.

Special Format – for the Kings of Israel

  • Opening: 33In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel at Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. 34He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel to sin (1Kings 15:33-34).”
  • Closing: “And Baasha slept with his fathers and was buried at Tirzah, and Elah his son reigned in his place (1Kings 16:6).”
  • Sometimes a middle: “Now the rest of the acts of Omri that he did, and the might that he showed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? (1Kings 16:27)”

Israel’s 200 years

No good kings. All evil.

House of Jeroboam

Jeroboam I (931-910 BC; 1Kings 12:25–14:20)

  • Fortifies Shechem and Penuel
  • Sets up religious centers
  • Prophetic condemnation

Nadab (910-909 BC; 1Kings 15:25–31)

  • Son of Jeroboam
  • Nadab was evil like his father.
  • Nadab was killed by Baasha at Gibbethon.

House of Bassha

Bassha (909-886 BC; 1Kings 15:32–16:7)

  • Son Ahijah, house of Issachar.
  • Bassha not only killed Nadab, but the entire house of Jeroboam.
  • Continual war with Asa, King of Judah

Elah (886-885 BC; 1Kings 16:8–14)

  • Son of Bassha, reigned 2 years.
  • Assassinated by his servant Zimri.
  • Zimri struck down the house of Bassha.

Zimri (885 BC ;1Kings 16:15–20)

  • Zimri reigned 7 days.
  • The people back Omri, commander of the army, as king instead Zimri.
  • Omri besieged Zimri at Tirazh.
  • Zimri burned the palace down while he was in it.

House of Omri

Omri (885-874 BC; 1Kings 16:16-27)

  • Begin his reign in Tirzah, after surviving a challenge by backers of Tibni, son of Ginath.
  • Built the city of Samaria and made it the new capital.

Ahab (874-853 BC; 1 Kings 16:28-22:40; 2 Chronicles 18:1-34)

  • Ahab took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and worshiped Baal
  • Elijah predicts the 3-year drought during Ahab’s reign. Then defeats and slaughters the prophets of Baal. Jezebel tries to kill Elijah.
  • Ahab defeats Ben-hadad of Syria with prophetic help.
  • Ahab killed in battle with the Syrians.

Joram (Jehoram) (852-841 BC; 2 Kings 3:1-3; 2Kings 9:14-25; 2 Chronicles 22:5-7)

  • Took down the pillar of Baal, but still did evil in the sight of the Lord.
  • Assassinated by Jehu.

House of Jehu

Jehu (841-814 BC; 2 Kings 9-10; 2 Chronicles 22:7-12)

  • Jehu purges the house of Omri, executes Jezebel and all Ahab’s descendants; assassinates Joram and Ahaziah (king of Judah).
  • Strikes down the prophets of Baal but continued to worship the golden calves in Bethel and Dan.

Jehoahaz (814-798 BC; 2 Kings 13:1-9)

  • Did evil in the sight of the Lord
  • Became a vassal to Hazel King of Syria

Jehoash (Joash) (798-782 BC; 2 Kings 13:10-25; 2 Chronicles 25:17-24)

  • Evil like his father.
  • Recovered some cities lost to the king of Syria

Jeroboam II (782-753 BC; 2 Kings 14:23-29)

  • Evil like his father.
  • Restores Israel boundaries to nearly the size of Solomon’s; era of economic prosperity.

Zechariah (753-2 BC; 2 Kings 15:8-12)

  • Reigned 6 months.
  • assassinated by Shallum son of Jabesh.

Shallum (752 BC; 2 Kings 15:13-15)

  • Reigned 1 month.
  • Assassinated by Menhhem, son of Gadi.

House of Menhem

Menahem (752-742 BC; 2 Kings 15:16-22)

  • Evil.
  • Gave sliver to Pul, king of Assyria, to maintain his throne and becomes a vassal of Assyria.

Pekahiah (742-740 BC; 2 Kings 15:23-26)

  • Reigned 2 years, evil like his father.
  • Assassinated by Pekah, son of Remaliah.

Pekah (740-732 BC; 2 Kings 15:27-31; 2 Chron 28:5-8)

  • Tiglath-pileser, King of Assyria captures the land of Naphtali.
  • Assassinated by Hoshea, son of Elah

Hoshea (732-722 BC; 2 Kings 17:1-41)

  • Evil like his father.
  • Hoshea stopped paying tribute to Assyria, bringing on the siege of Samaria and it’s eventual destruction.

Fall of Samaria

  • Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom.
  • 2Kings 15:19-20: Revival of Assyrian strength.
  • 2Kings 15:29-30: Loss of territory and deportations of Israelities to Assyria (approx. 734 BC).
  • 2Kings 17:1-6: invasion and 3 year siege.
  • 722 BC – Fall of Samaria and the end of the northern kingdom (Israel) as a sovereign nation.
  • 2Kings 17:7-23: Theological explanation for the fall of Samaria.


Chart: Kings of Israel & Judah

Chart: Bible History at a glance

Jensen’s Survey of the Old Testament

Blue Letter Bible: Old Testament Timeline

Alfred Edersheim Old Testament Bible History:

  • Book 5 — Birth Of Solomon To Reign Of Ahab
  • Book 6 — The Reign Of Ahab To The Decline Of The Two Kingdoms
  • Book 7 — From The Decline Of The Two Kingdoms To The Assyrian And Babylonian Captivity


The Divided Kingdom –

The Kingdom of Judah –

The Captivity of Judah –

The Restoration –

Series: Bible Study 101

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