Following Solomon’s death, the ideal of a united Israel ruled by a Davidic king and worshiping in the Jerusalem templeThe Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More was destroyed when the nation split into two kingdoms: JudahJudah was the name of Jacob's fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More in the south, comprised of the tribes of Judah–BenjaminA son of Jacob and tribe of Israel. More and Levi–which had remained loyal to David’s house; and Israel, the ten northern tribes that broke away.
The period of the united monarchy (1 Chronicles 10:1-2 Chronicles 9:31) began when God “turned the kingdom over to David” (1 Chronicles 10:14). The beginning of the period of the divided monarchy is similarly marked with the same, rare Hebrew root (sbb, “turn,” “turn of affairs”): “…it was a turn of affairs brought about by God” (2 Chronicles 10:15). Things had changed; the golden age of DavidSecond king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More and Solomon’s united monarchy was in the past. Only the kings of the southern kingdomThe Southern Kingdom consisted of two tribes of Israel, Judah and Benjamin. Jerusalem was its capital, and the kingdom lasted from 931-586 B.C.E. As with the Northern Kingdom many of the kings were wicked, and prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel spoke their often judgmental... More of Judah are discussed, and references to the northern kings or the nation of Israel are carefully omitted, unless they overlap with the presentation of Judah. These kings are all evaluated against the ideal of David and SolomonThird king of Israel who was known for wisdom and building the first Temple More. Faithful kings prosper in terms of military victory and wealth through tribute, building projects, rest, and progeny. Kings displaying infidelity experience punishment in the form of military defeat, illness, or death. The period bristles with the appearance of otherwise unknown prophets who tirelessly point out the error of the kings’ ways, while at the same time holding out the possibility of repentance and forgiveness as God had promised (2 Chronicles 7:14).