Week 7

When the nation of Israel split into two kingdoms the northern kingdom took the majority of the tribes with it – ten.  But that doesn’t mean that the southern kingdom, also known as Judah, was weak.  There were a number of advantages that the southern kingdom held despite having fewer tribes.

The southern kingdom had the city of Jerusalem and with it Solomon’s temple.  It also had continuity in that someone from David’s line always sat on the throne.  Most importantly it had some godly kings.  While the northern kingdom had wicked kings, the southern kingdom had a mix of both good and bad kings.  The northern kingdom was defeated by the Assyrians in 722 BC, two hundred years after the split.  The southern kingdom carried on for around 150 more years until the Babylonians carried them off into exile in 586 BC.

We looked at the split of the kingdoms last week but it is worth repeating as the first king of the southern kingdom – Rehoboam – is the one responsible.  This wasn’t to God’s surprise though as it was prophecied in 1 Kings 11:26-43.

Required reading

1 Kings 11:26-43, 14-15:24

2 Kings 19-20, 24-25

2 Chronicles 14-36

Corresponding articles and videos on this site

We have written on topics covered in this lesson.  You can either read the article or watch the video, both cover the same material.  These provide good supplemental thoughts to go with your Bible reading and may help you answer some of the questions below.

Optional reading 

A History of Israel: From the Bronze Age Through the Jewish Wars – chapters 25-26

An Historical Survey of the Old Testament – chapter 9

Discussion questions

The first question is required.  You may choose any of the remaining two questions to answer.  Answers should be 100 words or more. You are welcome to use resources that you may have or search the internet for help.

1) There were a few good kings in the southern kingdom.  Who do you think was the best king?  Why?

Answer two of the following:

2) Why do you think God granted Hezekiah an extra 15 years of life?

3) Athaliah is the only woman to rule over the southern kingdom but unfortunately she was a wicked ruler.  Discuss her life and death.

4) Discuss the story of Sennacherib and Hezekiah.

5) Why did Jerusalem fall to the Babylonians?

6) Who do you think is the worst king of the southern kingdom?  Why?


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