HOME

TheInfoList




The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה, ''Yəhūdā''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 ''Ya'uda'' 'ia-ú-da-a-a'' arc, 𐤁‬𐤉‬𐤕‬𐤃𐤅‬𐤃 ''Bēyt
Dāwīḏ
Dāwīḏ
'') was an
Israelite The Israelites (; he, בני ישראל ''Bnei Yisra'el'') were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israe ...

Israelite
kingdom of the
Southern Levant The Southern Levant is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environ ...

Southern Levant
during the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
. It was located in
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolog ...

Judea
, and its capital was
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
. The other Israelite polity, the Kingdom of Israel, lay to the north. The
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites ...

Hebrew Bible
depicts it as the successor to the
United Monarchy The United Monarchy () is the name given to the united Israelite The Israelites (; he, בני ישראל ''Bnei Yisra'el'') were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near Ea ...
, a term denoting the Kingdom of Israel under biblical kings
Saul Saul (; he, , translit=Šāʾūl; gr, Σαούλ; ), according to the Hebrew Bible, was the first monarch of the Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy), United Kingdom of Israel. His reign, traditionally placed in the late 11th century BCE, suppose ...

Saul
,
David David (; ) (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". is described in th ...

David
and
Solomon Solomon (; he, , ), ''Šlēmūn''; : سُلَيْمَان ', also : ' or '; el, Σολομών ''Solomōn''; : Salomon) also called Jedidiah (, ), was, according to the and Christian , a fabulously wealthy and wise monarch of the who suc ...

Solomon
and covering the territory of two historical kingdoms, Judah and
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...
. However, some scholars, including
Israel Finkelstein Israel Finkelstein ( he, ישראל פינקלשטיין, born March 29, 1949) is an Israeli Israeli may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the State of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل) ...

Israel Finkelstein
and Alexander Fantalkin, believe that the existent archaeological evidence for an extensive Kingdom of Judah before the late 8th century BCE is too weak and that the methodology used to obtain the evidence is flawed. The Tel Dan Stele shows that the kingdom, in some semblance, existed by at least the mid-9th century BCE, but it does little to show to what extent. In the 10th and early 9th centuries BCE, the territory of Judah appears to have been sparsely populated, limited to small rural settlements, most of them unfortified. Jerusalem, the kingdom's capital, likely did not emerge as a significant administrative centre until the end of the 8th century BCE. Before then, the archaeological evidence suggests its population was too small to sustain a viable kingdom. In the 7th century BCE its population increased greatly, prospering under Assyrian vassalage (despite Hezekiah's revolt against the Assyrian king
Sennacherib Sennacherib (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviation_of_logotype,_from__el.html" ;"title="Chiswick_Press_. ...

Sennacherib
), but in 605 BCE the Assyrian Empire was defeated, and the ensuing competition between the
Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt #REDIRECT Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt#REDIRECT Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt The Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXVI, alternatively 26th Dynasty or Dynasty 26) was the last native dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of ru ...
and the
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire, also known as the Second Babylonian Empire and historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with Nabopolassar's coronation as ...

Neo-Babylonian Empire
for control of the
Eastern Mediterranean Eastern Mediterranean is a loose definition of the eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai *Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways *Eastern Air Lines, a defunct Amer ...

Eastern Mediterranean
led to the destruction of the kingdom in a series of campaigns between 597 and 582 BCE, the deportation of the elite of the community, and the incorporation of Judah into a province of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. The major cities of the kingdom were
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
,
Lachish Tel Lachish ( he, תל לכיש; grc, Λαχίς; la, Tel Lachis), known in Arabic as Tell ed-Duweir (), is the site of an ancient Near East, ancient Canaan, Canaanite and Israelite city, now an archaeological site and an National parks and na ...
,
Hebron Hebron ( ar, الخليل أو الخليل الرحمن ; he, חֶבְרוֹן ) is a State of Palestine, Palestinian. city in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judaean Mountains, it lies Above mean sea level, above ...

Hebron
, Socho and Ziph.


Archaeological record

The formation of the Kingdom of Judah is a subject of heavy debate among scholars, and an acrimonious dispute has emerged between biblical minimalists and biblical maximalists on this particular topic. While it is generally agreed that the stories of
David David (; ) (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". is described in th ...

David
and
Solomon Solomon (; he, , ), ''Šlēmūn''; : سُلَيْمَان ', also : ' or '; el, Σολομών ''Solomōn''; : Salomon) also called Jedidiah (, ), was, according to the and Christian , a fabulously wealthy and wise monarch of the who suc ...

Solomon
in the 10th century BCE tell little about the origins of Judah, currently, there is no consensus as to whether Judah developed as a split from the United Kingdom of Israel (as the Bible tells) or independently. Much of the debate revolves around whether the archaeological discoveries conventionally dated to the 10th century should instead be dated to the 9th century, as proposed by
Israel Finkelstein Israel Finkelstein ( he, ישראל פינקלשטיין, born March 29, 1949) is an Israeli Israeli may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the State of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل) ...

Israel Finkelstein
. Recent archaeological discoveries by
Eilat Mazar Eilat Mazar ( he, אילת מזר; 10 September 195625 May 2021) was an Israeli archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a ...
in Jerusalem and
Yosef Garfinkel Image:yosef Garfinkel.jpg, upProf. Yosef Garfinkel Yosef Garfinkel (hebrew: יוסף גרפינקל; born 1956) is a professor of Prehistory, Prehistoric Archaeology and of Archaeology of the Biblical Period at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. ...

Yosef Garfinkel
in
Khirbet Qeiyafa Khirbet Qeiyafa ( ar, خربة قيافة), also known as Elah Fortress and in Hebrew as Hirbet Kaifeh ( he, חורבת קייאפה), is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Valley of Elah, Elah Valley and dated to the first hal ...
seem to support the existence of the United Monarchy, but the datings and identifications are not universally accepted. The Tel Dan Stele shows an historical " House of David" ruled a kingdom south of the lands of Samaria in the 9th century BC, and attestations of several Judean kings from the 8th century BC have been discovered, but they do little to indicate how developed the state actually was. The Nimrud Tablet K.3751, dated c. 733 BCE, is the earliest known record of the name "Judah" (written in
Assyrian cuneiform Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, ...
as Ya'uda or KUR.ia-ú-da-a-a). The status of Jerusalem in the 10th century BCE is a major subject of debate. The oldest part of Jerusalem and its original urban core are the City of David, which does not show evidence of significant Israelite residential activity until the 9th century. However, unique administrative structures such as the Stepped Stone Structure and the
Large Stone Structure The Large Stone Structure ( ''Mivne haEven haGadol'') is the name given to a set of remains interpreted by the excavator, Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar, as being part of a single large public building in the City of David (historic), City of ...
, which originally formed one structure, contain material culture dated to Iron I. On account of the apparent lack of settlement activity in the 10th century BCE, Israel Finkelstein argues that Jerusalem was then a small country village in the Judean hills, not a national capital, and Ussishkin argues that the city was entirely uninhabited. Amihai Mazar contends that if the Iron I/Iron IIa dating of administrative structures in the City of David are correct, which he believes to be the case, "Jerusalem was a rather small town with a mighty citadel, which could have been a center of a substantial regional polity." William G. Dever argues that Jerusalem was a small and fortified city, probably inhabited only by the royal court, priests and clerks. A collection of military orders found in the ruins of a in the
Negev The Negev or Negeb (; he, הַנֶּגֶב; ar, ٱلنَّقَب ') is a desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand dunes in th ...

Negev
dating to the period of the Kingdom of Judah indicates widespread literacy, based on the inscriptions, the ability to read and write extended throughout the chain of command from commanders to petty officers. According to Professor Eliezer Piasetsky, who participated in analyzing the texts, "Literacy existed at all levels of the administrative, military and priestly systems of Judah. Reading and writing were not limited to a tiny elite." That indicates the presence of a substantial educational infrastructure in Judah at the time.


Biblical and historical narrative


Partition of United Kingdom of Israel

According to the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites ...

Hebrew Bible
, the Kingdom of Judah resulted from the break-up of the United Kingdom of Israel (1020 to about 930 BCE) after the northern tribes refused to accept
Rehoboam Rehoboam (; , ; , ; la, Roboam) was, according to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ket ...
, the son of
Solomon Solomon (; he, , ), ''Šlēmūn''; : سُلَيْمَان ', also : ' or '; el, Σολομών ''Solomōn''; : Salomon) also called Jedidiah (, ), was, according to the and Christian , a fabulously wealthy and wise monarch of the who suc ...

Solomon
, as their king. At first, only the
tribe of Judah According to the Hebrew Bible, the tribe of Judah (, ''Shevet Yehudah'') was one of the twelve Tribes of Israel. Biblical account The Tribe of Judah, its conquests, and the centrality of its capital in Jerusalem for the worship of the god Yah ...

tribe of Judah
remained loyal to the House of David, but the
tribe of Benjamin According to the Torah, the Tribe of Benjamin () was one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The tribe was descended from Benjamin, the youngest son of the patriarch Jacob (later given the name Israel) and his wife Rachel. In the Samaritan Pentateuch ...

tribe of Benjamin
soon joined Judah. Both kingdoms, Judah in the south and
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...
in the north, co-existed uneasily after the split until the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel by
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
in c. 722/721. The major theme of the Hebrew Bible's narrative is the loyalty of Judah, especially its kings, to
Yahweh Yahweh was the national god of ancient Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Judah. His origins reach at least to the early Iron Age, and likely to the Late Bronze Age. In the oldest biblical literature, he is a Weather ...
, which it states is the God of
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
. Accordingly, all of the kings of Israel and many of the kings of Judah were "bad" in terms of the biblical narrative by failing to enforce
monotheism Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciou ...
. Of the "good" kings,
Hezekiah Hezekiah (; he, חִזְקִיָּהוּ ''H̱īzəqīyyahū''), or Ezekias, ''Ḥazaqia'ú'' 'ḫa-za-qi-a-ú'' el, Ἐζεκίας Septuagint">/nowiki>Septuagint:_Εζεζία.html" ;"title="Septuagint.html" ;"title="/nowiki>Septuagint"> ...

Hezekiah
(727–698 BCE) is noted for his efforts at stamping out
idolatry Idolatry is the worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more about a recognition of a god. An act of worship may be performed i ...
(in his case, the worship of
Baal Baal (), properly Baal,; phn, , baʿl; hbo, , baʿal, ). was a title and honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term " ...

Baal
and
Asherah Asherah , ''ʾăšērâ''; Ugaritic language, Ugaritic: 𐎀𐎘𐎗𐎚 ''Aṯirat'', name=, group= in ancient Semitic religion, is a mother goddess who appears in a number of ancient sources. She appears in Akkadian literature, Akkadian wri ...
, among other traditional Near Eastern divinities),, Emory University, 1997 but his successors,
Manasseh of Judah Manasseh (; Hebrew language, Hebrew: ''Mənaššé'', "Forgetter"; akk, 𒈨𒈾𒋛𒄿 ''Menašši'' (written ''me-na-si-i''); grc-gre, Μανασσῆς ''Manasses''; la, Manasses) was the fourteenth king of the Kingdom of Judah. He was the ...
(698–642 BCE) and Amon (642–640 BCE), revived idolatry, which drew down on the kingdom the anger of Yahweh. King
Josiah Josiah ( or ) or Yoshiyahu; la, Iosias was the 16th king of Judah The Kings of Judah were the monarchs who ruled over the ancient Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה, ''Yəhūdā(h)''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 '' ...

Josiah
(640–609 BCE) returned to the worship of Yahweh alone, but his efforts were too late, and Israel's unfaithfulness caused God to permit the kingdom's destruction by the
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire, also known as the Second Babylonian Empire and historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with Nabopolassar's coronation as ...

Neo-Babylonian Empire
in the Siege of Jerusalem (587/586 BCE). However, it is now fairly well established among academic scholars that the
Books of Kings A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...
is not an accurate reflection of religious views in Judah or particularly Israel of the period.


Relations with Northern Kingdom

For the first 60 years, the kings of Judah tried to re-establish their authority over the northern kingdom, and there was perpetual war between them.
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...
and Judah were in a state of war throughout
Rehoboam Rehoboam (; , ; , ; la, Roboam) was, according to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ket ...
's 17-year reign. Rehoboam built elaborate defenses and strongholds, along with fortified cities. In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign,
Shishak Shishak, Shishaq or Susac (, Tiberian: , ) was, according to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, ...
,
pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

pharaoh
of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
, brought a huge army and took many cities. In the sack of Jerusalem (10th century BCE), Rehoboam gave them all of the treasures out of the temple as a tribute and Judah became a vassal state of Egypt. Rehoboam's son and successor,
Abijah of Judah Abijam (; el, Αβιού, Aviou; la, Abiam) was, according to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, ...
, continued his father's efforts to bring Israel under his control. He fought the
Battle of Mount Zemaraim The great Battle of Mount Zemaraim was reported in the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek ...
against
Jeroboam Jeroboam I (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and thei ...

Jeroboam
of Israel and was victorious with a heavy loss of life on the Israel side. According to the
Books of Chronicles The Book of Chronicles ( he, דִּבְרֵי־הַיָּמִים ) is a Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it i ...
, Abijah and his people defeated them with a great slaughter, so that 500,000 chosen men of Israel fell slain, and Jeroboam posed little threat to Judah for the rest of his reign, and the border of the
tribe of Benjamin According to the Torah, the Tribe of Benjamin () was one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The tribe was descended from Benjamin, the youngest son of the patriarch Jacob (later given the name Israel) and his wife Rachel. In the Samaritan Pentateuch ...

tribe of Benjamin
was restored to the original tribal border.
AbijahAbijah ( ''Aviya'') is a Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it'' or ''Leshon ha-Miqra''), also called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew language, Hebrew, a language in the Canaanite languages, Canaanite branch of Semiti ...
's son and successor,
Asa of Judah Asa (; el, Ασά; la, Asa) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the third king of the Kingdom of Judah and the fifth king of the Davidic line, House of David. The Hebrew Bible gives the period of his reign as 41 years. His reign is dated between ...

Asa of Judah
, maintained peace for the first 35 years of his reign, and he revamped and reinforced the fortresses originally built by his grandfather, Rehoboam. 2 Chronicles states that at the
Battle of Zephath The Battle of Zephath, according to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. These te ...
, the Egyptian-backed chieftain
Zerah Zerah or Zérach ( / "sunrise" Standard Hebrew ''Zéraḥ'' / ''Záraḥ'', Tiberian Hebrew ''Zéraḥ'' / ''Zāraḥ'') refers to several different people in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical can ...
the Ethiopian and his million men and 300 chariots were defeated by Asa's 580,000 men in the Valley of Zephath near
Maresha Tel Maresha ( he, תל מראשה) is the Tell (archaeology), tell (archaeological mound) of the Hebrew Bible, biblical Iron Age city of Maresha, and of the subsequent, post-586 BCE Idumaea, Idumean city known by its Hellenised name Marisa, Arabis ...
. The Bible does not state whether Zerah was a pharaoh or a general of the army. The Ethiopians were pursued all the way to
Gerar Gerar ( ''Gərār'', "lodging-place") was a Philistine The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan from the 12th century BC until 604 BC, when their polity, after having already been subjugated for centuries by ...

Gerar
, in the coastal plain, where they stopped out of sheer exhaustion. The resulting peace kept Judah free from Egyptian incursions until the time of
Josiah Josiah ( or ) or Yoshiyahu; la, Iosias was the 16th king of Judah The Kings of Judah were the monarchs who ruled over the ancient Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה, ''Yəhūdā(h)''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 '' ...

Josiah
, some centuries later. In his 36th year, Asa was confronted by
Baasha of Israel Baasha ( he, בַּעְשָׁא, ''Baʿšāʾ'' ) was the third king of the northern Israelite The Israelites (; he, בני ישראל ''Bnei Yisra'el'') were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tr ...

Baasha of Israel
, who built a fortress at Ramah on the border, less than ten miles from Jerusalem. The capital became under pressure, and the military situation was precarious. Asa took gold and silver from the Temple and sent them to
Ben-Hadad I Ben-Hadad I ( he, בן הדד ; arc, בר הדד, ), son of Tabrimmon and grandson of Hezion, was king of Aram-Damascus between 885 BC and 865 BC. A figure known only from the Old Testament, Ben-Hadad I was reportedly a contemporary of kings Baash ...
, the king of
Aram-Damascus Aram-Damascus ( or ) was an Aramean The Arameans (Old Aramaic language, Old Aramaic: 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; Greek language, Greek: Ἀραμαῖοι; Syriac language, Syriac: ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ / Ārāmāyē) were an ancient Semitic languages, Semiti ...
, in exchange for the Damascene king cancelling his peace treaty with Baasha. Ben-Hadad attacked Ijon, Dan and many important cities of the
tribe of Naphtali The Tribe of Naphtali () was one of the northernmost of the twelve tribes of Israel. It is one of the ten lost tribes. Biblical narratives In the biblical account, following the completion of the conquest of Canaan A 1692 map of Canaa ...

tribe of Naphtali
, and Baasha was forced to withdraw from Ramah. Asa tore down the unfinished fortress and used its raw materials to fortify Geba and
Mizpah in Benjamin Mizpah ("watch-tower; the look-out") was a city of the tribe of Benjamin referred to in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including ...
on his side of the border. Asa's successor,
Jehoshaphat Jehoshaphat (; alternatively spelled Jehosaphat, Josaphat, or Yehoshafat; ; el, Ἰωσαφάτ, Iosafát; la, Josaphat), according to 1 Kings 15:24, was the son of Asa, and the fourth king of the Kingdom of Judah, in succession to his father ...
, changed the policy towards Israel and instead pursued alliances and co-operation with the northern kingdom. The alliance with
Ahab Ahab (; akk, , Aḫabbu; grc-koi, ''Achaáb''; la, Achab) was the seventh king of Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel, the son and successor of King Omri and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, according to the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible pr ...

Ahab
was based on marriage. The alliance led to disaster for the kingdom with the Battle of
Ramoth-GileadRamoth-Gilead ( he, רָמֹת גִּלְעָד, meaning "Heights of Gilead"), was a Levitical city and city of refuge east of the Jordan river ) , name_native_lang = , name_other = , name_etymology = Hebrew: ירדן (yardén, ...
. He then entered into an alliance with
Ahaziah of Israel Ahaziah ( ''’Ăḥazyāh'', " Yah has grasped"; also gr, Ὀχοζίας, ''Ochozias'' in the Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals, LXX), ...

Ahaziah of Israel
for the purpose of carrying on maritime commerce with
Ophir Ophir (; ) is a port or region mentioned in the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was ...
. However, the fleet that was then equipped at
Ezion-Geber Ezion-Geber ( Ancient: ''Ġeṣyōn Geḇer''; also Asiongaber) is a city only known from the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, includ ...
was immediately wrecked. A new fleet was fitted out without the co-operation of the king of Israel. Although it was successful, the trade was not prosecuted. He joined
Jehoram of Israel Jehoram ( ''Yəhōrām''; also Joram) was the ninth king of the northern Kingdom of Israel ( 2 Kings 8:16, 2 Kings 8:25–28). He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel, and brother to Ahaziah of Israel, Ahaziah and Athaliah. According to Books of Ki ...

Jehoram of Israel
in a war against the
Moab Moab ''Mōáb''; Assyrian: 𒈬𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Mu'aba'', 𒈠𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Ma'ba'', 𒈠𒀪𒀊 ''Ma'ab''; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and et ...
ites, who were under tribute to Israel. This war was successful, and the Moabites were subdued. However, on seeing
Mesha King Mesha (Moabite language, Moabite: 𐤌𐤔𐤏 *''Māša‘''; Hebrew: מֵישַׁע ''Mēša‘'') was a king of Moab in the 9th century BCE, known most famously for having the Mesha Stele inscribed and erected at Dhiban, Dibon. In this ...
's act of offering his own son in a
human sacrifice Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more humans as part of a ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be ...
on the walls of Kir-haresheth filled Jehoshaphat with horror, and he withdrew and returned to his own land.
Jehoshaphat Jehoshaphat (; alternatively spelled Jehosaphat, Josaphat, or Yehoshafat; ; el, Ἰωσαφάτ, Iosafát; la, Josaphat), according to 1 Kings 15:24, was the son of Asa, and the fourth king of the Kingdom of Judah, in succession to his father ...
's successor,
Jehoram of Judah Jehoram of Judah () or Joram (; el, Ἰωράμ, Ioram; la, Joram or Ioram), was the fifth king of Judah Judah may refer to: Historical ethnic, political and geographic terms The name was passed on, successively, from the biblical figure of J ...

Jehoram of Judah
, formed an alliance with Israel by marrying
Athaliah Athaliah ( Ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsAztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the ... and Queen Jezebel of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْ ...
, the daughter of
Ahab Ahab (; akk, , Aḫabbu; grc-koi, ''Achaáb''; la, Achab) was the seventh king of Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel, the son and successor of King Omri and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, according to the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible pr ...

Ahab
. Despite the alliance with the stronger northern kingdom, 's rule of Judah was shaky.
Edom Edom (; Edomite Edom (; Edomite: 𐤀𐤃𐤌 ''’Edām''; he, אֱדוֹם ''ʼÉḏōm'', lit.: "red"; akk, 𒌑𒁺𒈠𒀀𒀀 ''Uduma'') was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan located between Moab to the northeast, the Arabah Th ...

Edom
revolted, and he was forced to acknowledge its independence. A raid by
Philistines The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of th ...
,
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technica ...

Arabs
and Ethiopians looted the king's house and carried off all of his family except for his youngest son,
Ahaziah of Judah Ahaziah of Judah (; el, Οχοζιας Okhozias; la, Ahazia) or Jehoahaz I (; ), was the sixth king of kingdom of Judah, Judah, and the son of Jehoram of Judah, Jehoram and Athaliah, the daughter (or possibly sister) of king Ahab of Israel. He ...

Ahaziah of Judah
.


Clash of empires

After
Hezekiah Hezekiah (; he, חִזְקִיָּהוּ ''H̱īzəqīyyahū''), or Ezekias, ''Ḥazaqia'ú'' 'ḫa-za-qi-a-ú'' el, Ἐζεκίας Septuagint">/nowiki>Septuagint:_Εζεζία.html" ;"title="Septuagint.html" ;"title="/nowiki>Septuagint"> ...

Hezekiah
became the sole ruler in c. 715 BCE, he formed alliances with
Ashkelon Ashkelon or Ashqelon (; he, , ), also known as Ascalon (; grc-gre, Ἀσκάλων, ''Askálōn''; ar, عَسْقَلَان, '), is a coastal city in the Southern District of Israel on the Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea ...
and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
and made a stand against
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
by refusing to pay tribute. In response,
Sennacherib Sennacherib (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviation_of_logotype,_from__el.html" ;"title="Chiswick_Press_. ...

Sennacherib
of Assyria attacked the fortified cities of Judah. Hezekiah paid three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold to Assyria, which required him to empty the temple and royal treasury of silver and strip the gold from the doorposts of
Solomon's Temple According to the Biblical narrative, Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was a temple in Jerusalem (: ''Bēṯ hamMīqdāš'') built under King Solomon's reign and completed in 957 BCE. The Temple was looted and then Siege of Jer ...

Solomon's Temple
. However, Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem in 701 BCE though the city was never taken. During the long reign of
Manasseh Manasses or Manasseh (;churchofjesuschrist ...
(c. 687/686 – 643/642 BCE), Judah was a vassal of Assyrian rulers: Sennacherib and his successors,
Esarhaddon Esarhaddon, also spelled Essarhaddon, Assarhaddon and Ashurhaddon (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviatio ...

Esarhaddon
and
Ashurbanipal Ashurbanipal, also spelled Assurbanipal, Asshurbanipal and Asurbanipal (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbrevi ...
after 669 BCE. Manasseh is listed as being required to provide materials for
Esarhaddon Esarhaddon, also spelled Essarhaddon, Assarhaddon and Ashurhaddon (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviatio ...

Esarhaddon
's building projects and as one of a number of vassals who assisted
Ashurbanipal Ashurbanipal, also spelled Assurbanipal, Asshurbanipal and Asurbanipal (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbrevi ...
's campaign against Egypt. When
Josiah Josiah ( or ) or Yoshiyahu; la, Iosias was the 16th king of Judah The Kings of Judah were the monarchs who ruled over the ancient Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה, ''Yəhūdā(h)''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 '' ...

Josiah
became king of Judah in c. 641/640 BCE, the international situation was in flux. To the east, the
Neo-Assyrian Empire The Neo-Assyrian Empire (Assyrian cuneiform Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disam ...

Neo-Assyrian Empire
was beginning to disintegrate, the
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire, also known as the Second Babylonian Empire and historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with Nabopolassar's coronation as ...

Neo-Babylonian Empire
had not yet risen to replace it and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
to the west was still recovering from Assyrian rule. In the power vacuum, Judah could govern itself for the time being without foreign intervention. However, in the spring of 609 BCE,
Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

Pharaoh
Necho II Necho II (sometimes Nekau, Neku, Nechoh, or Nikuu; Greek: Νεκώς Β'; ) of Ancient Egypt, Egypt was a king of the 26th Dynasty (610–595 BC), which ruled out of Sais, Egypt, Sais. Necho undertook a number of construction projects across his k ...
personally led a sizable army up to the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). O ...
to aid the
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...
. * Taking the coastal route into
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...
at the head of a large army, Necho passed the low tracts of
Philistia Philistia (, ''Pəlešeṯ'', Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
and
Sharon Sharon ( he, שָׁרוֹן ''Šārôn'' "plain") is a given name as well as an Israeli surname. In English-speaking areas, Sharon is now predominantly a feminine given name. However, historically it was also used as a masculine given name. In I ...
. However, the passage over the ridge of hills, which shuts in on the south the great
Jezreel Valley The Jezreel Valley (from the he, עמק יזרעאל, translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt ...

Jezreel Valley
, was blocked by the Judean army, led by Josiah, who may have considered that the Assyrians and the Egyptians were weakened by the death of Pharaoh
Psamtik I Wahibre Psamtik I (Ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient ...
only a year earlier (610 BCE). Presumably in an attempt to help the Babylonians, Josiah attempted to block the advance at
MegiddoMegiddo may refer to: Places and sites in Israel * Tel Megiddo, site of an ancient city in Israel's Jezreel valley * Megiddo Airport, a domestic airport in Israel * Megiddo church (Israel) * Megiddo, Israel, a kibbutz in Israel * Megiddo Junction, ...
, where a fierce battle was fought and Josiah was killed. Necho then joined forces with the Assyrian
Ashur-uballit II Ashur-uballit II, also spelled Assur-uballit II and Ashuruballit II (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviation ...
, and they crossed the Euphrates and lay siege to
Harran Ḥarrān, also known as Carrhae, was a major ancient city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclop ...

Harran
. The combined forces failed to capture the city, and Necho retreated back to northern
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...
. The event also marked the disintegration of the Assyrian Empire. On his return march to
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
in 608 BCE, Necho found that Jehoahaz had been selected to succeed his father, Josiah. Necho deposed Jehoahaz, who had been king for only three months, and replaced him with his older brother,
Jehoiakim Jehoiakim, also sometimes spelled Jehoikim; la, Joakim was the eighteenth and antepenultimate king of Judah from 609 to 598 BC. He was the second son of king Josiah () and Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. His birth name was Eliakim.; ...
. Necho imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents of silver (about 3 tons or about 3.4 metric tons) and a talent of gold (about ). Necho then took Jehoahaz back to Egypt as his prisoner, never to return.
Jehoiakim Jehoiakim, also sometimes spelled Jehoikim; la, Joakim was the eighteenth and antepenultimate king of Judah from 609 to 598 BC. He was the second son of king Josiah () and Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. His birth name was Eliakim.; ...
ruled originally as a vassal of the Egyptians by paying a heavy tribute. However, when the Egyptians were defeated by the Babylonians at
Carchemish Carchemish ( or ), also spelled Karkemish (Hittite language, Hittite: ''Karkamiš''; Turkish language, Turkish: ''Karkamış''; he, כַּרְכְּמְישׂ; Ancient Greek, Greek: Εὔρωπος, ''Europos''; Latin: ''Europus'') was an imp ...

Carchemish
in 605 BCE, Jehoiakim changed allegiances to pay tribute to
Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar II (), also Nebuchadrezzar II ( Babylonian cuneiform: ''Nabû-kudurri-uṣur''; Biblical Hebrew: – ''Nəḇūḵaḏreʾṣṣar'' or – ''Nəḇūḵaḏneʾṣṣar''; Biblical Aramaic: – ''Nəḇūḵaḏne ...
. In 601 BCE, in the fourth year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar attempted to invade Egypt but was repulsed with heavy losses. The failure led to numerous rebellions among the states of the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
that owed allegiance to Babylon. Jehoiakim also stopped paying tribute to Nebuchadnezzar and took a pro-Egyptian position. Nebuchadnezzar soon dealt with the rebellions. According to the
Babylonian Chronicles The Babylonian Chronicles are a series of clay tablet, tablets recording major events in Babylonian history. They are thus one of the first steps in the development of ancient historiography. The Babylonian Chronicles were written in Babylonian cu ...
, after invading "the land of Hatti (Syria/Palestine)" in 599 BCE, he laid siege to Jerusalem. Jehoiakim died in 598 BCE during the siege and was succeeded by his son
Jeconiah Jeconiah ( he, יְכָנְיָה ''Yəḵonəyā'' , meaning "Yah Yah may refer to: * Jah Jah or Yah ( he, , ''Yāh'') is a short form of (YHWH), the four letters that form the , : , which the ancient used. The conventional Christian Engl ...
at an age of either eight or eighteen. The city fell about three months later, on 2
Adar Adar ( he, אֲדָר ; from AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyc ...
(March 16) 597 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar pillaged both Jerusalem and the
Temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are typically called church (building), churches), Hinduism (w ...
and carted all of his spoils to Babylon.
Jeconiah Jeconiah ( he, יְכָנְיָה ''Yəḵonəyā'' , meaning "Yah Yah may refer to: * Jah Jah or Yah ( he, , ''Yāh'') is a short form of (YHWH), the four letters that form the , : , which the ancient used. The conventional Christian Engl ...
and his court and other prominent citizens and craftsmen, along with a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judah, numbering about 10,000 were deported from the land and dispersed throughout the
Babylonian Empire Babylonia () was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ...
. Among them was
Ezekiel Ezekiel (; he, יְחֶזְקֵאל ''Yĕḥezqēʾl'' ; in the Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals, LXX), is the earliest extant Koine ...

Ezekiel
. Nebuchadnezzar appointed
Zedekiah Zedekiah () also known as Tzidkiyahu originally called Mattanyahu or Mattaniah, was the 20th and last king of Judah The Kings of Judah were the monarchs who ruled over the ancient Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה ...

Zedekiah
, Jehoiakim's brother, the king of the reduced kingdom, who was made a tributary of Babylon.


Destruction and dispersion

Despite the strong remonstrances of
Jeremiah Jeremiah, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human acti ...

Jeremiah
and others, Zedekiah revolted against Nebuchadnezzar by ceasing to pay tribute to him and entered an alliance with Pharaoh . In 589 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar II returned to Judah and again besieged Jerusalem. Many Jews fled to surrounding
Moab Moab ''Mōáb''; Assyrian: 𒈬𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Mu'aba'', 𒈠𒀪𒁀𒀀𒀀 ''Ma'ba'', 𒈠𒀪𒀊 ''Ma'ab''; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and et ...
,
Ammon Ammon (Ammonite language, Ammonite: 𐤏𐤌𐤍 ''ʻAmān''; he, עַמּוֹן ''ʻAmmōn''; ar, عمّون, ʻAmmūn) was an ancient Semitic languages, Semitic-speaking nation occupying the east of the Jordan River, between the torrent ...

Ammon
,
Edom Edom (; Edomite Edom (; Edomite: 𐤀𐤃𐤌 ''’Edām''; he, אֱדוֹם ''ʼÉḏōm'', lit.: "red"; akk, 𒌑𒁺𒈠𒀀𒀀 ''Uduma'') was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan located between Moab to the northeast, the Arabah Th ...

Edom
and other countries to seek refuge. The city fell after a siege, which lasted either eighteen or thirty months, and Nebuchadnezzar again pillaged both Jerusalem and the Temple and then destroyed both. After killing all of Zedekiah's sons, Nebuchadnezzar took Zedekiah to Babylon and so put an end to the independent Kingdom of Judah. According to the Book of Jeremiah, in addition to those killed during the siege, some 4,600 people were deported after the fall of Judah. By 586 BCE, much of Judah had been devastated, and the former kingdom had suffered a steep decline of both its economy and its population.


Aftermath


Babylonian Yehud

Jerusalem apparently remained uninhabited for much of the 6th century, and the centre of gravity shifted to Benjamin, the relatively unscathed northern section of the kingdom, where the town of
Mizpah Mizpah or Miz'peh ("watch-tower; the look-out") may refer to: ;In geography * one of several places in ancient Judea\Palestine: **Mizpah in Benjamin, a city near Jerusalem ** Mizpah in Gilead (Genesis), the place where Laban overtook Jacob on his r ...
became the capital of the new Babylonian province of
Yehud Yehud ( he, יְהוּד) is a city in the Central District (Israel), Central District in Israel that is part of the joint municipality of Yehud-Monosson. In 2007, Yehud's population was approximately 30,000 (including Neve Monosson – see below) ...
for the remnant of the Jewish population in a part of the former kingdom. That was standard Babylonian practice. When the Philistine city of
Ashkelon Ashkelon or Ashqelon (; he, , ), also known as Ascalon (; grc-gre, Ἀσκάλων, ''Askálōn''; ar, عَسْقَلَان, '), is a coastal city in the Southern District of Israel on the Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea ...
was conquered in 604 BCE, the political, religious and economic elite (but not the bulk of the population) was banished and the administrative centre shifted to a new location.
Gedaliah Gedaliah, Gedalia, Gedallah Hirsch, E. G. and Greenstone, J. H. (1906)Gedallah Jewish Encyclopedia or Gedalya(h) ( or ; he, גְּדַלְיָּה ''Gəḏalyyā'' or ''Gəḏalyyāhū'', meaning "Jah Jah or Yah ( he, יה, ''Yah'') is a short ...
was appointed governor of the Yehud province, supported by a
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
n guard. The administrative centre of the province was
Mizpah in Benjamin Mizpah ("watch-tower; the look-out") was a city of the tribe of Benjamin referred to in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including ...
, not Jerusalem. On hearing of the appointment, many of the Judeans who had taken refuge in surrounding countries were persuaded to return to Judah. However, Gedaliah was soon assassinated by a member of the royal house, and the Chaldean soldiers killed. The population that was left in the land and those who had returned fled to Egypt for fear a Babylonian reprisal, under the leadership of Yohanan ben Kareah. They ignored the urging of the prophet
Jeremiah Jeremiah, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human acti ...

Jeremiah
against the move. In Egypt, the refugees settled in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Noph and Pathros, and Jeremiah went with them as a moral guardian.


Exile of elites to Babylon

The numbers that were deported to Babylon and that made their way to Egypt and the remnant that remained in the land and in surrounding countries are subject to academic debate. The Book of Jeremiah reports that 4,600 were exiled to
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
. The
Books of Kings A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...
suggest that it was 10,000 and later 8,000.


Yehud under Persian rule

In 539 BCE, the Achaemenid Empire conquered Babylonia and allowed the exiles to return to Yehud Medinata and to rebuild the Temple, which was completed in the sixth year of Darius (515 BCE) under Zerubbabel, the grandson of the second to last king of Judah,
Jeconiah Jeconiah ( he, יְכָנְיָה ''Yəḵonəyā'' , meaning "Yah Yah may refer to: * Jah Jah or Yah ( he, , ''Yāh'') is a short form of (YHWH), the four letters that form the , : , which the ancient used. The conventional Christian Engl ...
. Yehud Medinata was a peaceful part of the Achaemenid Empire until its fall in c. 333 BCE to Alexander the Great.


LMLK seals

LMLK seals are ancient Hebrew Stamp seal, seals stamped on the handles of large storage jars dating from reign of King
Hezekiah Hezekiah (; he, חִזְקִיָּהוּ ''H̱īzəqīyyahū''), or Ezekias, ''Ḥazaqia'ú'' 'ḫa-za-qi-a-ú'' el, Ἐζεκίας Septuagint">/nowiki>Septuagint:_Εζεζία.html" ;"title="Septuagint.html" ;"title="/nowiki>Septuagint"> ...

Hezekiah
(circa 700 BCE) discovered mostly in and around
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
. Several complete jars were found ''in situ'' buried under a destruction layer caused by
Sennacherib Sennacherib (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo up Chiswick_Press.html"_;"title="Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press">Coat_of_arms_of_the_Chiswick_Press_ A_logo_(abbreviation_of_logotype,_from__el.html" ;"title="Chiswick_Press_. ...

Sennacherib
at
Lachish Tel Lachish ( he, תל לכיש; grc, Λαχίς; la, Tel Lachis), known in Arabic as Tell ed-Duweir (), is the site of an ancient Near East, ancient Canaan, Canaanite and Israelite city, now an archaeological site and an National parks and na ...
. None of the original seals has been found, but some 2,000 impressions made by at least 21 seal types have been published. LMLK stands for the Hebrew letters ''lamedh mem lamedh kaph'' (vocalized, ''lamelekh''; Phoenician language, Phoenician ''lāmed mēm lāmed kāp'' – 𐤋𐤌𐤋𐤊), which can be translated as: * "[belonging] to the king" [of Judah] * "[belonging] to King" (name of a person or deity) * "[belonging] to the government" [of Judah] * "[to be sent] to the King"


See also

* Kings of Judah * List of artifacts in biblical archaeology * List of Jewish states and dynasties * United Kingdom of Israel, the kingdom before the split * Kingdom of Israel, the Northern Kingdom * Israel, the modern country


Notes


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

{{DEFAULTSORT:Judah, Kingdom of Kingdom of Judah, 586 BC 6th-century BC disestablishments 10th-century BC establishments Ancient Israel and Judah, Ancient Levant Books of Kings Former monarchies of Western Asia History of Palestine (region) Historic Jewish communities Political entities in the Land of Israel States and territories disestablished in the 6th century BC States and territories established in the 10th century BC Jewish polities, Judah