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Dates of the reigns of the kings of Judah, Israel and the surrounding empires

Julian Spriggs M.A.

This is a helpful reference giving suggested dates for the reigns of the kings of the nations from the reign of Saul, through the time of the divided monarchy in Israel and Judah, to the end of the Old Testament period. Dates of rulers during the inter-testamental period are available on the Ptolemy and Seleucus page.

Setting dates for the kings of the divided kingdom is very difficult, so dates will vary in different reference books. An initial reading of the Books of I and II Kings would give the impression that it should be easy to construct a time-line of the period of the divided kingdom, as each king is introduced in relation to the king reigning in the other kingdom. However, on further study, setting a chronology of the kings is found to be difficult. There are three main reasons for this:

1. The accession year

The question is whether the first year of the reign of the king is counted, as Hebrews often counted time inclusively. In modern terms, if a king ruled from December 2004 to January 2006, we would say he ruled for one year and two months. However if the accession year is counted, he ruled for three years. This would mean that the year with a change in king can easily be counted twice, if not three times. During the early years of the divided monarchy, Israel counted the accession year, but Judah did not.

2. The time of New Year

During this period, Judah started their New Year in the month of Tishri (September or October), but Israel’s New Year was in Nisan (March or April). Because the reigns of kings are normally dated by the king in the other kingdom, confusion of years would be easy.

3. Regencies

Regencies occurred particularly in Judah, but not in Israel. This is when the son of the current king began his reign when his father reached old age and was not capable of ruling the kingdom effectively. This system brought stability to the monarchy at a time of potential weakness. When David reached old age, Solomon was anointed king before David had died (1 Kg 1). Jotham acted as regent when his father Uzziah was struck down with leprosy (2 Chr 26:21). There may have been regencies between several other kings, including Asa and Jehoshaphat, Ahaz and Hezekiah, and Hezkiah and Manasseh. The Book of Kings does not always indicate whether the period of regency has been counted in the length of a king’s reign. So when constructing the chronology, it would be easy to count the period of regency twice, thus making the chronology inaccurate.

4. Competing kings

The history of the northern kingdom of Israel was often turbulent, with frequent changes in king and dynasty involving violence. Often there were two rival claimants to the throne, normally ruling from different centres, bringing civil war to the nation. Before Omri became sole king, the nation was divided between him and another claimant to the throne called Tibni (1 Kg 16:21-22). This situation can also bring confusion to the dates.

Suggested dates for kings of Judah, Israel and other nations

The dates suggested below are not perfect, but are those which are normally accepted in Biblical studies. All dates are BC.

The list also includes the references in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the reigns of each of the kings of Judah, and the references in the Books of Kings for the reigns of each of the kings of Israel.

United Kingdom

1 Saul 1050/45? - 1011/10
2 David 1011/10 - 971/70
3 Solomon 971/70 - 931/30

Kings of Judah

1 Rehoboam 931/30 - 913 (1 Kg 12:1-24, 14:21-31, 2 Chr 10:1 - 12:16)
2 Abijam 913 - 911/10 (1 Kg 15:1-8, 2 Chr 13:1-22)
3 Asa 911/10 - 870/69 1 Kg 15:9-24, 2 Chr 14:1 - 16:14)
4 Jehoshapat 870/69 - 848 (Regent 873/2) (1 Kg 22:1-48, 2 Chr 17:1 - 20:37)
5 Jehoram 848 - 841 (2 Kg 8:16-24, 2 Chr 21:1-20)
6 Ahaziah 841 - 841 (2 Kg 8:25 - 9:29, 2 Chr 22:1-9)
7 Athaliah 841 - 835 (2 Kg 11:1-20, 2 Chr 22:10 - 23:21)
8 Joash 835 - 796 2 Kg 11:21 - 12:21, 2 Chr 24:1-27)
9 Amaziah 796 - 767 (2 Kg 14:1-22, 2 Chr 25:1-28)
10 Uzziah/Azariah 767 - 740/39 (Regent 791/90) (2 Kg 15:1-7, 2 Chr 26:1-23)
11 Jotham 740/39 - 732/31 (Regent 750) (2 Kg 15:32-38, 2 Chr 27:1-9)
12 Ahaz 732/31 - 716/15 (Regent 744/43) (2 Kg 16:1-20, 2 Chr 28:1-27)
13 Hezekiah 716/15 - 687/86 (Regent 729) (2 Kg 18:1 - 20:21, 2 Chr 29:1 - 32:33)
14 Manasseh 687/86 - 642/41 (Regent 696/95) (2 Kg 21:1-18, 2 Chr 33:1-20)
15 Amon 642/41 - 640/39 (2 Kg 21:19-26, 2 Chr 33:21-25)
16 Josiah 640/39 - 609 (2 Kg 22:1 - 23:30, 2 Chr 34:1 - 35:27)
17 Jehoahaz 609 - 609 (2 Kg 23:31-33, 2 Chr 36:1-4)
18 Jehoiakim 609 - 598 (2 Kg 23:34 - 24:7, 2 Chr 36:5-8)
19 Jehoiachin 597 - 597 (2 Kg 24:8-17, 2 Chr 36:9-10)
20 Zedekiah 597 - 587/86 (2 Kg 24:18 - 25:7, 2 Chr 36:11-14)

Deportations from Judah

1 Nobility, including Daniel 605
2 Jehoiachin & Ezekiel. Largest deportation 598
3 Fall of Jerusalem, Zedekiah 586

Kings of Israel

The horizontal lines show a change of dynasty

1 Jeroboam I 931/30 - 910/09 (1 Kg 11:26 - 14:20) House of Jeroboam
2 Nadab 910/09 - 909/08 (1 Kg 15:33-34)

3 Baasha 909/08 - 886/85 (1 Kg 16:1-4) House of Baasha
4 Elah 886/85 - 885/84 (1 Kg 16:8-10)

5 Zimri 885/84 - 885/84 (1 Kg 16:11-20)

6 Omri 885/84 - 874/73 (1 Kg 16:21-28) House of Omri
(Tibni) 885/884 - 885/84
7 Ahab 874/73 - 853 (1 Kg 16:24 - 22:40)
8 Ahaziah 853 - 852 (1 Kg 22:51-53, 2 Kg 1:1-17)
9 Jehoram 852 - 841 (2 Kg 3:1 - 8:15)

10 Jehu 841 - 814/13 (2 Kg 9:1 - 10:26) House of Jehu
11 Jehoahaz 814/13 - (2 Kg 13:1-9)
12 Jehoash 798 - 782/81 (2 Kg 13:10-25)
13 Jeroboam II 782/81
(Regent 793/92)
- 753 (2 Kg 14:23-29)
14 Zechariah 753 - 752 (2 Kg 15:8-12)

15 Shallum 752 - 752 (2 Kg 15:13-16)

16 Menahem 752 - 742/41 (2 Kg 15:17-22) House of Menahem
17 Pekahiah 752 - 742/41 (2 Kg 15:23-26)
18 Pekah 740/39 - 732/31 (2 Kg 15:27-31)

19 Hoshea - 723/22 (2 Kg 17:1-41)

Returns from exile

1 Zerubbabel 536
2 Ezra (main return) 458
3 Nehemiah 445

Significant dates

Division of the kingdom 931
Battle of Qarqar 853
Fall of Damascus (Syria) 732
Fall of Samaria (Israel) 722/21
Fall of Nineveh (Assyria) 612
Battle of Carchemish 605
Fall of Jerusalem (Judah) 587/86
Fall of Babylon 539

Syrian Kings

Ben-hadad 900 - 860, 860 - 843
Hazael 843 - 796
Ben-hadad 796 - 770
Rezin 750 - 732

Assyrian Kings

Tiglath - pileser III 747 - 727
Shalmaneser IV 727 - 722
Sargon II 722 - 705
Sennacherib 705 - 681
Esarhaddon 681 - 668
Ashurbanipal 668 - 626

Babylonian Kings

Nebuchadnezzar 605 - 562
Nabonidus 556 - 534
Belshazzar 553 - 539 (regent)

Median Kings

Cyaxares 625 - 585
Astyages 585 - 550

Persian Kings

Cyrus II 550 - 530
Cambyses 530 - 521
Smerdis 521
Darius I 521 - 486
Xerxes 486 - 464
Artaxerxes I 464 - 423
Darius II 423 - 404
Artaxerxes II 404 -

The Bible

Pages which look at issues relevant to the whole Bible, such as the Canon of Scripture, as well as doctrinal and theological issues. There are also pages about the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha and 'lost books' of the Old Testament.

Also included are lists of the quotations of the OT in the NT, and passages of the OT quoted in the NT.

Why These 66 Books?
Books in the Hebrew Scriptures
Quotations in NT From OT
OT Passages Quoted in NT
History of the English Bible
Twelve Books of the Apocrypha
The Pseudepigrapha - False Writings
Lost Books Referenced in OT

Old Testament Overview

This is a series of six pages which give a historical overview through the Old Testament and the inter-testamental period, showing where each OT book fits into the history of Israel.

OT 1: Creation and Patriarchs
OT 2: Exodus and Wilderness
OT 3: Conquest and Monarchy
OT 4: Divided kingdom and Exile
OT 5: Return from Exile
OT 6: 400 Silent Years

New Testament Overview

This is a series of five pages which give a historical overview through the New Testament, focusing on the Ministry of Jesus, Paul's missionary journeys, and the later first century. Again, it shows where each book of the NT fits into the history of the first century.

NT 1: Life and Ministry of Jesus
NT 2: Birth of the Church
NT 3: Paul's Missionary Journeys
NT 4: Paul's Imprisonment
NT 5: John and Later NT

Introductions to Old Testament Books

This is an almost complete collection of introductions to each of the books in the Old Testament. Each contains information about the authorship, date, historical setting and main themes of the book.

Genesis Exodus Leviticus
Numbers Deuteronomy

Joshua Judges Ruth
1 & 2 Samuel 1 & 2 Kings Chronicles
Ezra & Nehemiah Esther

Job Psalms Proverbs

Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations
Ezekiel Daniel

Hosea Joel Amos
Obadiah Jonah Micah
Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah
Haggai Zechariah Malachi

Introductions to New Testament Books

This is a collection of introductions to each of the 27 books in the New Testament. Each contains information about the authorship, date, historical setting and main themes of the book.

Matthew's Gospel Mark's Gospel Luke's Gospel
John's Gospel

Book of Acts

Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians
Galatians Ephesians Philippians
Colossians 1 & 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy
2 Timothy Titus Philemon

Hebrews James 1 Peter
2 Peter 1 John 2 & 3 John
Jude

Revelation

Old Testament History

Information about the different nations surrounding Israel, and other articles concerning Old Testament history and the inter-testamental period.

Canaanite Religion
Israel's Enemies During the Conquest
Syria / Aram
The Assyrian Empire
Babylon and its History
The Persian Empire
The Greek Empire
The 400 Silent Years
The Ptolemies and Seleucids
Antiochus IV - Epiphanes

Old Testament Studies

A series of articles covering more general topics for OT studies. These include a list of the people named in the OT and confirmed by archaeology. There are also pages to convert the different units of measure in the OT, such as the talent, cubit and ephah into modern units.

More theological topics include warfare in the ancient world, the Holy Spirit in the OT, and types of Jesus in the OT.

OT People Confirmed by Archaeology
The Jewish Calendar
The Importance of Paradox
Talent Converter (weights)
Cubit Converter (lengths)
OT People Search
Ephah Converter (volumes)
Holy War in the Ancient World
The Holy Spirit in the OT
Types of Jesus in the OT

Studies in the Pentateuch (Gen - Deut)

A series of articles covering studies in the five books of Moses. Studies in the Book of Genesis look at the historical nature of the early chapters of Genesis, the Tower of Babel and the Table of the Nations.

There are also pages about covenants, the sacrifices and offerings, the Jewish festivals and the tabernacle, as well as the issue of tithing.

Are chapters 1-11 of Genesis historical?
Chronology of the Flood
Genealogies of the Patriarchs
Table of the Nations (Gen 10)
Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9)

Authorship of the Pentateuch
Chronology of the Wilderness Years
Names of God in the OT
Covenants in the OT
The Ten Commandments
The Tabernacle and its Theology
Sacrifices and Offerings
The Jewish Festivals
Balaam and Balak
Tithing
Highlights from Deuteronomy
Overview of Deuteronomy

Studies in the Old Testament History Books (Josh - Esther)

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the history books. These include a list of the dates of the kings of Israel and Judah, a summary of the kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and studies of Solomon, Jeroboam and Josiah.

There are also pages describing some of the historical events of the period, including the Syro-Ephraimite War, and the Assyrian invasion of Judah in 701 BC.

Dates of the Kings of Judah and Israel
King Solomon
The Kings of Israel
King Jeroboam I of Israel
The Syro-Ephraimite War (735 BC)
Sennacherib's Invasion of Judah (701 BC)
King Josiah of Judah
Differences Between Kings and Chronicles
Chronology of the post-exilic period

Studies in the Old Testament Prophets (Is - Mal)

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the OT prophets. These include a page looking at the way the prophets look ahead into their future, a page looking at the question of whether Satan is a fallen angel, and a page studying the seventy weeks of Daniel.

There are also a series of pages giving a commentary through the text of two of the books:
Isaiah (13 pages) and Daniel (10 pages).

Prophets and the Future
The Call of Jeremiah (Jer 1)
The Fall of Satan? (Is 14, Ezek 28)
Daniel Commentary (10 pages)
Isaiah Commentary (13 pages)
Formation of the Book of Jeremiah


Daniel's Seventy Weeks (Dan 9:24-27)

New Testament Studies

A series of articles covering more general topics for NT studies. These include a list of the people in the NT confirmed by archaeology.

More theological topics include the Kingdom of God and the Coming of Christ.

NT People Confirmed by Archaeology
The Kingdom of God / Heaven
Parousia (Coming of Christ)
The Importance of Paradox

Studies in the Four Gospels (Matt - John)

A series of articles covering various studies in the four gospels. These include a list of the unique passages in each of the Synoptic Gospels and helpful information about the parables and how to interpret them.

Some articles look at the life and ministry of Jesus, including his genealogy, birth narratives, transfiguration, the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and the seating arrangements at the Last Supper.

More theological topics include the teaching about the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete and whether John the Baptist fulfilled the predictions of the coming of Elijah.

Unique Passages in the Synoptic Gospels
The SynopticProblem
Genealogy of Jesus (Matt 1)
Birth Narratives of Jesus
Understanding the Parables
Peter's Confession and the Transfiguration
Was John the Baptist Elijah?
The Triumphal Entry
The Olivet Discourse (Mark 13)
Important themes in John's Gospel
John's Gospel Prologue (John 1)
Jesus Fulfilling Jewish Festivals
Reclining at Table at the Last Supper
The Holy Spirit as the Paraclete

Studies in the Book of Acts and the New Testament Letters

A series of articles covering various studies in the Book of Acts and the Letters, including Paul's letters. These include a page studying the messages given by the apostles in the Book of Acts, and the information about the financial collection that Paul made during his third missionary journey. More theological topics include Paul's teaching on Jesus as the last Adam, and descriptions of the church such as the body of Christ and the temple, as well as a look at redemption and the issue of fallen angels.

There are a series of pages giving a commentary through the text of five of the books:
Romans (7 pages), 1 Corinthians (7 pages), Galatians (3 pages), Philemon (1 page) and Hebrews (7 pages)

Apostolic Messages in the Book of Acts
Paul and His Apostleship
Collection for the Saints
The Church Described as a Temple
Church as the Body of Christ
Jesus as the Last Adam
Food Offered to Idols
Paul's Teaching on Headcoverings
Who are the Fallen Angels
The Meaning of Redemption
What is the Church?

Romans Commentary (7 pages)

1 Corinthians Commentary (7 pages)

Galatians Commentary (3 pages)

Philemon Commentary (1 page)

Hebrews Commentary (7 pages)

Studies in the Book of Revelation

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the study of the Book of Revelation and topics concerning Eschatology (the study of end-times).

These include a description of the structure of the book, a comparison and contrast between the good and evil characters in the book and a list of the many allusions to the OT. For the seven churches, there is a page which gives links to their location on Google maps.

There is a page studying the important theme of Jesus as the Lamb, which forms the central theological truth of the book. There are pages looking at the major views of the Millennium, as well as the rapture and tribulation, as well as a list of dates of the second coming that have been mistakenly predicted through history.

There is also a series of ten pages giving a detailed commentry through the text of the Book of Revelation.

Introduction to the Book of Revelation
Characters Introduced in the Book
Structure of Revelation
List of Allusions to OT
The Description of Jesus as the Lamb
Virtual Seven Churches of Revelation
The Nero Redivius Myth
The Millennium (1000 years)
The Rapture and the Tribulation
Different Approaches to Revelation
Predicted Dates of the Second Coming

Revelation Commentary (10 pages)

How to do Inductive Bible Study

These are a series of pages giving practical help showing how to study the Bible inductively, by asking a series of simple questions. There are lists of observation and interpretation questions, as well as information about the structure and historical background of biblical books, as well as a list of the different types of figures of speech used in the Bible. There is also a page giving helpful tips on how to apply the Scriptures personally.

How to Study the Bible Inductively
I. The Inductive Study Method
II. Observation Questions
III. Interpretation Questions
IV. Structure of Books
V. Determining the Historical background
VI. Identifying Figures of Speech
VII. Personal Application
VIII. Text Layout

Types of Literature in the Bible

These are a series of pages giving practical help showing how to study each of the different types of book in the Bible by appreciating the type of literature being used. These include historical narrative, law, wisdom, prophets, Gospels, Acts, letters and Revelation.

It is most important that when reading the Bible we are taking note of the type of literature we are reading. Each type needs to be considered and interpreted differently as they have different purposes.

How to Understand OT Narratives
How to Understand OT Law
Hebrew Poetry
OT Wisdom Literature
Understanding the OT Prophets
The Four Gospels
The Parables of Jesus
The Book of Acts
How to Understand the NT Letters
Studying End Times (Eschatology)
The Book of Revelation

Geography and Archaeology

These are a series of pages giving geographical and archaeological information relevant to the study of the Bible. There is a page where you can search for a particular geographical location and locate it on Google maps, as well as viewing photographs on other sites.

There are also pages with photographs from Ephesus and Corinth.

Search for Geographical Locations
Major Archaeological Sites in Israel
Archaeological Sites in Assyria, Babylon and Persia
Virtual Paul's Missionary Journeys
Virtual Seven Churches of Revelation
Photos of the City of Corinth
Photos of the City of Ephesus

Biblical Archaeology in Museums around the world

A page with a facility to search for artifacts held in museums around the world which have a connection with the Bible. These give information about each artifact, as well as links to the museum's collection website where available showing high resolution photographs of the artifact.

There is also page of photographs from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem of important artifacts.

Search Museums for Biblical Archaeology
Israel Museum Photos

Difficult Theological and Ethical Questions

These are a series of pages looking at some of the more difficult questions of Christian theology, including war, suffering, disappointment and what happens to those who have never heard the Gospel.

Christian Ethics
Never Heard the Gospel
Is there Ever a Just War?
Why Does God Allow Suffering
Handling Disappointment

How to Preach

These are a series of pages giving a practical step-by-step explanation of the process of preparing a message for preaching, and how to lead a small group Bible study.

What is Preaching?
I. Two Approaches to Preaching
II. Study a Passage for Preaching
III. Creating a Message Outline
IV. Making Preaching Relevant
V. Presentation and Public Speaking
VI. Preaching Feedback and Critique
Leading a Small Group Bible Study

Information for SBS staff members

Two pages particularly relevant for people serving as staff on the School of Biblical Studies (SBS) in YWAM. One gives helpful instruction about how to prepare to teach on a book in the SBS. The other gives a list of recommended topics which can be taught about for each book of the Bible.

Teaching on SBS Book Topics for SBS