The kings of Judah from Solomon to the gap (Mt 1:7-1:8)

“Solomon was

The father of Rehoboam.

Rehoboam was

The father of Abijah.

Abijah was

The father of Asaph.

Asaph was

The father of Jehoshaphat.

Jehoshaphat was

The father of Joram.”

 

Σολομὼν δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ῥοβοάμ, Ῥοβοὰμ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀβιά, Ἀβιὰ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀσάφ, Ἀσὰφ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωσαφάτ, Ἰωσαφὰτ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωράμ.

I Chronicles, chapter 3 lists the kings of Judah, based on 1 Kings and 2 Kings.  Based on those 2 books, there was no disruption in the lineage of David via Solomon to all the kings of Judah before the Exile, since there were no revolutions in the southern kingdom of Judah.  The son of Solomon (Σολομὼν) was Rehoboam (Ῥοβοάμ) who ruled from about 931-913 BCE.  His son Abijah (Ἀβιά,) or Abijam ruled from about 913-911 BCE.  His son Asaph (Ἀσάφ) or Asa ruled from about 911-870 BCE.  His son Jehoshaphat (Ἰωσαφάτ) ruled from about 870-848 BCE.  His son Joram (Ἰωράμ) or Jehoram ruled from about 848-841 BCE.  The Greek text used the term “begat” (ἐγέννησεν) to represent the relationships between these 5 men.  However, it seems perfectly acceptable to simply call them the father instead of saying “fathered them.”  Now there was a gap in this genealogy from 841-781 BCE, since there was no mention of Ahaziah, Azariah or Jehoahaz who only ruled for less than a year in 741 BCE.  Actually, his mother Athaliah, ruled for about 6 years until her grandson Joash or Jehoash ruled from about 835-796 BCE.  Joash’s son, Amaziah ruled from about 796-781 BCE.  Perhaps this gap in the chronology of the kings was done to keep the numbers down to 14.

The kings of Judah (1 Chr 3:10-3:16)

“The descendants of Solomon were Rehoboam, Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, Amon his son, Josiah his son. The sons of Josiah were Johanan the first-born, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. The descendants of Jehoiakim were his sons Jeconiah and Zedekiah.”

Here we have the list of the kings of Judah starting with Solomon that can be found at the end of 1 Kings and 2 Kings. Based on those 2 books there was no disruption in the lineage of David via Solomon to all the kings of Judah before the Exile. Unlike the northern kingdom of Israel, there were no revolutions in the southern kingdom of Judah until the end with the Babylonian Captivity. However, there was also a consideration of the kings of Israel in the books of Kings, which is not here at all. The whole emphasis is on Judah and Jerusalem alone. The son of Solomon (1) Rehoboam ruled from about 931-913 BCE. His son (2) Abijah or Abijam ruled from about 913-911 BCE. His son (3) Asa ruled from about 911-870 BCE. His son (4) Jehoshaphat ruled from about 870-848 BCE. His son (5) Joram or Jehoram ruled from about 848-841 BCE. His son (6) Ahaziah, Azariah, or Jehoahaz ruled for less than a year about 841 BCE. There is no mention that Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother ruled for about 4 years until her grandson (7) Joash or Jehoash ruled from about 835-796 BCE. His son, (8) Amaziah ruled from about 796-781 BCE. His son, (9) Azariah or Uzziah ruled from about 781-740 BCE. His son (10) Jotham ruled from about 740-736 BCE. His son (11) Ahaz ruled from about 736-716 BCE. His son (12) Hezekiah ruled from about 716-687 BCE. His son (13) Manasseh ruled from about 687-642 BCE. His son (14) Amon ruled from about 642-640 BCE. His son (15) Josiah ruled from about 640-609 BCE. Many of Josiah’s sons will rule Judah. His son (16) Johanan, Jehoahaz or Shallum ruled for just one year about 609 BCE. His brother, (17) Josiah’s son Jehoiakim or Eliakim ruled from 609-598 BCE. His son (18) Jehoiachin, Coniah or Jeconiah ruled for less than a year about 598 BCE. (19) Zedekiah or Mattaniah, brother of Jehoiakim and son of Josiah, ruled from about 598-587 BCE until the beginning of the Babylonian captivity.

 

Queen Athaliah destroys the royal family (2 Kings 11:1-11:3)

“When Queen Athaliah, King Ahaziah’s mother, saw that her son was dead, she set about to destroyed all the royal family. But Jehosheba, King Jehoram’s daughter, King Ahaziah’s sister, took Joash son of King Ahaziah. She stole him away from among the king’s children who were about to be killed. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus she hid him from Queen Athaliah, so that he was not killed. He remained with her six years, hidden in the house of Yahweh, while Queen Athaliah reigned over the land.”

Queen Athaliah was the granddaughter of King Omri of Israel, the daughter of King Ahab and Jezebel. She had married King Jehoram of Judah. Their son, Ahaziah was the king of Judah, who had been killed by King Jehu. She decided to kill off all the heirs to the throne. This seems strange since this might include her own children and grandchildren. Jehosheba was the daughter of King Jehoram and thus the sister of King Ahaziah. There is speculation that her mother might not have been Queen Athaliah. However, she married a high priest, which was very unusual. She stole the young son of her brother, Joash with his nurse. She hid him in the temple of Yahweh, while Queen Athaliah ruled Judah.

The massacre of the princes of Judah (2 Kings 10:12-10:14)

“Then he set out and went to Samaria. On the way, when he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds, King Jehu met relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah. He said. ‘Who are you?’ They answered. ‘We are the kinsmen of King Ahaziah. We have come down to visit the royal princes and the sons of the queen mother.’ He said. ‘Take them alive.’ They took them alive. They killed them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two persons. He spared none of them.”

On his way to Samaria, King Jehu met some relatives of late King Ahaziah of Judah, thus relatives of the late King Jehoram. They were on their way to visit the Queen mother, Jezebel. There were 42 of them. First he wanted them alive. Then he killed them at Beth-eked, which is only mentioned here and not in any other biblical literature. Watch out if you had anything to do with King Ahab, Jezebel, King Ahaziah or King Jehoram.

Jehu prepares to usurp power (2 Kings 9:14-9:16)

“Thus Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against King Jehoram. King Jehoram with all Israel had been on guard at Ramoth-gilead against King Hazael of Aram. However, King Jehoram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. Jehu said. ‘If this is your wish, then let no one slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.’ Then Jehu mounted his chariot. He went to Jezreel, where King Jehoram was laying ill. King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit King Jehoram.”

Jehu conspired to take over the kingship from King Jehoram. The king had been at Ramoth-gilead until he was wounded in a battle with King Hazael of the Arameans. Then King Jehoram went to Jezreel to recuperate from his wounds. Jehu told the people at Ramoth-gilead that no one was to go to Jezreel to tell King Jehoram of what was happening here. Then Jehu mounted his chariot and went to Jezreel, where King Jehoram of Israel and his nephew King Ahaziah of Judah were.

The third group of fifty are successful (2 Kings 1:13-1:16)

“Again King Ahaziah sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty men. So the third captain of the fifty went up. He came and fell on his knees before Elijah. He entreated him. ‘O man of God please let my life and the life of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight. Look, fire came down from heaven, and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifty men. But now let my life be precious in your sight.’ Then the angel of Yahweh said to Elijah. ‘Go down with him. Do not be afraid of him.’ So he set out and went down with him to the king. He said to him. ‘Thus says Yahweh. ‘You have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron. Is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word? Therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone. But you shall surely die.’”

The 3rd time was the charm. The 3rd captain with his 50 men fell on his knees before Elijah. He begged Elijah to consider their lives as precious. He did not want him to send fire from heaven on him and his men. Then the angel of Yahweh appeared to Elijah and told him not to be afraid. Elijah then went down to Samaria with this 3rd group of 50 men. When he met the king, he repeated his original warning. Because Ahaziah had ignored Yahweh, the God of Israel, seeking advice from Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, he would never leave his bed but die. Thus Elijah delivered the bad news to King Ahaziah person.


The death of King Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:45-22:51)

“Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his power that he showed, and how he waged war, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah?  The remnant of the male temple prostitutes who were still in land in the days of his father King Asa, he exterminated. There was no king in Edom. A deputy was king. King Jehoshaphat made ships of the Tarshish type to go to Ophir for gold. However, they did not go, for the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber. Then King Ahaziah son of King Ahab said to King Jehoshaphat. ‘Let my servants go with your servants in the ships.’ King Jehoshaphat, however, was not willing. King Jehoshaphat slept with his ancestors. He was buried with his ancestors in the city of David his father. His son King Jehoram succeeded him.”

Of course, if you want more information you can refer to the lost “Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah.” King Jehoshaphat got rid of the male temple prostitutes who had been around under his father’s reign. King Jehoshaphat wanted to get gold from Ophir like King Solomon had done. However, his ships were destroyed in a shipwreck. There was no king in Edom so that he had the ability to move around in that area. King Ahaziah, son of King Ahab, wanted to collaborate with King Jehoshaphat in sharing ships, but after the battle at Ramoth-gilead, he was not willing to work with King Ahab’s son. When King Jehoshaphat died he was buried in the city of David. His son King Jehoram succeeded him, but he is not the son of King Ahab who had the same name. No wonder things sound so confusing.