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 repair of the Temple of Yahweh (2 Chr 24:12-24:14)

“King Joash and Jehoiada gave the money to those who had charge of the work of the house of Yahweh. They hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of Yahweh. They also had workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of Yahweh. So those who were engaged in the work labored. The repairs went forward in their hands. They restored the house of God to its proper condition. In fact, they strengthened it. When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada. With this money they made utensils for the house of Yahweh, utensils for the service and for the burnt offerings, ladles, and vessels of gold and silver. They offered burnt offerings in the house of Yahweh regularly all the days of Jehoiada.”

This once again is loosely based on 2 Kings, chapter 12. They gave the money to the people who had the oversight of the repairs. They were to pay the workers and materials for this work. Unlike 2 Kings, where there was no money for the basins, gold and silver vessels, or trumpets, here there is plenty of money for the gold and silver vessels of the Temple. There is nothing here about whether they kept a good accounting of the money or not. Finally there is no mention that that the priests got the money from the sin offerings as in 2 Kings.

The crime of Queen Athaliah (2 Chr 22:10-22:12)

“When Queen Athaliah, King Ahaziah’s mother, saw that her son was dead, she set about to destroy all the royal family of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the king’s daughter, 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 Jehoshabeath, daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada, hid him from Queen Athaliah.  Jehoshabeath was a sister of King Ahaziah. He remained with them six years, hidden in the house of God, while Queen Athaliah reigned over the land.”

This is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 11, with a few minor changes. Queen Athaliah was the daughter of King Ahab of Israel and Jezebel. She had married King Jehoram of Judah. Their son, King Ahaziah was the king of Judah, who had been killed by King Jehu of Israel. She decided to kill off all the heirs to the throne in Judah. This seems strange since this might include her own children and grandchildren. Jehoshabeath, or Jehosheba in 2 Kings, 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 for 6 years.

The household and property chiefs (1 Chr 27:25-27:31)

“Over the king’s treasuries was Azmaveth son of Adiel. Over the treasuries in the country, in the cities, in the villages and in the towers, was Jonathan son of Uzziah. Over those who did the work of the field for tilling the soil was Ezri son of Chelub. Over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite. Over the produce of the vineyards for the wine cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite. Over the olive and sycamore trees in the Shephelah was Baal-hanan the Gederite. Over the stores of oil was Joash. Over the herds that pastured in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite. Over the herds in the valleys was Shaphat son of Adlai. Over the camels was Obil the Ishmaelite. Over the donkeys was Jehdeiah the Meronothite. Over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagrite. All these were stewards of King David’s property.”

In a very meticulous way, there was someone in charge of every little thing. Here there are 12 distinct functions at the time of King David. King David had 3 men with the name of (1) Azmaveth,  1 was part of the “Thirty” warriors, while another was the father of some warriors. This Azmaveth son of Adiel was the man in charge of the treasury, but there were a number of Levites in the preceding chapter who seemed to be in charge of the treasury. It may be one and the same person. (2) Jonathan son of Uzziah was in charge of the country, cities, villages, and towers, quite a responsibility. He was not a relative of King David. (3) Ezri son of Chelub was in charge of the tilling of the soil. This name only appears here. Although there are a lot of people with the name of Shimei, this is the only mention of (4) Shimei the Ramathite. This Shimei from Ramah was in charge of the vineyards. This is the only mention of (5) Zabdi the Shiphmite who was in charge of the wine as well as (6) Baal-hanan the Gederite, the man from Geder who was in charge of the olive trees. (7) Joash was a friend of David that was in charge of the storage of oil. (8) Shitrai the Sharonite was in charge of the flock at Sharon, a place between Carmel and Joppa. This is the only mention of (9) Shaphat son of Adlai, who was in charge of the flocks in the valleys and (10) Obil the Ishmaelite who was in charge of the camels. Notice that he is not an Israelite but an Ishmaelite. (11) Jehdeiah the Meronothite, from a town called Meronoth was in charge of the donkeys. (12) Jaziz the Hagrite was in charge of some unspecified flocks. Most of these names are unique to this mention of the household of King David.

The Benjaminite warriors (1 Chr 12:2-12:7)

“They were Benjaminites, Saul’s kinsmen. The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, both sons of Shemaah of Gibeah. There was Jeziel and Pelet sons of Azmaveth, Beracah, Jehu of Anathoth, Ishmaiah of Gibeon, a mighty man among the Thirty and a leader over the Thirty. They also included Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad of Gederah, Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite. There was Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korahites. Finally there were Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham of Gedor.”

Here David was attracting the relatives of Saul, who was a Benjaminite. There was another Ahiezer that was from the tribe of Dan in Numbers, but this is the only mention of this Benjaminite Ahiezer. Although 2 kings 3 other Benjaminites have this name, this Joash is only mentioned here. There is another officer in David’s army, but it is not clear if they are both the same people. This is the only mention of their father Shemaah. Although this is the only mention of Jeziel and Pelet, their father Azmaveth may have been one of David’s mighty warriors mentioned in the preceding chapter. Beracah was the name of a person and a place not far from Tekoa. This is the only mention of this particular Jehu since the more famous Jehu was king of Israel (841-814 BCE). Interesting enough, this Ishmaiah of Gibeon was not mentioned in the preceding paragraph about the mighty warriors, but is here mentioned as a leader of the Thirty. This Jeremiah is not the prophet Jeremiah. There were a couple of other Levites with the name of Jahaziel. There were a number of Levites called Jozabad, plus a man from Manasseh who helped David. However, Eluzai, Bealiah, and Haruphite are only mentioned here and nowhere else in the biblical literature. There were at least 5 different men with the name Jerimoth. There were 3 other people called Shemariah as well as 8 or 9 people with the name Shephatiah. There were also 5 Korahites, from the family of the rebellious Levite Korah. Elkanah was the name of the son of Korah as well as a number of Levites. Isshiah was also the name of a couple of Levites. There were 5 people with the name of Azarel. Joezer only shows up here. Jashobeam was also the name of one of David’s mighty warriors. This was the only mention of Joelah, but there were 8 other people with the name of Zebadiah.

The sons of Beecher (1 Chr 7:8-7:9)

“The sons of Becher were Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth, and Alemeth. All these were the sons of Becher. Their enrollment by genealogies, according to their generations, as heads of their ancestral houses, mighty warriors, was twenty thousand two hundred.”

There were 9 sons of Becher, the Becherites. There were 20,200 of them, about the same size as the Belaites. (1) Zemirah is only mentioned here. There were 8 different biblical people with the name of (2) Joash, the most famous was King Joash of Israel (798-783 BCE). There were 10 different biblical people with the name of (3) Eliezer. 6 different people had the name (4) Elioenai. There were 4 people with the name of (5) Omri, the most famous was King Omri of Israel (885-874 BCE). 5 different people had the name of (6) Jeremoth. There were 8 people with this name of (7) Abijah, the most famous being King Abijah of Judah (913-911 BCE). (8) Anathoth and (9) Alemeth were the names of Levite towns in Benjamin, perhaps names after these Benjaminites.

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.


Israel defeats Judah (2 Kings 14:11-14:14)

“King Amaziah would not listen. So King Joash of Israel went up. He and King Amaziah of Judah faced one another in battle at Beth-shemesh, which belonged to Judah. Judah was defeated by Israel. Every one fled home. King Joash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah, son of King Joash, son of King Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh. He came to Jerusalem. He broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate, a distance of four hundred cubits. He seized all the gold and silver. He took all the vessels that were found in the house of Yahweh and in the treasuries of the king’s house. He also took hostages. Then King Joash returned to Samaria.”

King Amaziah would not listen to anyone. He wanted to fight the king of Israel, King Joash. They met at the battlefield in Beth-shemesh, which was in Judah territory. King Joash and Israel prevailed. They defeated and captured King Amaziah and the people of Judah. Everyone fled to their home. King Joash proceeded to Jerusalem where he broke down the northern wall in a section that was 200 yards or 600 feet long (400 cubits), a gaping hole. He took the gold, silver, and other treasures from the house of the king, the palace, and from Yahweh’s house, the temple. King Joash then took some hostages and went home to Samaria. They may have taken the hostages and let the king go. This was a crushing defeat for King Amaziah, Jerusalem, and Judah. The north had conquered the south.

The reign of King Amaziah in Judah (796-781 BCE) (2 Kings 14:1-14:4)

In the second year of King Joash son of King Jehoahaz of Israel, King Amaziah son of King Joash of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign. He reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. He did what was right in the sight of Yahweh, yet not like David his ancestor. He did in all things as his father King Joash had done. But the high places were not removed. The people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.”

The 25 year old son of King Joash began his rule after the murder of his father in the 2nd year of the rule of King Joash in Israel. Thus the short era of the 2 kings with the same name of Joash came to a quick end. King Amaziah has a different name than his grandfather King Ahaziah, because of the m and h. These names are tricky. However, King Amaziah was important because he ruled for 29 years. His mother was Jehoaddin who is only mentioned here. He was like King David, except for the fact that he was more like his father, King Joash. In other words, he followed Yahweh up to a point. He never removed the high places and the people still sacrificed and worshipped there.

The last request and prophecy of Elisha (2 Kings 13:14-13:19)

“Now when Elisha had fallen sick with the illness of which he was to die, King Joash of Israel went down to him. He wept before him, crying. ‘My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ Elisha said to him. ‘Take a bow and arrows.’ So King Joash took a bow and arrows. Then he said to the king of Israel. ‘Draw the bow.’ He drew it. Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. Then he said. ‘Open the window eastward.’ He opened it. Elisha said. ‘Shoot!’ He shot it. Then he said. ‘Yahweh’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram! For you shall fight the Arameans in Aphek until you have made an end of them.’ He continued. ‘Take the arrows.’ He took them. He said to the king of Israel. ‘Strike the ground with them.’ He struck it three times. Then he stopped. Then the man of God was angry with him. ‘You should have struck it five or six times. Then you would have struck down the Arameans until you had made an end of them. But now you will strike down Aram only three times.’”

Interesting enough, it is King Joash of Israel who is at his side. You should note that Elisha never did have much to say about the king of Judah. In typical fashion, Elisha seems to know that he is dying since the good death is part of most stories. King Joash is genuinely moved and cries for Elisha. Elisha the prophet has one more request and prophecy for the king. He wants him to shoot an arrow out the east window. This is somewhat reminiscent of the bow and arrow incident with Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel, chapter 20. This shoot was the arrow of victory as the Israelites would prevail at Aphek. Elisha told King Joash to strike the ground with his arrows. The king only strikes the arrows to the ground 3 times. It was not clear how he would know to strike it more times. Nevertheless, the irascible prophet Elisha remained irascible to the very end. He told King Joash that he should have struck the arrows 5 or 6 times. Now he will only be able to defeat the Arameans 3 times instead of total destruction.