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Kings and Prophets Rule Israel

Israel's mistrust in God caused them to desire a King to reign in Israel. After many years of wicked and evil kings leading the people to do evil, God began sending many prophets to warn Israel of their great wickedness. Israel would not hear.

The people wanted a king – After the period of the Judges, Israel’s mistrust in God caused them to desire a King to reign in Israel like they saw the other nations have. God desired that He be the one true spiritual King of Israel, but they could not be obedient to the Spirit and needed a man to rule over them. 


The time of the kings was when the land of Israel saw many different rulers and faced many enemies. Very few faithful kings would rule over God’s people; therefore, the land of Israel saw great affliction and distress because of their wickedness. Only a few faithful men judged Israel with righteous intent. The ones who did saw the great blessings of God upon them and their people.


The first King – Because of Israel’s lust, God told the prophet, Samuel, to anoint Saul as the first king of Israel. He reigned as king for forty years. Even though Saul had a well-established prophet to help guide his rule as the king, he could not be faithful to God. Saul was often disobedient to God, which would cost him the kingdom. God told Samuel to remove Saul from being king of Israel. After Saul, God gave the kingdom to David who was faithful to rule according to the will of God. David was the king God needed to establish a great covenant with Israel.


David reigns as King of all Israel – God Himself chose David, a man after His own heart, to rule Israel. Called and chosen as a young shepherd boy, David was a king that would fall into sin as others did, but because his heart was after God, he always found favor and repentance in the eyes of the Lord, something other kings could not do. 


When God commanded David, he always did right before the Lord. Because of David’s faithfulness to God, God did not forget Israel, and Jesus Christ would sit on his throne. Before David reigned as king, Israel was divided as a land and a people. It was King David that unified the land of Israel both north and south. 


He also unified Israel as a people and a nation, showing us an example of a righteous king bringing together the body of Christ as one kingdom of God.


David was the greatest king ever to rule Israel, and God had much favor on Israel because of the anointing on David’s life. As a boy, he taught us how to overcome a lion and a bear, then defeat a giant with just a stone. As a man, he taught us how to rule righteously and obey God. But when we sin, our sin is against God alone, and therefore God alone can forgive us with great love. 


Solomon anointed King – While David was alive, God promised him that his heir would sit on his throne. So when David died, God chose Solomon, David’s son, and gave him great wisdom to lead Israel. Solomon was the wisest of all kings and had much wealth and riches.


Solomon built a temple in Jerusalem – By the word of the Lord, Solomon built God a temple in Jerusalem. This temple was a type of Jesus Christ as the temple in the New Jerusalem. It differed from Moses’ tabernacle in that it was now a permanent building established in the city of God, Jerusalem, and not one that was wandering through the wilderness looking for a home.


Solomon loved many women – Although most of Solomon’s life was in faithfulness to God, he loved and married many strange women of other nations who served other gods at the end of his life. These women turned his heart away from the Lord. 


Because of this, he set up strange gods in Israel and caused the people to worship and follow these gods. There was much effect that followed Solomon’s rebellion. For the nation of Israel, it would mean years of separation from God filled with much sorrow.


The kingdom divided – Because Solomon did not keep his covenant with the Lord, the kingdom was taken from him and divided into two parts. North, which is Israel, and south, which is Judah, separating the twelve tribes. Ten tribes would abide in the north, and two tribes would abide in the south. The seed of David (the tribe of Judah) would stay in Jerusalem, in Judah, where the temple of God is. Jesus is called the Lion of Judah.


The northern Kingdom of Israel – Now ruled by King Jeroboam, the first of many north kings, Israel established itself in Samaria. This northern kingdom was known as Ephraim, adding a reference to the son of Joseph. Idols were set up in place of the Lord, and Israel would not see one righteous king sit on the throne.


The northern kingdom would fall through many years of war, rebellion, disobedience, captivity, and every wicked work, never to rise again. One big problem was that they refused the prophets of God. These kings wouldn't think twice about persecuting a prophet or even killing them. Their recompense came swiftly as God allowed their enemies to destroy them. (You will read about this in part 10).


Kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel

(All wicked kings, not one is righteous)


  1. Jeroboam (22 years)

  2. Nadab (about 2 years)

  3. Baasha (24 years)

  4. Elah (2 years)

  5. Zimri ( 7 days)

  6. Omri (12 years)

  7. Ahab, married to Jezebel (22 years)

  8. Ahaziah (2 years)

  9. Jehoram (12 years)

  10. Jehu (28 years)

  11. Jehoahaz (17 years)

  12. Jehoash (16 years)

  13. Jeroboam II (41 years)

  14. Zachariah (6 months)

  15. Shallum (1 month)

  16. Menahem (10 years)

  17. Pekahiah (2 years)

  18. Pekah (20 years)

  19. Hoshea (9 years)


The southern Kingdom of Judah – Now ruled by Rehoboam, Judah established itself in Jerusalem. Rehoboam was the first king of the south, who was the son of Solomon. Wickedness would be a consistent pattern in Judah. Only a few kings would follow the Lord to preserve the temple of God in Jerusalem. 


This kingdom also had plenty of opportunities to repent from evil and follow the Lord. Because there were a few righteous kings in Judah, God spared them on many occasions, but that favor would not last. In the end, God brought them to captivity but did not destroy them. One reason was that God loved King David. He made him a promise that his seed would bring forth Jesus Christ, so they were only captured and put into captivity for a short time. (You will read about this in part 10).


Kings of the Southern Kingdom of Judah


  1. Rehoboam (17 years

  2. Abijah (Abijam) (3 years)

  3. Asa (41 years)

  4. Jehoshaphat (25 years)

  5. Jehoram (8 years)

  6. Ahaziah (1 year)

  7. Athaliah's usurpation (6 years)

  8. Joash (Jehoash) (40 years)

  9. Amaziah (29 years)

  10. Uzziah (Azariah) (52 years)

  11. Jotham (16 years)

  12. Ahaz (16 years)

  13. Hezekiah (29 years)

  14. Manasseh (55 years)

  15. Amon (2 years)

  16. Josiah (31 years)

  17. Jehoahaz (Josiah's son) (3 months)

  18. Jehoiakim (Josiah's son) (11 years)

  19. Jehoiachin (Jeconiah), Jehoiakim's son (3 months)

  20. Zedekiah (Mattaniah), Josiah's son (11 years)


Prophets of Israel – During the reign of the Kings, before their enemies overtook them, God raised prophets, also known as seers, to reveal God’s will to all of Israel and Judah. They were seers because they could see in the Spirit through dreams and visions and lead Israel accordingly. Having a prophet is like having a personal connection with God.


These prophets continued to bring the word of the Lord to Israel and Judah, reprove them of their sin, and guide them in salvation, prosperity, and deliverance from their enemies. All the prophets, except a few, were rejected and killed, causing God to bring destruction upon His people again and use their enemies to do it. 


God has always brought warnings before destruction. Even in the earliest times of Israel’s journeys through the wilderness, God was faithful to save them from hunger and thirst, and fulfill any necessities they had. But Israel could not control their lust to follow other gods and always rebelled against the truth. They didn’t want to be blessed by God and instead wanted to live in wickedness.


From Moses to Samuel, Isaiah to Jeremiah, and Ezekiel to Daniel, God never failed in bringing His people an answer out of any trouble they faced. If only His people could just obey His voice.


The only time that the people of God were not being destroyed, was when they were obeying the words of the prophets of God. This was a key to prosperity. Without a prophet, the one who has the vision of God, the people will always be destroyed and perish. This once again proved true in the nations of Israel and Judah. 

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