Kings Of Judah

The 20 Kings of Judah and a Brief History of their Reign

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” (Genesis 49:10)

1. Rehoboam, Solomon's son, reigned 17 years over Judah, after 10 tribes of Israel had seceded to follow Jeroboam. After three good years, Rehoboam abandoned the Lord and worshiped idols. (1 Kings 12:1-24; 1 Kings 14:21-31; 2 Chronicles 10-12)

2. Abijah reigned three years, but followed Rehoboam's ways and worshiped idols. (1 Kings 15:1-8; 2 Chronicles 13-14:1)

3. Asa reigned 41 years and he followed the Lord. He removed idolatrous objects and banned idol worship. (1 Kings 15:9-24; 2 Chronicles 14-16:14)

4. Jehoshaphat reigned 25 years and he faithfully sought the Lord and did not participate in idol worship. (1 Kings 15:24; 22:2-50; 2 Kings 3:7-27; 2 Chronicles 17:1-21:1)

5. Jehoram reigned eight years, but murdered all of his brothers, made places for idol worship and led the people into immorality. He died of an intestinal disease. (2 Kings 8:16-24; 2 Chronicles 21)

6. Ahaziah reigned one year and followed the evil ways of his mother, Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. Ahaziah was assassinated by Jehu. (2 Kings 8:24-9:29; 2 Chronicles 22:1-12)

7. Queen Athaliah reigned six years, murdering all but one of her male grandchildren, Joash, who was rescued by Ahaziah's sister, Jehosheba, and hidden in the temple for six years. Jehoiada, a priest, declared Joash king at age seven, and had Athaliah executed. (2 Kings 11:1-20; 2 Chronicles 22:10-23:1-15)

8. Joash reigned 40 years, and did well until Jehoiada's death. But Joash later went astray, even ordering the stoning of Zechariah, Jehoiada's son. Joash was wounded in battle. While recovering, he was assassinated. (2 Kings 11:4-21; 12:1-21; 2 Chronicles 22:11, 12; 23:1-21; 24:1-27)

9. Amaziah reigned 29 years, but worshiped idols. When he and his army were badly beaten in a battle against Israel, the humiliated people of Judah conspired and killed Amaziah. (2 Kings 14:1-21; 2 Chronicles 25)

10. Uzziah reigned 52 years and followed the Lord. God prospered him and the nation, until he became self-righteous, and burned incense before God. Resisting the priest's reprimand, Uzziah became leprous and never recovered, spending the rest of his life in isolation. (2 Kings 14:21, 22; 15:1-7; 2 Chronicles 26:1-23)

11. Jotham reigned 16 years, and he was blessed because he kept God first and didn't worship idols. (2 Kings 15:32-38; 2 Chronicles 27)

12. Ahaz reigned 16 years. He led Judah back into idolatry, built altars to other gods in every corner of Jerusalem, and closed the doors of the temple. (2 Kings 16:1-20; 2 Chronicles 28:1-27; Isaiah 7:1-25)

13. Hezekiah reigned 29 years. He put God first, so God prospered him. Hezekiah opened and cleansed the temple, re-instated Levites and priests and kept the Passover. (2 Kings 18-20; 2 Chronicles 29-32; Isaiah 36-39)

14. Manasseh reigned 55 years. He rebuilt the places of idol worship and practiced witchcraft and sorcery. Assyria's king took Manasseh as a prisoner to Babylon, where he humbled himself before God. After returning to Jerusalem, Manasseh tried unsuccessfully to undo the devastation that he had caused. (2 Kings 21:1-18; 2 Chronicles 33:1-20)

15. Amon reigned two years. He worshiped all the idols that his father had served. After two years as king, the servants of Amon assassinated him in his own house. (2 Kings 21:19-26; 2 Chronicles 33:20-25)

16. Josiah reigned 31 years, and from a young age sought God. He tore down altars and places of idol worship and cleansed the temple, brought back Davidic worship, and celebrated a first-rate Passover. (2 Kings 22; 23:1-30; 2 Chronicles 34-35)

17. Jehoahaz reigned three months, but repeated the evils of his predecessors. Pharaoh Necho took Jehoahaz to Egypt and put him in a prison where he died. (2 Kings 23:30-34; 2 Chronicles 36:1-4)

18. Jehoiakim reigned 11 years, but his leadership was incompetent. When he rebelled against Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar sent armies to attack Jerusalem. Jehoiakim's own people killed him and threw his body over the wall to placate Babylon. (2 Kings 23:34-37; 24:1-6; 2 Chronicles 36:4-8; Jeremiah 19:4-5; 22:13, 14, 18, 19; Daniel 1:1, 2)

19. Jehoiachin reigned three months and 10 days. His lifestyle was one of depravity. Babylon's king Nebuchadnezzar imprisoned Jehoiachin and appointed Zedekiah king. After 37 years, Babylon's subsequent king released Jehoiachin and provided for him for the remainder of his life. (2 Kings 24:8-16, 25:27-30; 2 Chronicles 36:9, 10)

20. Zedekiah reigned 11 years, but was inept. When Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, Zedekiah tried to escape at night. But he was captured, his sons were killed, and he was blinded and taken to Babylon to die in prison. (2 Kings 24:17-20; 25:1-7; 2 Chronicles 36:11-21)

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.” (Jeremiah 23:5)

Written by: Pete Miller