Meanwhile, in Judah...
- How did the golden shields in Solomon's temple turn into bronze?
- How is the mother of Abijam related to his father?
- Where did the Ethiopians do during Asa’s reign?
- What illness did King Asa have?
- What did Asa do with the remaining temple gold?
- How did it affect Jehoshaphat?
- Who were Micaiah and Zedekaiah?
- What happened to the relationship with Edom under Jehoram, Jehoshophat’s son?
- Who caused the deaths of a king of Israel and a king of Judah, both at the same time?
- What was Jehu famous for?
Rehoboam retains only the southern part of Israel, called Judah for the predominant tribe, after the country splits. Although he’s said to have lost ten tribes, in fact the land belongs to Judah, Simeon and Benjamin, and there are still Levites living there. It also contains Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple, and the Temple treasures, but Shishak of Egypt attacks and steals the gold, so Rehoboam makes fake treasures from bronze. Rehoboam’s son Abijam inherits the throne on his father’s death and continues the war with Jeroboam in the north. Abijam’s mother is Maacah, the daughter of Absalom, making her King David’s granddaughter, just as Abijam’s father is David’s great-grandson (1 Kings 15:2, 2 Chron 11:20-21). Abijam’s son Asa reigns after him; he is credited with turning the nation back to God and banishing Maacah for idolatry. After fighting Zerah the Ethiopian’s attempted invasion, Asa responds to prophesy (from Azariah, son of Obed, 2 Chron 15) by cleansing Judah from Baal-worship, at which point many from the border tribes (Ephraaim and Menasseh) join Judah.
Baasha murders the ruling family of Israel and invades Judah, reclaiming land lost by Ephraim and Menasseh and building a fortress city at Ramah. Asa turns to Damascus for aid (2 Chron 16), handing the remaining temple treasures to Benhadad of Syria. Baasha retreats when Benhadad attacks in the north, and Asa reinforces the border with Israel, solidifying the national split. The prophet Hanani points out Asa should have relied on God, so Asa puts him in jail. Crippled by foot disease in his old age, he’s recorded as relying on human physicians rather than God, and is finally buried in state. His son Jehoshaphat sends prophets through the cities of Judah (2 Chron 17—including Obadiah and Zechariah). Perhaps hoping to lift the curse of his father’s alliance with Syria, he offers to join Israel (ruled by Ahab) both in commerce and in attacking Benhadad. The Israelite prophet Micaiah declares that Israel will lose, but the prophet Zedekaiah curries favor with the kings and disagrees (violently, 1 Kings 22). History proves Micaiah to be the true prophet since Ahab dies in battle. After quelling an uprising of Ammonites and Moabites (with the aid of prayer, praise and priests, 2 Chron 20), Jehoshaphat again allies himself with Israel (under Ahab’s son Ahaziah, then Jehoram) and fights the Moabites again, this time with the prophet Elisha promising success (2 Kings 3) and the King of Edom joining their side. A field of water appears as a field of blood leading to victory.
The royal families being so intertwined, it’s not surprising that Judah and Israel have kings with the same name. Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram reigns after him and marries Ahab’s daughter (perhaps a diplomatic move to cement relations between the two countries, though it damages Judah’s relationship with God). Edom rebels against what seems like Israelite rule in Judah (2 Kings 8). Jehoram is succeeded by his son Ahaziah, who joins Jeroram of Israel in fighting Hazael of Syria (Benhadad’s successor). The prophet Elisha anoints Jehu king of Israel, inviting him to remove the false gods. Jehu starts by killing both Jehoram and Ahaziah. Jehu proceeds to wipe out the whole line of Omri, including Jezebel, Ahab’s 70 sone, Ahaziah’s 42 brothers, and all the Baal-worshipers (by trickery, 2 Kings 10), thus breaking treaties with Phoenicia (where Jezebel came from) and Judah (where Ahab’s daughter was still queen mother), leaving Israel vulnerable to Syria and then Assyria. The prophet Hosea, 100 years later, still denounced the massacre (Hosea 1:4)