Q: #128. How many kings were there in Israel and Judah, how long did each rule, and how many were good/bad?

By: Steve Shirley

    A: In all, there were 42 kings (and one queen who ruled instead of a king). Saul was the first king, and he ruled over all of the 12 tribes of Israel for 40 years. After Saul's death, the kingdom became temporarily divided, with Saul's son Ishbosheth ruling 11 of the tribes for two years, while David ruled Judah. After Ishbosheth was assassinated, David became king over all 12 tribes. His son Solomon followed him as king, and also ruled over a unified kingdom of 12 tribes. Both David and Solomon ruled for 40 years each.

     After Solomon's reign ended, the kingdom divided into what became known as the Southern Kingdom (Judah and Benjamin: but simply called Judah) and the Northern Kingdom (the remaining 10 tribes: called Israel). This resulted in a string of 19 kings ruling over Israel and 19 kings (plus one queen) ruling over Judah. I will list them in order, with the number of years they ruled in parenthesis. 

Kings Of IsraelKings Of Judah
1. Jeroboam 1 (22 yrs)1. Rehoboam (17 yrs)
2. Nadab (2 yrs)2. Abijam (3 yrs)
3. Baasha (24 yrs)3. Asa (41 yrs)
4. Elah (2 yrs)4. Jehoshaphat (25 yrs)
5. Zimri (7 days)5. Jehoram (8 yrs)
6. Omri (12 yrs) ***6. Ahaziah (1 yr)
7. Ahab (22 yrs)7. Athaliah (Queen) (6 yrs)
8. Ahaziah (2 yrs)8. Joash (40 yrs)
9. Jehoram (Joram)(12 yrs)9. Amaziah (29 yrs)
10. Jehu (28 yrs)10. Azariah (Uzziah)(52 yrs)
11. Jehoahaz (17 yrs)11. Jotham (16 yrs)
12. Jehoash (16 yrs)12. Ahaz (16 yrs)
13. Jeroboam 2 (41 yrs)13. Hezekiah (29 yrs)
14. Zachariah (6 mos)14. Manasseh (55 yrs)
15. Shallum (1 mo)15. Amon (2 yrs)
16. Menahem (10 yrs)16. Josiah (31 yrs)
17. Pekhiah (2 yrs)17. Jehoahaz (3 mos)
18. Pekah (20 yrs)18. Jehoiakim (11 yrs)
19. Hoshea (9 yrs)19. Jehoiachin (3 mos)
20. Zedekiah (11 yrs)

*** Zimri killed King Elah, and became king (1 Kin 16:8-10). When the army of Israel found out what Zimri had done, they ("all Israel") made Omri, commander of the army, the new king (1 Kin 16:16). They attacked and overthrew the city of Tirzah where Zimri was, so Zimri killed himself (1 Kin 1:17-18). Afterwards, however, "half of the people followed Tibni... and half followed Omri" (1 Kin 16:21). There was war between them for about 4 years until Tibni died (we don't know how he died). Then, Omri was the sole ruler.

     Of the kings on this chart, the Bible says ALL of the kings of Israel were evil. Among the kings of Judah, 12 were evil and 8 were good (Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah).

     You can find a chart showing which of these kings were killed here.

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