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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Judah the Kingdom of

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Judah, the Kingdom of. The kingdom of Judah embraced not only the territory of the tribe of Judah (see below), but also included the larger part of Benjamin on the northeast, Dan on the northwest, and Simeon on the south. The area thus under the dominion of Judah is estimated at 3435 square miles. Besides this, Edom, subdued by David, continued faithful to Judah for a time, and the Red Sea ports furnished an outlet for commerce.

The family of David furnished all the 19 kings of Judah, but the eldest son did not always succeed. Judah outlasted Israel 135 years. After the division of the kingdom, b.c. 975, Judah maintained its separate existence for 389 years, until b.c. 686. During this period there were 19 rulers, all of the lineage of David, except Athaliah. During the first three reigns Israel and Judah were in an attitude of hostility. Israel under Jeroboam was signally defeated. 2 Chronicles 13:1-22. Later, an alliance was formed by the marriage of Jehoshaphat's son with Ahab's daughter, Athaliah, 1 Kings 22:1-53; 2 Chronicles 18:1-34, who usurped the crown. The two kingdoms combined against Syria. The two great foes of Judah were Egypt on the south and Assyria on the east. From Egypt came Shishak, who humbled Judah, 2 Chronicles 12:2-12; Zerah, whose million of men were routed by king Asa, 2 Chronicles 14:9-12; and Josiah was slain at Megiddo. 2 Chronicles 35:23. The children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir also invaded Judah during Jehoshaphat's reign, but they only destroyed one another. 2 Chronicles 20:22-25. The armies of Assyria met with varied fortune. Tiglath-pileser distressed Judah during the reign of Ahaz, 2 Chronicles 28:20; Sennacherib's host of 185,000 men was destroyed by the angel of the Lord in Hezekiah's reign, 2 Chronicles 32:21; 2 Kings 19:35; Manasseh was carried away captive into Babylon, 2 Chronicles 33:11 : Jehoiachin was also made captive; Zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, and was defeated, his sons slain before his eyes, and he made captive; Jerusalem was taken in b.c. 586, and the history of the kingdom of Judah was ended.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Judah the Kingdom of'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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