Israel’s Kings & Prophets

click for larger view

click for larger view

click for larger view

I posted earlier that I am reading through my Archeological Study Bible in chronological order. In other words, I’m reading the books of the Bible not in the order they appear, but in order of the historic events they cover.

One challenging point in history is the divided kingdoms of Israel (the 10 northern tribes) and Judah (the 2 southern tribes). What makes it challenging when reading straight through the Bible is the history is covered in 1 and 2 Kings and then again in 1 and 2 Chronicles. In the midst of these kingdoms, several prophets are sent by God. Some of these prophets only have their words recorded in Kings or Chronicles, while others have their words recorded elsewhere in the Bible (usually the book name is the prophet’s name).

In trying to keep all of these people and messages clear in my mind, I have put together a list of all the kings and prophets during the period of the divided kingdom (roughly 931-586 BC).

You can click the picture above to get a larger view, or you can download a PDF copy by clicking here → Kings of Israel & Judah ←  **UPDATE: several people pointed out some tweaks I needed to make to this chart, and I am grateful for the input! This is the revised copy as of August 28, 2017.**  

**UPDATE #2: a few more tweaks … this is the revised version as of July 31, 2014.**

**UPDATE #3: I have posted a chart zooming in on the chronology of the Old Testament prophets which I recreated from the Archeological Study Bible. You can read it and download it by clicking here.**

A couple of notes:

  • Prophets who also have their words recorded in a book that bears their name are listed in bold italics.
  • The “start / finish” designation for each of the kings is clearly my subjective opinion.
  • Sometimes you will see dates for two kings’ reigns that overlap. These are where there was a co-regency (that is a father and son ruling simultaneously).
  • The prophets that are listed under the Israel side after Israel had gone into captivity are the prophets that God was using to speak to the Israelites in exile.
  • As always, I am grateful for the biblical resources at BibleGateway.com, which is also a great place to do your daily Bible reading.

**UPDATE #4: I continue to do more research and get feedback from people far wiser than me … the latest version is dated August 28, 2017.

I am not a biblical scholar, nor do I have a history degree. This is just a chart I put together to help me in my Bible reading, and I thought it might help someone else too. I would welcome any corrections or clarifications that anyone would offer on this humble work.

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13 Responses to “Israel’s Kings & Prophets”

  1. Chart of Israel’s and Judah’s Kings and Prophets | Do You Really Believe? Says:

    […] Blogger Grid member Craig T. Owens (@craigtowens) has created the helpful chart above delineating the Old Testament kings and prophets of Israel and Judah. He says: […]

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  2. nylse Says:

    I’m glad you did this; i was trying to come up with a visual for this after reading these books for the 2nd and 3rd times.

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  3. Shane Colledge Says:

    Hi Craig – thank you for all the work you did on this. A chart like this is surprisingly hard to find. I am co-teaching a “big picture” class on the entire bible at my church. Would you be willing to let me have a copy of the Word or Excel file you did this in originally? I want to present this but slightly modified by adding the core message of each prophet to his audience. I would of course share with you what I come up with and give credit where credit is due. If you’d rather not that’s fine also – thanks again for the valuable resource!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bruce Says:

    hey love it…using it in teaching through the story of the bible!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Davar Says:

    (Joel 800-500 BC)!???

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    • Craig T. Owens Says:

      Davar, thanks for bringing up this point. The “c.” in dating is the abbreviation for the Latin word “circa” which means “about” or “around.” Quite simply, Joel doesn’t give us explicit information to help us date his work. The Archeological Study Bible (an excellent resource for Bible study, by the way) says this about the date of the Book of Joel—

      “The book of Joel itself gives no indication of its date of authorship. This is unusual in the Old Testament prophetic literature; most prophets indicated that they preached during the reigns of certain kings (e.g., Hos 1:1; Hag 1:1) or provided other chronological indicators (Am 1:1). The dates suggested for Joel range from the ninth century B.C. (making him the earliest of the writing prophets) to the late postexilic period (making him one of the latest). The following arguments are often raised in the discussion:
      —Joel is the second of the minor prophets, and thus the book is early, since they are roughly presented in chronological order. But there are exceptions to this rule: Obadiah, for example, almost certainly was written later than Micah, and Hosea later than Amos.
      —No kings are mentioned, and therefore the book is postexilic. On the other hand, postexilic prophets sometimes dated their books by Persian kings (Hag 1:1; Zec 1:1). Thus, the non-mention of any king does not imply anything in particular about the book’s date.
      —Joel does mention priests and elders, and therefore the book was written when the nation was governed by these groups rather than by a king, making the book postexilic. However, the elders are mentioned only in a context of calling for ritual lamentation (2:15–17). They are not said to have been in a governing position, and the reference may in fact have been literally to a group of elderly men (1:2). Again, nothing here helps us to date the book.
      —Joel never alludes in any way to the northern kingdom (usually called Israel or Samaria), suggesting that the northern kingdom may no longer have existed and that the book was thus written after the fall of Samaria (722 B.C.)
      —Jerusalem had walls (2:7–9). Thus, the book was written either before its fall (586 B.C.) or late in the postexilic period, after the walls had been restored.
      —Worship was carried out at the temple (2:15–17), indicating that the book was written either before its destruction or after its restoration.
      —All who lived in the land could gather in Jerusalem (1:14). This suggests that the population of the community was relatively small, as in the late preexilic or the postexilic period.
      A few other fine points regarding the language and circumstances of Joel are debated but have produced no consensus.
      All in all, the above considerations speak against a date that was very early, very late or during the exile. Apparently the northern kingdom no longer existed, but the temple was functioning and Jerusalem’s walls were intact. A seventh-century B.C. date seems reasonable, but the fact remains that the book itself does not tell us when it was written.”

      Hope this helps clear things up a bit!

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  6. H R Chafin Says:

    Just discovered this fantastic resource today via Bible Gateway…something I’ve been searching for “forever.” I’d like an Excel version for my own study and notes, adding some “what was gong on in the rest of the world” information for my own reference.

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  7. Connie Hurd Says:

    Thank you so much, Craig Owens, for putting this together and making it available to others here for free. I am studying to prepare to give a talk on the prophets Amos and Isaiah, as we are starting a Community Bible Study year on these two prophets. Your charts help enormously and I will look at buying “The Archeological Bible” thanks to you.

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    • Craig T. Owens Says:

      Connie, I sure do appreciate you sharing this with me. If you enjoy Bible history, I am sure you will enjoy that Archeological Study Bible. I am believing with you that your Bible study on Amos and Isaiah will be life-changing for those involved.

      Like


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