The Northern Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom (Israel)
The Northern Kingdom consisted of 10 of the tribes (excluding Judah and
Benjamin). It lasted for about 210 years until it was destroyed by Assyria in
722 BC. Its capital was Samaria. Every king of Israel was evil. In the northern
kingdom there were 9 dynasties (family lines of kings) and 19 kings in all. An
average of 11 years to a reign. 8 of these kings met death by violence.
The epitaph written over every one of its kings was:
IKing 15:34 "and he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of
Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he had made Israel to sin."
It was king Ahab who introduced Baal worship to them.
I King 16:30-33 "Now
Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were
before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him
to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel
the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and
worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he
had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the
LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him."
The last king was Hoshea (2 Ki 17). The petty wars of the past, wars with Syria
and Edom, Ammon and Philistia, were now to give way to war on an ominous new
The Assyrian Captivity
A world empire was being gathered into the ruthless hands of the Assyrians. The
ruthless and cruel Assyrians (under Sargon II) besieged Samaria for 3 years and
finally it fell, the northern kingdom of Israel was doomed. The Assyrians hauled
them away into captivity (722 BC).
But the Lord had always reminded them of why judgment came and how He would have
loved to be in relationship with them. Here are some passages that show the Lord
pleading with them and giving them exact details of why He was so angry:
II Ki 17:7-23 "The children of Israel secretly did against the LORD their God
things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all
their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves
sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree.
There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD
had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to
anger, for they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, "You shall not
do this thing."
Yet the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets,
every seer, saying, "Turn
from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all
the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants
the prophets." Nevertheless
they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers,
who did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected His statutes and
His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He
had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went
after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged
them that they should not do like them.
So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a
molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of
heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass
through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to
do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.
Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight;
there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. And the LORD rejected all the
descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of
plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight?as He had said by all His
servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to
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