Down South After The Split – Recipe for an Empire By Vered Hollander-Goldfarb Down South After the Split

Part 1

Rehoboam son of Solomon I Kings 14:21-31, II Chron. 11:1-12:16

His mother: Naama the Amonite

Length of reign: 17 years

Ascent to the throne at age: 41 years


This section is dripping with sarcasm. Note the narrator’s description of Jerusalem, and the description of the religious reality.

Compare the religious practices in Jerusalem during the time of Rehoboam with the transgressions of Jeroboam at Beth El.


Shishaq was the first monarch of the 22nd dynasty in Egypt, reigning from 945-924 bce. By most calculations of the chronology of the book of Kings, the story here is chronologically plausible.

What are the current relations between Judah and the power to the south – Egypt? How does it compare with Solomon’s period?

Can the story give us an indication of how the treasury is doing?

What are his relations with the northern kingdom?

Avia(m) son of Rehoboam I Kings 15:1-8, II Chron. 13:1-23

His mother: Maakha daughter of Avishalom (I Kings 15:2) or

Mikhayahu daughter of Uriel (II Chron. 13:2)

Length of reign: 3 years

Reign starts in Jeroboam’s (Israel) 18th year

The right to the kingship:

According to I Kings 15:3-5, how was Aviam in the religious sphere? Why did Aviam stay on as king?

II Chronicles 13:4-12 records a speech by Avia as part of a battle with the northern kingdom. What claim does the king of Judah make to weaken the northern kingdom?

Does this support or detract from the fears of Jeroboam that were the basis for making the golden calves?

Relations with the northern kingdom:

What reality is emerging from both the book of Chronicles and from Kings?

The narrator of Chronicles is an obvious supporter of the right of the House of David to the throne. According to his sense of poetic justice, what happened to Jeroboam (II Chron. 15:20)? Look at the synchronization chart: What is the difficulty in this claim?

The book of Chronicles is, as its name implies, a chronology. It begins with the family trees of many of the prominent characters of Tanakh, and thereby provides an excellent resource for understanding the relationships of various persons.

It provides the history of the kings of Judah, but ignores the kings of Israel unless they are relevant to the history of Judah. (And there is no synchronization between them.) Often the information given is a little (or a lot) different from the book of Kings. It is worth checking out.

Parallels in the Bible, a book arranged by Abba Bendavid and published by Carta, Jerusalem, lines up the relevant (Hebrew) texts side by side, highlighting the differences, for easy comparisons.

Part II

Asa son of Avia(m) I Kings 15:9-24, II Chron. 14:1-16:14

His mother: Maakha daughter of Avishalom (I Kings 15:2)

Length of reign: 41 years

Reign starts in Jeroboam’s (Israel) 21th year

Oh Mother!

Maacha daughter of Avishalom is listed as mother for both Aviam and his son Asa. How do we resolve this?

Does 15:13 shed any light on Maakha and her position? How might this help solve the double motherhood” problem?

Some of you might have noticed that Aviam (Asa’s father who reign for 3 years) has 2 different women listed as his mother. Could this play a role here?

Religion and state

Coming after 3 generations that allowed, and possibly encouraged, the worship of foreign gods in Jerusalem, Asa seems to signal a change.

How far did his religious reform go? Compare I Kings 15:12-14 with II Chron. 14:2, 16-17. Notice the little comment about Asa’s ancestors in Kings (and not in Chronicles.)

Why was his treatment of the Temple (bringing gold and silver) necessary? Why is it even commented on?

The bamot (shrines) remained. These were bamot to Hashem, a local shrine when one could not make it all the way to the Temple. (We might call it our local synagogue.)

Relations with the North:

The battles with the North do not seem to stop. Which king of Israel is Asa fighting? At what point in Asa’s reign does this king die? (I Kings 16:8 might help)

With that information, consider II Chron.16:1. What is the problem?

In order to win the war, Asa enlists the Arameans. (It took a little gold, but that's what we have a Temple for) How is this action viewed by the narrators of Kings (15:18-22) and Chronicles (16:2-10)?


Both accounts tell us that Asa became ill towards the end of his reign.

How do you think Chronicles views this illness? What view does the book take concerning medicine?

Kings seems less critical (or at least vaguer.) What is Kings attitude towards Asa?

Could this story somehow help solve the mystery of Chronicles’ date for the war with Baasha?

Bringing it all together:

The glorious days of David and Solomon were gone. What remained was a small kingdom. Whether it is the influence of the narrators or the words of the kings themselves, there seemed to be a strong feeling that the Davidic dynasty was the legitimate one for the People of Israel. And there was the Temple. Both kingdoms knew that this was hard to beat. Judah used it to advance their cause, the Northern kings feared it and tried to diminish its status. We know who won in the long run.

Synchronizing the first 8 decades – Part III

For Inquiring Minds…..

This section is intended to help you sort out the events and the kings involved in them. Enjoy it or ignore it.

The synchronization charts from the book of Kings look deceptively simple.

The following chart makes no attempt at placing kings on specific calendar years. It uses only the information provided in the I Kings 14:1-16:29.

  1. As you use material from Chronicles, check to see if it matches.
  2. Use this chart to follow the stories you read. Do the stories match the information that is presented here?
  3. Do the math and check if the years add up.
  4. How do you explain the various discrepancies?

Divided Kingdom: (starts at c.930bce)

King of Judah

Length of reign, synchronized to Israel

King of Northern Kingdom (Israel)

Length of reign, synchronized to Judah

Rehoboam son of Solomon

Avia(m) son of Rehoboam

Asa son of Avia(m)

Start at year 1 of Jeroboam

Reigned 17 years

Start at year 18 of Jeroboam

Reigns for 3 years

Starts at year 20 of Jeroboam

Reigns for 41 years

Jeroboam son of Nebat of Ephraim

Nadav son of Jeroboam

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Baasha son of Ahiah of Issachar

Ela son of Baasha

– – – – – – – – – – – – –


– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Civil war between

Omri (chief of army)

Tivni ben Ginat

Ahab son of Omri

Start at year 1 of Rehoboam

Reigned 22 years

Starts at year 2 of Asa

Reigned for 2 years

(assassinated by Baashah)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Starts at year 3 of Asa

Reigns for 24 years

Starts at year 26 of Asa Reigns for 2 years

(assassinated by Zimri)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

At year 27 of Asa

Reigns for 7 days

(assassinated by Omri)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Omri at year 31 of Asa

Reigns for 12 years

(From when are his years counted?)

Starts at year 38 of Asa

Reigns for 22 years