Kings & Prophets

Few Christians have a deep understanding of the Old Testament kings of Israel, or the prophets and their messages. The purpose of this series is to allow anybody to quickly gain a better understanding of those things, as well as an appreciation of how that information is relevant today. The Old Testament prophets were real people who proclaimed important messages from God that have stayed true for thousands of years. Jesus and the apostles thought the kings and prophets were important, so we should, too.

It is no wonder that few Christians have deep familiarity of the kings and prophets. Christians tend to read the New Testament, while the kings and prophets are in the Old Testament. The books of the kings and prophets  are not arranged in chronological order, the history of ancient Israel and its neighbors is complex, and the geography of the region is an ever-shifting jigsaw puzzle. The language of the prophets is often symbolic or metaphorical, and the intended messages seem to be shrouded in mystery. Lastly, many people assume that Old Testament prophecies have mostly been fulfilled, so they must not still be very important.

Perhaps our attitudes would change if we thought of prophets as truth tellers, not fortune tellers. Their truths stand important today. Besides, it may be that a number of their prophecies of the future have not yet been fulfilled.


The last four kings of the Southern Kingdom were Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. All four kings were evil in the sight of the Lord because of their idol worship. All four had devastating problems with the Egyptian, Assyrian, or Babylonian empires.

The last king, Zedekiah, rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. After a horrible famine caused by a siege, Zedekiah tried to escape. He was captured and taken to the Babylonian king. As punishment, Zedekiah’s sons were killed in front of him. That was the last sight he saw. They blinded him, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon.

The Babylonians burned every building and house in Jerusalem, including the Temple, and broke down the city walls. They took all the treasures and important people into exile in Babylon, and left poor people behind to keep the land productive. This was the final end to the Southern Kingdom.

A little less than five centuries from King Saul to King Zedekiah. The people wanted a king just like the countries around them, and they got kings just like the countries around them: kings who disobeyed God, and led the people into further disobedience. God was patient, but he finally had enough.

Isaiah, Jeremiah
Primary Scriptures:
2 Kings 24-25, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Habakkuk
Story Summary:
Events leading to the end of the Southern Kingdom
610-586 BC