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Jesus's Royal Ancestry: Rulers of the Kingdom of Judah
TitleJesus's Royal Ancestry: Rulers of the Kingdom of Judah
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParry, Donald W.
Book TitleThe Jesus Christ Focused Old Testament: Making Sense of a Monumental Book
Chapter54
Pagination141-142
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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Matthew’s genealogy (Matt 1:1–16) names several of the rulers of the kingdom of Judah—Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, and Josiah—that are part of Jesus Christ’s ancestry. Matthew’s genealogy also refers to King David and his son Solomon (Matt. 1:6–7). All of these rulers played prominent roles in world history, and all were Jesus’s progenitors.

Nineteen kings and one queen served as rulers in the kingdom of Judah. The average reign lasted approximately seventeen years, with the longest being Manasseh’s reign, which persisted for fifty-five years. Two kings—Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin—reigned for only three months. After Jehoahaz ruled Judah for three months, Egypt’s pharaoh captured and exiled him to Egypt, where he eventually died (2 Kgs. 23:33–34). About a decade later, Jehoiachin was enthroned, and he ruled for about three months.       

Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jehoiachin, made him prisoner, and exiled him to Babylon, together with his mother, his wives, and others of his kingdom (2 Kgs. 24:10–16).[1]

Compared to the average longevity of modern times, kings’ life spans were not long. According to the available data, the average length of a king’s life in Judah was forty-four years (see column 4). The youngest king died at twenty-two years old, the oldest at sixty-eight.

During its existence, the kingdom of Judah was marked by internal strife, competition for the crown, idolatry and false worship, and wars against neighboring world powers. The kingdom was smeared by much wickedness, including idolatry (1 Kgs. 11:33; 14:24; 2 Kgs. 21:7; 23:6–7; 18:4) and the rejection of God’s prophets (1 Chr. 16:22). Of Judah’s twenty rulers, twelve engaged in evil practices in their kingdom.

During its history, the kingdom of Judah battled against a number of foreign powers, including Egypt (1 Kgs. 14:25–26), Syria (1 Kgs. 22:1–40), and Assyria (2 Kgs. 18–19).

The kingdom of Judah lasted approximately 345 years, from Rehoboam (930 BC) to Zedekiah (586 BC). Nebuchadnezzar and his armies dealt the final blow to Judah (2 Kgs. 25:1–2, 21).

Although Matthew’s genealogy lists several kings in Jesus Christ’s ancestry, Jesus is markedly different from all mortal kings. He is perfect, sinless, and full of love, grace, and mercy, and His kingdom will be an “everlasting kingdom” (2 Pet. 1:11). Furthermore, He is the “king of glory” (Ps. 24:7). He is the “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:16).



[1] See also Finegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology; and Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings.

Kings/Queen

Length of Reign

Years (BC)

Age at Death

Reference

Rehoboam

17 years

930–913

59

1 Kgs. 12:1–24; 14:21–31

Abijah

3 years

913–910

 

1 Kgs. 15:1–8

Asa

41 years

910–869

 

1 Kgs. 15:9–24

Jehoshaphat

25 years

Co-regent with Asa 872–869

Co-regent with Jehoram 853–848

Total reign 872–848

59

1 Kgs. 22:41–50

Jehoram

8 years

Co-regent with Jehoshaphat 853–848

Total reign 853–841

44

2 Kgs. 8:16–24

Ahaziah

1 year

841

22

2 Kgs. 8:25–29

Athaliah (Queen)

6 years?

841–835

 

2 Kgs. 11

Joash

40 years

835–796

46

2 Kgs. 12

Amaziah

29 years

Total reign 796–767

Overlap with Azariah 792–767

54

2 Kgs. 14:1–22

Azariah (Uzziah)

52 years

Overlap with Amaziah 792–767

Total reign 792–740

68

2 Kgs. 15:1–7

Jotham

16 years

Co-regent with Azariah 750–740

Total reign 750–732

44

2 Kgs. 15:30–38

Ahaz

16 years

732–715

40

2 Kgs. 16

Hezekiah

29 years

Co-regent with Ahaz 729–715

Co-regent with Manasseh 696–686

Total reign 715–686

54

2 Kgs. 18:1–20:21

Manasseh

55 years

Co-regent with Hezekiah 696–686

Total reign 696–642

66

2 Kgs. 21:1–18

Amon

2 years

642–640

24

2 Kgs. 21:19–26

Josiah

31 years

640–609

39

2 Kgs. 22:1–23:30

Jehoahaz

3 months

609

 

2 Kgs. 23:31–33

Jehoiakim (Eliakim)

11 years

609–598

36

2 Kgs. 23:34–24:7

Jehoiachin

3 months (or 3 months, 10 days, according to 2 Chron. 36:9)

598–597

 

2 Kgs. 24:8–17

Zedekiah

11 years

597–586

 

2 Kgs. 24:18–25:26

 

Chart by Donald W. Parry. Jesus's Royal Ancestry: Rulers of the Kingdom of Judah.

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