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Biblical Judges and Kings of the Land of Israel (Canaan, Judea & Israel)

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Project Photo

The King's Gallery at the Notre Dame: A line of statues of the 28 Kings of Judah and Israel.

Biblical Judges (15th to 11th C BCE) השופטים המקראים

Biblical judge (Hebrew: shoftim שופטים) was a ruler or military leader, as well as someone who presided over legal hearings. From after the conquest of Canaan by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel (ca. 1150 – 1025 BCE), the Israelite Tribes formed a loose confederation. No central government existed, and in times of crisis the people were led by ad hoc leaders known as Judges. The position is more one of unelected non-hereditary leadership than that of legal pronouncement.

Most judges acted primarily as military leaders in times of trial. These leaders were thought of as being sent by God to deliver the people from a threat. After the threat had passed, the judges were generally expected to give up their position as military leaders. They were most likely tribal or local leaders.

  • Joshua bin Nun (c.1500 BCE – c.1390 BCE) יהושע בן נון
  • Othniel ben Kenaz from the Tribe of Judah (40 y.) עתניאל בן קנז משבט יהודה
  • Ehud ben Gera from the Tribe of Benjamin (?) אהוד בן גרא משבט בנימין
  • Shamgar ben Anath, a Levite (1 y.) שמגר בן ענת, משבט לוי
  • Deborah the prophetess, wife of Lapidoth, from Ephraim (40 y.) דבורה הנביאה אשת לפידות משבט אפרים
  • Barak ben Abinoam from the Tribe of Naphtali (?) ברק בן אבינועם משבט נפתלי
  • Gideon ben Joash from the Tribe of Menasseh (40 y.) גדעון בן יואש משבט המנשה
  • Abimelech ben Gideon from the Tribe of Menasseh (3 y.) אבימלך בן גדעון משבט המנשה
  • Tola ben Puah from the Tribe of Issachar (23 y.) תולע בן פואה משבט יששכר
  • Jair (Yair) Hagiladi, from the Tribe of Menasseh (22 y.)  יאיר הגלעדי משבט המנשה
  • Jephtah (Yiftah) ben Gilead from the Tribe of Menasseh (6 y.) יפתח בן גלעד משבט המנשה
  • Ibzan (Yivtzan) of Bethlehem, from the Tribe of Judah (or Zebulun?), also identified with Boaz (7 y.) יבצן איש בית-לחם, משבט יהודה (או זבולון?), ומזוהה גם עם בועז
  • Elon (or Ayalon) from the Tribe of Zebulun (10 y.) אילון משבט זבולון
  • Abdon ben Hillel from the Tribe of Ephraim (8 y.) עבדון בן הלל משבט אפרים
  • Samson ben Manoah from the Tribe of Dan (20 y.) שמשון (הגיבור) בן מנוח משבט דן
  • Eli, the High Priest of Shilo (40 y.) עלי, הכהן הגדול בשילה
  • Samuel, the Prophet, son of Elkanah, a Levite (?) שמואל הנביא, בן אלקנה הלוי

Samuel anointed the first two kings of the Kingdom of Israel: Saul and David.

Kingdom of Israel - The United Monarchy (1030 BCE to 930 BCE) ממלכת ישראל המאוחדת

(In parentheses - the ruling period - Gershon Galil Chronology)

House of Saul בית שאול

House of David בית דוד

The Split Kingdoms of Judah and Israel (c.931 BCE – 586 BCE) הממלכות המפוצלות של יהודה וישראל

Kingdom of Judah (931 BCE586 BCE) ממלכת יהודה

House of David - בית דוד

Destruction of Jerusalem and the first Temple by Nebuchadnezzar II, King of Babylon, and the First Exile. חורבן ירושלים ובית המקדש הראשון בידי נבוכדנצר השני מלך בבל, ותחילת גלות בבל

Kingdom of Israel, The Northern Kingdom of the Ten Tribes (931 BCE to 722 BCE) ממלכת ישראל, הממלכה הצפונית של עשרת השבטים

House of Jeroboam - בית ירבעם

  • Jeroboam I, son of Nevat (22 y., 931 – 909 BCE) ירבעם בן נבט
  • Nadab son of Jeroboam (2 y., 909 – 908 BCE) נדב בן ירבעם

House of Baasha - בית בעשא

  • Baasha son of Ahijah (24 y., 908 – 885 BCE) בעשא בן אחיה
  • Elah son of Baasha (2 y., 885 – 884 BCE) אלה בן בעשא

House of Zimri - בית זמרי

  • Zimri (7 days, 884 BCE) זמרי

House of Omri - בית עמרי

  • Omri (12 y., 884 – 873 BCE) עמרי
  • Ahab son of Omri (22 y., 873 – 852 BCE) אחאב בן עמרי
  • Ahaziah son of Ahab (2 y., 852 – 851 BCE) אחזיה בן אחאב
  • Joram son of Ahab (12 y., 851 – 842 BCE) יורם בן אחאב

House of Jehu - בית יהוא

  • Jehu son of Nimshi (28 y., 842 – 815 BCE) יהוא בן נמשי
  • Jehoahaz son of Jehu (17 y., 819 – 804 BCE) יהואחז בן יהוא
  • Jehoash son of Jehoahaz (16 y., 805 – 790 BCE) יהואש בן יהואחז
  • Jeroboam II son of Jehoash (41 y., 790 – 750 BCE) ירבעם בן יהואש
  • Zechariah son of Jeroboam II (6 mo., 750 – 749 BCE) זכריה בן ירבעם

House of Shallum - בית שלום

  • Shallum son of Yabesh (1 mo., 749 BCE) שלום בן יבש

House of Gadi - בית גדי

  • Menahem son of Gadi (10 y., 749 – 739 BCE) מנחם בן גדי
  • Pekahiah son of Menahem (2 y., 738 – 736 BCE) פקחיה בן מנחם

House of Pekah - בית פקח

  • Pekah son of Remaliahu (10 y., 736 – 732 BCE) פקח בן רמליהו

House of Hoshea - בית הושע

  • Hoshea son of Elah (9 y., 732 – 722 BCE) הושע בן אלה

Kingdom overthrown by Sargon II, King of Assyria, and the ten tribes of the Israelites were exiled. ממלכת ישראל (הממלכה הצפונית) נחרבה ע"י סרגון השני מלך אשור ותושביה - עשרת השבטים - גלו מארצם ואבדו

Hasmonean Kingdom of Israel (140 – 37 BCE) מלכות בית חשמונאי

Hasmonean leaders - מנהיגים מבית חשמונאי

Maccabees - המכבים

Ethnarchs (Princes) and High Priests - אתנרכים וכהנים גדולים

Kings and High Priests - מלכים וכהנים גדולים

Jewish tradition holds that the claiming of kingship by the later Hasmoneans led to their eventual downfall, since that title was only to be held by descendants of the line of King David.

The Hasmonean bureaucracy was filled with men with Greek names, and the dynasty eventually became very Hellenized. Frequent dynastic quarrels ensued. Josephus' accounts are in many cases our sole source of information about the Hasmoneans.

House of Herod - בית הורדוס