Judaism chapter VII : Fall of the United Kingdom.
After King Solomon died, somewhere around a thousand years-ish before *spoiler alert* Jesus’s birth, there was some disagreement about the line of succession. After a lot of squabbling, which is a euphemism for a lot of blood and killing, then then the United Kingdom was split into two.
When a united kingdom is split into any smaller parts, it is, by definition, no longer united.
So now there were two kingdoms:
Israel in the north. They split because they felt like David and Solomon and their people in the south didn’t treat them like their own (remember, Solomon was the product of a union between David and the Hittite warrior Uriah, so she and her offspring were never fully accepted by some). So they started their own kingdom.
Judah in the south.
Is a divided kingdom stronger or weaker?
If you said weaker, then yes. You are correct. And a weak kingdom in those days (or probably nowdays too) makes oneself a ripe morsel for stronger neighboring kingdoms to conquer. Which is exactly what happened.
Around 722 B.C., or only two hundred years after Solomon’s death (or just a little shorter than the length of time the United States of America has been a country), the kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians.
My contact at Wikipedia has reminded me that that the modern-day location of Assyria is roughly northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, and northeastern Syria. Also known historically as Upper Mesopotamia.
The Assyrians took the Israelites as captives to other lands. Many stories have been told about them, but no trace has been found, and they are referred to as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Sad.
Judah was better prepared and made it 150+ years longer. But eventually, big fish eat little fish and giant kingdoms devour little weakened ones, so finally the Babylonians attacked, burned the Temple (the capital-T one in Jerusalem), destroyed the city, and took the people into captivity. Far from home. In Babylon. Sad.
Seven hundred years from the time they left Egypt as slaves to the time they forcibly left the Promised Land...as slaves again. Sad.
So the kingdoms of Israel (vanished without a trace) and Judah (people in captivity) are gone. Destroyed. No hope.
Or...is there a light?
When they were living in Palestine, they thought of Jehovah as being their God.
But now that they were dispersed (remember that word diaspora?) and their holy cities and temples were annihilated...where was Jehovah?
They believed they were being punished for their poor choices and wayward ways. But they also believed that Jehovah was still with them and that He was their only God. Even in captivity.
And if He was with them in captivity, then He would be with them...everywhere and anywhere.
This was a big shift. The idea that Jehovah was with them everywhere.
Israel, Judah, Assyria, Iraq, Ten Lost Tribes, diaspora,
This is an introduction to a ten-unit survey of Judaism - its history, peoples, beliefs and impact on the world today.
Education for most ages and for all curious people.
Written by Joseph Ivan Long with curiosity, humbleness, and a big grin.