The storyline is “Daniel gives leadership and encouragement to the exiles for the next 70 years.”
Because of Solomon’s half heart, we read in 1 Kings 11:11 “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.” Solomon’s half heart resulted in the Divided Kingdom.
There were two kingdoms now:
- The North was called “Israel.” 10 tribes made up this kingdom. It had 19 kings, 0 were righteous.
- The South was called “Judah.” 2 tribes (Judah and Benjamin) made up this kingdom. It had 20 kings, 8 were righteous.
Application for today: Sin causes separation. Solomon had a half heart so the Kingdom got torn in half. Then each group took their own path and it got so bad they were torn from the Promised Land. God’s plan was for Israel to be set apart as a holy nation. They tore themselves from that plan by asking for a king. The kingdom got torn in half. As a result, they were torn from their homes and sent into exile.
Why Did They Get Exiled?
The reason the exile happened is found in 2 Kings 17.6-18.
The Exile came in two waves. Since Israel was so evil, they were exiled first. Assyria conquered them in 722 B.C. (~200 years after Solomon). Josephus writes “Jeroboam, by sinning against God, and bringing them to imitate his bad example, made God to be their enemy.”
Judah made it a little longer, but they were still conquered by Babylonia in 586 B.C. (~350 years after Solomon)
When the Kingdom divided, things went from bad to worse. Josephus wrote this: “They had transgressed the laws, and would not hearken to the prophets, who foretold this calamity would come upon them, if they would not leave off their evil practices.” Translation: they loved sin more than they loved God. And since God is just and righteous, it was now time for Israel to own up.