Judah, Kingdom of

When the disruption took place at Shechem, at first only the
tribe of Judah followed the house of David. But very soon after
the tribe of Benjamin joined the tribe of Judah, and Jerusalem
became the capital of the new kingdom (Josh. 18:28), which was
called the kingdom of Judah. It was very small in extent, being
only about the size of the Scottish county of Perth.

For the first sixty years the kings of Judah aimed at
re-establishing their authority over the kingdom of the other
ten tribes, so that there was a state of perpetual war between
them. For the next eighty years there was no open war between
them. For the most part they were in friendly alliance,
co-operating against their common enemies, especially against
Damascus. For about another century and a half Judah had a
somewhat checkered existence after the termination of the
kingdom of Israel till its final overthrow in the destruction of
the temple (B.C. 588) by Nebuzar-adan, who was captain of
Nebuchadnezzar's body-guard (2 Kings 25:8-21).

The kingdom maintained a separate existence for three hundred
and eighty-nine years. It occupied an area of 3,435 square
miles. (See ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF T0001909.)