980 to 720 B.C. – The Divided Kingdom
After Solomon’s death, the nation of Israel is divided into 2 kingdoms. The northern kingdom, consisting of 10 tribes, is called Israel. The capital is in Samaria. The smaller southern kingdom, consisting of only 2 tribes, is called Judah. Its capital is Jerusalem.
The kingdom of Israel is ruled by evil kings. God sends 2 prophets, Elijah and Elisha, to warn the people. However, the people do not listen and fall away from God. Finally, Assyria conquers Israel and destroys it completely about 720 B.C.
In the meantime, the kings of Judah are both good and evil. The people vacillate between the worship of God and the worship of idols. God also sends prophets to warn the people. Some of these prophets, such as Isaiah, remind the people of the Savior whom God has promised to send.