What Happened to the Northern Kingdom of Israel?

When was the Northern Kingdom of Israel destroyed? We take a closer look at the destruction of Samaria and the Northern Kingdom today.

Marie-Claire De Villiers
By Marie-Claire De Villiers
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published December 29, 2021.

In ancient times, God was displeased with King Solomon. As punishment, he split the Kingdom of Israel in two. This was sped up by the tribes' long-ongoing wars and several other factors. Twenty kings ruled the Northern Kingdom, but they were all wicked, having the same habits of idolatry (worship of false idols) as King Solomon.

Despite numerous prophets (Elijah, Elisha, Amos, and Hosea) visiting and calling the kings to repent over the years, nothing changed for a while.

The Northern Kingdom Overthrown

From 726 - 722 BCE, the city of Samaria was besieged by the Assyrians. Many of the people were taken into captivity or deported - and the Northern Kingdom of Israel’s Tribes became known as the ‘Ten Lost Tribes’, after being forcibly resettled away from their places of origin.

The destruction of Samaria was the beginning of the fall of the Northern Kingdom. The destruction of Samaria, the Northern Kingdom's capital, was foretold by Hosea and Micah (see Hosea 13:16; Micah 1:6).

The Kingdom of Judah (or the Southern Kingdom) existed as an independent state until 586 BCE, where it was conquered by the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

The Northern Kingdom Today

The Northern Kingdom has been reunited with Judah and is now known as the United Monarchy. It includes all major cities including Jerusalem (on the western side), but there are still territorial wars happening in the region, particularly the area known as the West Bank.

Did you know? Jesus is sometimes referred to as the ‘Lion of Judah’. This is because He was born in Bethlehem, and has His great temple in Jerusalem - which used to fall under the region of Judah.