In contemporary scholarship, the united monarchy is debated, due to a lack of archaeological evidence for it. It is generally accepted that a "House of David" existed, but many believe[who?] that David could have only been the king or chieftain of Judah, which was likely small, and that the northern kingdom was a separate development. There are some dissenters to this view, including those who support the traditional narrative.
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The Bible describes a succession of kings of a united kingdom, and then of divided kingdoms.
According to the Bible, the Tribes of Israel lived as a confederation under ad hoc charismatic leaders called judges. In around 1020 BCE, under extreme threat from foreign peoples, the tribes united to form the first United Kingdom of Israel. Samuel anointed Saul from the Tribe of Benjamin as the first king.
After Rehoboam reigned three years, the United Kingdom of Israel was divided in two - the northern Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam, with its capital, first in Shechem, then Penuel, Tirzah, and finally Samaria, and ruled by a series of dynasties beginning with Jeroboam; and the southern Kingdom of Judah with its capital still in Jerusalem and ruled by the House of David. Under Hezekiah rule in the Kingdom of Judah, the Neo-Assyrian Empire conquered and destroyed the northern kingdom 722 BCE leaving only the southern kingdom of Judah.
Table on the Kings
The promonarchic period long ago became a literary description of the mythological roots, the early beginnings of the nation, and the way to describe the right of Israel on its land. The archeological evidence also does not support the existence of a united monarchy under David and Solomon as described in the Bible, so the rubric of "united monarchy" is best abandoned, although it remains useful for discussing how the Bible views the Israelite past.