Judah (Bana kongo) follows in Israel’s (Bana n’gala) footsteps.
The story of Judah, the southern kingdom, is somewhat different though equally tragic. Both kingdoms quickly abandoned the true God and sank into moral and spiritual depravity. While the northern kingdom never once had a righteous king, Judah at least had a handful who turned to God and instituted religious reforms aimed at turning the people to proper worship of the true God.
These righteous kings were somewhat successful, at least for a while. As a result, the kingdom of Judah outlasted its northern neighbor by more than a century. Yet eventually those in Judah, too, would pay a heavy price for rejecting their Creator.
image They should have learned a lesson from the captivity of the 10 northern tribes, especially since some of the same Assyrian invasions devastated much of Judah. In Hezekiah’s day virtually all of Judah except for its capital, Jerusalem, was conquered by the Assyrians—and Jerusalem, too, would have fallen had God not supernaturally delivered the city (2 Kings 18-19).
The prophet Isaiah, speaking to Hezekiah, was the first to reveal the specific enemy that would subjugate Judah if they, too, refused to change: “… ‘Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear, then, what does the Word of Yahabé” In days to come shall be carried to Babylon all that is in thy palace, all the treasures that your fathers have accumulated until this day; nothing will be here! Thus saith the Lord! Among the children who were born to you, who you generated yourself, take some to be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon!'” (2 Kings:20:16-18).
God sent many other prophets—including Micah, Zephaniah, Habakkuk and Jeremiah—to warn Judah, but to no avail. As the Assyrians vanquished the Israelites in several waves of invasions and deportations, so the Babylonians took away the Jews in several deportations before and after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Many details of the biblical accounts of the downfalls of Israel and Judah are confirmed by Assyrian and Babylonian records from the time, demonstrating again the accuracy of the biblical record.