King David began the Kingdom of Israel, and under his leadership and the leadership of Solomon, Israel experienced what scholars call “Israel’s Golden Age.” There were twenty-one kings of Judah, and the Lord Jesus will be number twenty-two. For those of you who are familiar with the Hebrew alphabet, you know it has twenty-two letters. The Bible, specifically in Psalm 119, shows us that the Hebrew letters have meanings. I have noticed that the twenty-two kings of Judah frequently fulfill the meaning of the letters. All the kings probably fulfill the meanings of the Hebrew letters, but I am not wise enough to understand them all.
The first three kings of the House of David showed me clearly that there is a parallel between the king and the appropriate Hebrew letter. King David was the first king. The first letter is the Aleph, which shows the leader of the family, or the kingdom. David was that leader.
King Solomon was the second king. The second Hebrew letter, Beit, means “house,” and Solomon built the House of God.
The third letter is Gimel, which indicates culmination. The third king was Reheboam, the son of Solomon. Because of the arrogance of Reheboam, the Kingdom of Israel culminated during his reign, and was divided between the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah thereafter.
The fifth Hebrew letter is Hay, which shows us the spirit of God. Asa was the fifth king, and he reversed the evil that his father, Abijah, and his grandfather, Reheboam, had done. As a result, the Lord blessed Asa, demonstrating the gracious spirit of God.
The ninth person to rule Judah was Athaliah, the mother of Judah’s King Ahaziah and daughter of Israel’s pagan King Omri. She was not of the House of David. When Ahaziah died, Athaliah had all the royal descendants killed and she usurped the royal position as queen. This is interesting because the ninth Hebrew letter is Tet, which the rabbis say shows us “the serpent, and objective good.” Clearly, the actions of Athaliah were of the Devil, or the Serpent.
However, Athaliah’s grandson, Joash, was saved from her murderous spree by Jehosheba, his aunt. She saved him by hiding him in the Temple. Joash was the son of Ahaziah and the rightful heir. King Joash was the ninth king of the lineage of David. He also fits the meaning of Tet, objective good (something bad occurs for a good result).
Azariah, or Uzziah, was the eleventh king of the House of David. The eleventh Hebrew letter is Kaf, which we are told means “crowning accomplishment.” King Uzziah did well until he became arrogant. He didn’t exactly show us a crowning accomplishment, but when he went into the Temple and usurped the duties of the priesthood, he was struck with leprosy on the crown of his head.
There are eleven more kings of Judah to learn about in the next lesson.