For thousands of years, the cryptic chronological texts of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, as specified by the ancient Masoretic texts, have baffled historians and Bible students alike. The synchronous data specified by the Bible appeared so disjointed that many secular scholars dismissed them as useless material.
Throughout the span of time, various translations of the Hebrew books, like the Septuagint, actually altered the data in a failed attempt to reconcile the apparent discrepancies. The Masorite Jews, however, cherished a fidelity to preserve the scriptures just as they received them. In fact, strict rules were employed by copyists through the ages to ensure the scriptures were not altered.
In the 1950s, Edwin Thiele finally found a harmony of the chronology of Hebrew Kings. He discovered that the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah used, at discernible stages, different modes of reckoning time. Because the scribes of each kingdom synchronized the chronology of their own king with that of the opposing kingdom, and each kingdom began the new year for their king at opposite equinoxes of the sun, a solid accuracy of accession (within 6 months) of each king is achieved.
Although this site disagrees with his arrangement during the rule of kings from the beginning of Menahem in the North to the end of Hezekiah in the South, his work is an uncontested masterpiece and remains the standard for scholars studying this era of history. His work as presented in the book "The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings" is presented in the chart below.
Our interactive chart lists the Hebrew kings and their lengths of rein as synchronized by the Bible. The Israel kings, who began the new year for kings in spring, are coded red. Judah, who began the new year for kings in the autumn month of Tishri, are coded blue.
Some nations during the period, like Egypt and Israel periodically, used non-accession reckoning for kings. This means his first year began immediately when he took the throne. Most other nations of the Levant, including Judah, used the accession method where the king's first year did not begin until the beginning of the next, new year. The accession year is indicated in our chronology table by a yellow block and capital A.
Often, a king would serve as a coregent prior to his sole rein. These years are reckoned inclusively meaning his first year of co-rule commenced immediately. A king who was coregent before becoming a sole ruler will have two number lines running down his graphical bar in our chart.
To see the biblical synchonism for each king in a pop-up, click on the small, red box on the right hand side of the chart.