oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - From zenith to zero : a historical-theological analysis of the demise of the kingdom of David and Solomon

Volume 9, Issue 03
  • ISSN : 1996-8167



This journal article undertakes a historical-theological analysis of the demise of the kingdom of David and Solomon. Fresh insight into this investigation is obtained by making modified use of the five stages of decline appearing in Jim Collins's study titled How the Mighty Fall. Concededly, the author's evidence-based research deals with the underlying reasons why major corporations implode. That said, when the conceptual framework put forward by Collins is used to assess the collapse of the Davidic-Solomonic kingdom, it helps to shed light on what brought about the defeat and captivity of God's chosen people, as reported in the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles.

This essay affirms that the nation's journey from zenith to zero approximately corresponds to the five successive stages delineated by Collins. First, the kingdom experienced arrogance as a result of its unparalleled power and wealth. Second, this hubris emboldened the nation to plunge into an undisciplined pursuit of seizing even more worldly success. Third, the kingdom's obsession to prolong its greatness clouded the moral judgment of its leaders and resulted in them denying they were taking the covenant community down a treacherous path. Fourth, as the storm clouds of disaster began to appear on the nation's horizon, the civil and religious centers of power resorted to desperate measures to save the kingdom. Fifth, due to a series of God-ordained misfortunes and reversals, the covenant community became dispirited, lost all hope, and were eventually brought down by external forces they could neither control nor defeat.

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