After Solomon’s death both the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel fell. The Prophet Amos (apx. 760-750 B.C.) foretold that God would rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David and bring back the captives (Amos 9:11-15). The Assyrian Empire conquers Israel in 721 B.C. The great tree of God’s people was cut down (Isaiah 11:1,10) because the people had sinned. Though they had not kept the Word of God, the Prophet Isaiah (apx. 701 – 681 B.C.) announces that the merciful God was still keeping His promise to King David. God said, “And I will make an everlasting covenant with you–the sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:3-5). Jesus is that shoot or branch that will come from the stump of Jesse. The southern kingdom was taken into Babylonian exile in 586 B.C and Solomon’s Temple was destroyed. The Prophet Jeremiah prophesied about their 70 year exile (apx. 605 B.C. – 537 B.C.) and God’s promise to raise up a Davidic King, a Priest, and a new Temple.
After the exile, the priest Ezra returns to lay the foundation and begin the work of rebuilding, what would later be called Zerubbabel’s Temple (539 B.C. to Mar 12, 516 B.C.). The governor Nehemiah rebuilds the city wall around Jerusalem. The old men who saw this new temple foundation wept (Ezra 3:12-13), as it paled in comparison to Solomon’s temple. The Prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who lived at the time of the rebuilding, spoke of that future coming day. The return of God’s people to Canaan was a wonderful thing, but it was not the promised day of the Messianic King! Haggai 2:9, “‘The glory of this later temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace.'” When the Old Testament closes, the Prophet Malachi leaves the faithful longing for the hope of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ .