The untimely death of that monarch upon the battlefield of Megiddo (608 B.C.), followed by the inglorious reigns of the kings who succeeded him, who became puppets in turn of Egypt or of Babylonia, silenced for a while the Messianic hopes for a future king or line of kings of Davidic lineage who would rule a renovated kingdom in righteousness and peace.
Babylonia was politically unsettled, the representative of the Davidic dynasty had descendants; if Babylon was assured of the allegiance of Judah further acts of clemency may well have followed.
An immense body of exiles is said to have returned at this time to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel, who was of Davidic descent, and the priest Jeshua or Joshua, the grandson of the murdered Seraiah (Ezra i.
In Zerubbabel the people beheld once more a ruler of the Davidic race.
A work which inculcates the dependence of the state upon the purity of its ruler is the unfinished book of Kings with its history of the Davidic dynasty and the Temple.