Hos 3:4 For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods.
The last king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel was Hoshea. Hoshea overthrew the previous king through treachery. Samaria was conquered and he was killed by the Assyrians for failing to deal honestly with them because he tried to give Egypt tribute instead of Assyria. Hoshea seemed to think he could get Egypt to support him against Assyria. After three years of fighting Samaria fell in 722 BC. 1 Ki 17 records the fall of Israel and the Assyrian exile. There we read of God’s reason for allowing Israel’s fall was idolatry – wicked unfaithfulness to YHWH who brought them out of slavery in Egypt to the promised land. Hosea tells us Israel shall be a long time without political or religious leadership. Even though Assyria fell in 612 BC, before Jerusalem fell in 586 BC, the northern tribes were never again united politically or religiously. Even when the second temple was rebuilt in the 5th century, Samarians were rejected from participating in its reconstruction and restoration of YHWH worship. Centuries passed without independence and self-rule. Late in the 4th century the Greeks attempted to Hellenize the Jews and Samarians and to a significant degree succeeded. A long series of skirmishes and rebellions fill the inter-testament period with the region being under the control of one foreign power or another for all but a few years prior to the ministry of Jesus during the Roman era. During the Roman occupation there were kings appointed over Israel, but even so they were little more than puppet dictators propped up by Rome to manage Roman interests in the region. Herod the Great, for example, was a blood-thirsty tyrant who obeyed Rome for personal gain. There were Herods who ruled various geographic areas – including the areas of Samaria and “Gentile” areas such as Galilee. Symbolically, Pilate declared Jesus King of the Jews at the crucifixion. A few decades later the second temple would be utterly destroyed. Jerusalem all but cease to exist for nearly two millennia. Jews tried to rebel against Rome, but by the end of the second Roman rebellion in about 132 AD there was no formal religious or political organization to the Jews nor would it exist again until May of 1948.