Melachim II Eighteen: Hezekiah

“And it was in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, the king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz the king of Judah, became king (Kings II 18:1).” Personal anecdote: I have serious issues with Hezekiah. For those of you who’ve been to Israel, you may have gone to Hezekiah’s Tunnel in Jerusalem. That’s where I discovered that I’m a bit claustrophobic, and let’s just say it wasn’t a pleasant experience. So not my favorite king.

Anyway, he seems to be a good king, especially compared to those that came before him. He takes on idolatry amongst the people, destroying the high places and smashing idols. “He trusted in the God of Israel there was none like him among all the kings of Judah who were after him, nor were there before him (Kings II 18:5).” God is clearly a fan of Hezekiah, and it’s under his rule that the people regain their independence from the Assyrians. The Israelites are still besieged by Assyria though, and Samaria eventually falls to them. So Judah retains its independence, but Israel is sent back to Assyria. The Assyrians keep trying to conquer Judah too, and eventually Hezekiah begins sending them tribute to keep them at bay. He even takes treasures from the Temple in order to pay them off. The Assyrians are undeterred though, and seek to discredit the king among his people.

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