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King Hezekiah

A brief bio on one of God's most faithful kings.

The Bible describes King Hezekiah as one who, “trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.” (2 Kings 18:5). This was perhaps surprising since Hezekiah’s father, Ahaz, was one of the worst kings Israel had ever seen as he sacrificed to false gods on the high places, erected his own pagan altar in the House of the LORD and even passed his own son through the fire as a sacrifice. Yet Hezekiah’s first act as king was the cleansing of the temple (2 Chronicles 29). He also tore down all the high places and reestablished worship to the One true God. He even went so far as to destroy the more than seven-hundred-year-old bronze serpent which Moses had made and which the people were now burning incense to (2 Kings 18:4). One can only speculate about who it was that influenced Hezekiah to become one of God’s most righteous kings.[1]

At the time of Hezekiah’s ascent, the Jews were being threatened with extinction by the Assyrian Empire, and they were now looking to this twenty-five year old Judean king for deliverance. The northern Jewish nation of Israel had already fallen and the southern nation of Judah was now doomed to follow. Indeed, “Forty-six walled cities of Judah fell, one by one, until only Jerusalem was left.[2] However, Hezekiah—desiring to free his people—reinforced and even built a secondary inside wall around Jerusalem. He also stockpiled weapons and food, and built a tunnel (now known famously as Hezekiah’s tunnel) which connected to a hidden spring so the people inside the city would have water. He even plugged and hid other springs which surrounded Jerusalem so that the invaders could not use them.[3]

“Forty-six walled cities of Judah fell, one by one, until only Jerusalem was left.”

Stephen M. Miller

Soon, Jerusalem found itself surrounded by the Assyrians. And in a letter to Hezekiah the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, boasts of his other military victories and claims that just as the gods of those nations did not deliver them from his hand neither will the God of Israel deliver Jerusalem. Hezekiah immediately  spreads out the letter before God and pleads with Him for deliverance. Because of Hezekiah’s love and commitment to God, the LORD promises Hezekiah deliverance. Indeed, in a single night God smites 185,000 Assyrian troops and Sennacherib is later murdered by two of his own sons (2 Kings 19:37, 2 Chronicles 32:21, Isaiah 37:38).

Although this was a tremendous victory, Hezekiah soon falls ill and Isaiah informs him that he is going to die. Though Hezekiah is utterly devastated, he once again entreats the LORD. And before Isaiah has even left the palace God answers Hezekiah’s prayer and extends his life fifteen years—and confirms this promise with the sign of the shadow of the sun moving backwards ten degrees on the sundial of Ahaz. Although Hezekiah would soon develop a prideful heart he later humbled himself. Nevertheless, Hezekiah is still regarded as one of the most godly kings of Israel and had a prosperous twenty-nine year reign from 715-687 BC.

Ryan Hembree is a daily co-host, speaker, and writer of Bible Discovery. He also hosts a YouTube channel that shows the unity of the Bible and how science and Scripture fit together. Ryan also has an honorary Masters of Ministry in Creation Science from Phoenix University of Theology.

[1] Perhaps it was his mother Abijah (“Abi”) or maybe even Isaiah himself. There are clues that Isaiah was a relative of the royal family and therefore would have been in a position to influence them. One clue is the eloquence of his language which points to a privileged education. A second clue is that he had easy access to the kings. And a third clue is that Jewish tradition suggests that Isaiah’s father, Amoz, was the brother of King Amaziah—Uzziah’s father. This would make King Uzziah and Isaiah first cousins. Also consider that Hezekiah was born around the same time that Isaiah was called to be a prophet (740 BC), thus Isaiah could have influenced the boy.
[2] Stephen M. Miller, Who’s Who and Where’s Where in the Bible?, P.155
[3] Miller, P.153-156

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