Judah’s King Hezekiah

18 In the third year of Israel’s King Hoshea(A) son of Elah, Hezekiah(B) son of Ahaz became king of Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi[a] daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done.(C) He removed the high places, shattered the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles.(D) He broke into pieces the bronze snake that Moses made,(E) for until then the Israelites were burning incense to it. It was called Nehushtan.[b]

Hezekiah relied on the Lord God of Israel;(F) not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him.(G) He remained faithful to the Lord(H) and did not turn from following him but kept the commands the Lord had commanded Moses.

The Lord was with him, and wherever he went he prospered.(I) He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.(J) He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its borders,(K) from watchtower(L) to fortified city.

Review of Israel’s Fall

In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Israel’s King Hoshea son of Elah, Assyria’s King Shalmaneser marched against Samaria and besieged it.(M) 10 The Assyrians captured it at the end of three years. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Israel’s King Hoshea, Samaria was captured. 11 The king of Assyria deported the Israelites to Assyria and put them in Halah, along the Habor (Gozan’s river), and in the cities of the Medes,(N) 12 because they did not listen to the Lord their God but violated his covenant—all he had commanded Moses the servant of the Lord. They did not listen, and they did not obey.(O)

Sennacherib’s Invasion

13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Assyria’s King Sennacherib attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.(P) 14 So King Hezekiah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish:(Q) “I have done wrong;(R) withdraw from me. Whatever you demand from me, I will pay.” The king of Assyria demanded eleven tons[c] of silver and one ton[d] of gold from King Hezekiah of Judah. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver found in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king’s palace.

16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the Lord’s sanctuary and from the doorposts he had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria.(S)

17 Then the king of Assyria sent the field marshal,(T) the chief of staff, and his royal spokesman, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem.(U) They advanced and came to Jerusalem, and[e] they took their position by the aqueduct of the upper pool, by the road to the Launderer’s Field.(V) 18 They called for the king, but Eliakim(W) son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebnah(X) the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to them.(Y)

The Royal Spokesman’s Speech

19 Then(Z) the royal spokesman said to them, “Tell Hezekiah this is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: ‘What are you relying on?[f](AA) 20 You think mere words are strategy and strength for war. Who are you now relying on so that you have rebelled against me?(AB)

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Footnotes

  1. 18:2 = Abijah in 2Ch 29:1
  2. 18:4 = A Bronze Thing
  3. 18:14 Lit 300 talents
  4. 18:14 Lit 30 talents
  5. 18:17 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads and came and
  6. 18:19 Lit ‘What is this trust which you trust

Judah’s King Hezekiah

29 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old(A) when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah[a] daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight(B) just as his ancestor David had done.

In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the Lord’s temple and repaired them.(C) Then he brought in the priests and Levites and gathered them in the eastern public square.(D) He said to them, “Hear me, Levites. Consecrate yourselves(E) now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove everything impure from the holy place. For our ancestors were unfaithful and did what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They abandoned him, turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place, and turned their backs on him.[b](F) They also closed the doors of the portico, extinguished the lamps, did not burn incense, and did not offer burnt offerings in the holy place of the God of Israel. Therefore, the wrath of the Lord was on Judah and Jerusalem, and he made them an object of terror, horror, and mockery,[c](G) as you see with your own eyes. Our fathers fell by the sword, and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity because of this.(H) 10 It is in my heart now to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel(I) so that his burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, don’t be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence, to serve him, and to be his ministers and burners of incense.”(J)

Cleansing the Temple

12 Then the Levites stood up:

Mahath(K) son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah from the Kohathites;

Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel from the Merarites;(L)

Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah from the Gershonites;

13 Shimri and Jeuel from the Elizaphanites;

Zechariah and Mattaniah from the Asaphites;

14 Jehiel[d] and Shimei from the Hemanites;

Shemaiah and Uzziel from the Jeduthunites.

15 They gathered their brothers together, consecrated themselves,(M) and went according to the king’s command by the words of the Lord(N) to cleanse the Lord’s temple.(O)

16 The priests went to the entrance of the Lord’s temple to cleanse it. They took all the unclean things they found in the Lord’s sanctuary to the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. Then the Levites received them and took them outside to the Kidron Valley.(P) 17 They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the portico of the Lord’s temple. They consecrated the Lord’s temple for eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished.

18 Then they went inside to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed the whole temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the table for the rows of the Bread of the Presence and all its utensils. 19 We have set up and consecrated all the utensils that King Ahaz rejected during his reign(Q) when he became unfaithful. They are in front of the altar of the Lord.”

Renewal of Temple Worship

20 King Hezekiah got up early, gathered the city officials, and went to the Lord’s temple. 21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Then he told the descendants of Aaron, the priests, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests received the blood and splattered it on the altar.(R) They slaughtered the rams and splattered the blood on the altar. They slaughtered the lambs and splattered the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought the goats for the sin offering right into the presence of the king and the congregation, who laid their hands on them.(S) 24 The priests slaughtered the goats and put their blood on the altar for a sin offering, to make atonement for all Israel,(T) for the king said that the burnt offering and sin offering were for all Israel.

25 Hezekiah stationed the Levites in the Lord’s temple with cymbals, harps, and lyres(U) according to the command of David,(V) Gad the king’s seer,(W) and the prophet Nathan.(X) For the command was from the Lord through his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David,(Y) and the priests with the trumpets.(Z)

27 Then Hezekiah ordered that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. When the burnt offerings began, the song of the Lord and the trumpets began, accompanied by the instruments of King David of Israel. 28 The whole assembly was worshiping, singing the song, and blowing the trumpets—all this continued until the burnt offering was completed. 29 When the burnt offerings were completed, the king and all those present with him bowed down and worshiped.(AA) 30 Then King Hezekiah and the officials told the Levites to sing praise to the Lord in the words of David and of the seer Asaph. So they sang praises with rejoicing and knelt low and worshiped.

31 Hezekiah concluded, “Now you are consecrated[e] to the Lord. Come near and bring sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings to the Lord’s temple.” So the congregation brought sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings, and all those with willing hearts(AB) brought burnt offerings.

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Footnotes

  1. 29:1 = Abi in 2Kg 18:2
  2. 29:6 Lit and they gave the back of the neck
  3. 29:8 Lit hissing
  4. 29:14 Alt Hb tradition reads Jehuel
  5. 29:31 Lit Now you have filled your hands

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