The meaning of Hezekiah is “strengthened of Jah.” Jah or iah is a short form of Jehovah; many names in the Bible end in iah.
His life story is found in 2 Kings 18-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32 and Isaiah 36-39 (see The Life of Hezekiah, I put all three together) but there are other books that have not been found that also contains records of historical events of Judah and Israel, they are mentioned in the Bible. (see Samuel & Chronicles) I think everyone has noticed how closely the books of Kings and Chronicles are related; a reason for this is that the two writers, possibly Ezra and Baruch (Jeremiah’s scribe), used a common source and tailored the books for specific readers. He lived approximately 250 years after Solomon’s son Rehoboam and witnessed the fall of the Northern Kingdom.
Hezekiah’s reign lasted twenty-nine years and there are four major components of his time as king that are reported in our Bible.
- The restoration of the worship to the Temple.
- The attack of Sennacherib king of Assyria.
- His healing and its conformation.
- The visit of envoys from Babylon.
I tend to read the stories about the kings individually but with Hezekiah you must start with his father, Ahaz. His father did the things he undid in 2 Chronicles; Ahaz stopped Temple worship and put pagan altars there and around Jerusalem. The story in Chronicles covers cleaning and restoration of the Temple while 2 Kings covers the attack of Sennacherib. Isaiah’s story of Hezekiah mirrors what is found in 2 Kings except for Is.38: 9-20. His illness is in Isaiah and 2 Kings while the visit from Babylon is told in all three.
The amazing thing to me is not the fact that one king was good and one was bad but that the people are not objecting to the change. Can you image what a person who was alive during Ahaz and his leaving Jehovah to then have his son Hezekiah push for reform to have his son Manasseh be the worst of all the kings of Judah must have thought? That is reflected in the story of Elijah at first the people said nothing but voiced approval when Elijah gave the challenge of fire. (1 Kings 18:21-24)
The timeline is my own. It is an Excel document and covers the time from Solomon to the 70 years of Exile. But I only can screen shot short pieces of it.
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