Dictionary of Bible Names

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Bible Meaning: Jehovah is my strength, the might of Jehovah
Strong's Concordance #H2396, #G1478

There are three men named Hezekiah in the Bible. One was the son of Neariah (1Chronicles 3:23). A second was one of the many men who returned to Judah after being held as captives in Babylon (Ezra 2:16, Nehemiah 7:21).

The third, and by far the most well known Hezekiah, was one of the righteous kings who ruled over the Kingdom of Judah. At the age of 25 he assumed the throne of his father king Ahaz in 715 B.C. Eight years prior to the ascension of Hezekiah, the Assyrians had completed their conquering of the northern ten tribes of Israel (Kingdom of Israel).

Religious reform

In his first year of rule the king begins to engage in religious reform. Jerusalem's temple, under his father Ahaz, had been allowed to deteriorate with its doors shut and its services halted (2Chronicles 28:24, 29:7). Ahaz had also encouraged rampant idolatry not only in Jerusalem but also in the entire kingdom (2Chronicles 28:25).

Hezekiah has the temple doors repaired and all the idols within it removed and destroyed (2Chronicles 29:4 - 5). He gathers all the priests and Levites and charges them with cleansing and rededicating the temple, which includes restarting all of its services (2Chronicles 29).

The king, in a unique move, calls upon all Judah to keep the Passover. Hezekiah even extends an invitation to any remnants in the northern ten tribes to come to Jerusalem for the Feast (2Chronicles 30). This unique Passover - Feast of Unleavened Bread celebration lasts twice as long as was originally commanded by God.

Baby Hezekiah with his parents picture
Hezekiah as a baby with parents
Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel

The zeal of the people, after this special period of worship, moves them to destroy all the idols and pagan altars in Judah as well as in Ephraim and Manasseh (2Chronicles 31:1).

Two great miracles

The king decides to no longer pay yearly tribute money to Assyria (2Kings 18:7). Knowing his act will certainly bring the empire's wrath, Hezekiah fortifies Jerusalem and prepares it for war. He also conceals the city's water supply, located at the Gihon Spring, by building a tunnel to redirect its flow to the pool of Siloam (2Chronicles 32:1 - 8).

After Assyria's King Sennacherib takes all of Judah's fenced cities, however, Hezekiah seeks to negotiate a deal to spare Jerusalem. He pays three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold in the hope of saving the capital (2Kings 18:13 - 16). His efforts fail as Sennacherib sends one of his generals with an 185,000-man army to demand Jerusalem's unconditional surrender (verses 17 - 37).

The king, knowing the situation is desperate, cries out to God for help. The Eternal's response is to send the Angel of the Lord to kill all the troops as they prepare to take Jerusalem (2Kings 18 - 19, Isaiah 37:33 - 38)!

In 701 B.C., the same year as Assyria's failed attempt to conquer Jerusalem, Hezekiah becomes gravely ill. After humbling himself before God he is granted another fifteen years of life (2Kings 20)! He reigns for a total of 29 years until his death in 686 B.C. Manasseh, who co-reigned with his father for ten years (696 to 686), succeeds him.

New Testament mention

Hezekiah, in the KJV New Testament, is referred to as Ezekias. He is named in Jesus' lineage through his stepfather Joseph (Matthew 1:9 - 10).

Important verses

2Kings 18:13 - 14, 17, 19, 29 - 30
Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them . . .

And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to the king . . . And Rabshakeh said unto them . . . Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?

Thus saith the king (of Assyria) . . . Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.

2Chronicles 30:1 - 2
And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel.

For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.

Isaiah 38:1 - 2, 5
And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord . . . Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.

Additional Studies

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Series Notes
Scripture references are based
on the King James translation.

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