He 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. For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. He subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city. 2 Kings 18:5-8
The Reign of Hezekiah: 2 Kings 18:1-8; 2 Chronicles 29:1-11. Hezekiah is praised as one who does “right in
the eyes of the Lord” (18:3). The first month of the first year of his reign he opens the temple and proclaims his intention to be faithful to the Lord (29:10)
1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. 4 He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan. 5 He 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. 6 For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. 7 The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8 He subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.
Hezekiah’s revival in depth: 2 Chronicles 29:12-31:21. The book of 2 Chronicles gives details of Hezekiah’s steps toward religious revival. He gathers the Levites and reassigns them to the duties first planned by David (29:25). They cleanse and purify the temple, and once again make offerings there. Hezekiah sends couriers to all Judah and Israel, inviting them to come and keep Passover.
After a full week of celebration and offerings, the people spread out through the land, smashing the hillside shrines and worship centers that remain. For the first time in decades, the people bring their tithes and offerings, so the priests and Levites are able to dedicate themselves to serving God.
The Fall of Samaria: 18:9-12. In Hezekiah’s 4th year Israel is invaded by the Assyrians. In the 6th, Samaria is taken, and the people of the neighboring northern kingdom are deported and sent into exile.
9 Now it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years they took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away captive to Assyria, and put them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenantand all that Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded; and they would neither hear nor do them.
Sennacherib threatens Jerusalem: 2 Kings 18:13-37; 2 Chronicles 32:1-19. Eight years later, in Hezekiah’s 14th year, Sennacherib of Assyria takes Judah’s fortified cities. Hezekiah strips the temple and his treasury to pay Assyria a ransom of eleven tones of silver and one ton of gold. But a delegation comes to the Holy City, ridicules Hezekiah’s faith and his god, and demands surrender and deportation. These taunts, and other letters which ridicule God, speak of him as though he were one of the empty deities of pagan peoples.
… do not listen to Hezekiah, lest he persuade you, saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations at all delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivah? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’ “
36 But the people held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.